U.S. and Shah Acted Illegally, Not Mossadegh

Letter in IRANIANS newspaper — April 2008

The Mossadegh Project | April 28, 2008                    

IRANIANS newspaper, April 11, 2008 Our letter to the IRANIANS newspaper, a U.S.-produced Persian weekly distributed nationally, was published in the April 11, 2008 edition.

The letter addresses common criticisms of Dr. Mossadegh’s government that required an informed response.

Below is our English translation from farsi.

Your Letters and Discourses
U.S. and Shah Acted Illegally, Not Mossadegh

IRANIANS newspaper, April 11, 2008 Dear Mr. Taghi Mokhtar, Publisher and Editor of weekly "Iranians":

I read in the "Iranians", issue 367, Friday, March 14, 2008 a letter from Mr. Parviz Minooei under the heading of "How long the culture of devotee and devotion?" This letter was actually in response to an essay, by Dr. Mansour Bayat, printed in issue #350.

In his letter, Mr. Minooei accuses Dr. Mossadegh of committing several “illegalities against the constitution”. I would like, for the interest of readers of "Iranians", to briefly respond to these accusations.

Mr. Minooei’s first accusation is that “Dr. Mossadegh with a lot of fuss passed the bill of delegating more power to the Prime minister. According to this bill the government was free to create laws and act upon them without first presenting them to the Majles. This meant stepping on the constitution”.

The response to this claim is that the request for additional powers was not only legal, it was necessary considering the situation in the country.

Because of enmity by the British, Iran at that time was unable to sell her oil in the international market and in addition her foreign exchange reserve was frozen in the Bank of England. Furthermore, American, British and Iranian agents were hard at work to illegally bring down the government.

The purpose of the request for the additional powers was to help the government fight back these elements. The initial request was for six month duration and passed by the Majles in August of 1952 and the Shah signed off on it. The later request for extension of the bill for another year, even though it was bitterly opposed by Kashani, Baghai and others, eventually passed by the Majles and was again signed by the Shah.

Mr. Minooei states that the second illegality against the constitution was that “Dr. Mossadegh decided to dissolve the Majles and to this end sought to ask for a referendum. Nowhere in the constitution does the law permit the prime minister to do such a thing.”

The response to this claim is that the constitution does not specify that the government is not allowed to dissolve the Majles or embark on a referendum, which is nothing but seeking the views of the general population on a specific issue. In the constitutional monarchies, such as England, the government, when it finds it appropriate, can dissolve the parliament and resort to a new election. Mossadegh could have legally dissolved the Majles without resorting to a referendum.

On the subject of referendum, Mr. Minooei adds that “Mossadegh with treachery separated the voting boxes for “YES” and “NO” answer to the question in different places”. My view on this point is that this act by the government was neither wise nor necessary.

The author of the letter’s last claim of act against the constitution is that “At midnight of August 16, 1953 when the notice of Mossadegh’s dismissal signed by the Shah was taken to Mossadegh’s house, he hid the notice and did not even show them to his ministers and announced on the radio that he has discovered and neutralize a coup that was underway.”

The answer to this is that Shah had no legal right to dismiss the Prime Minister. Not only was this action by the Shah illegal, it was part of a CIA operation led by Kermit Roosevelt. This leads one to conclude that the U.S and Shah acted illegally and not Mossadegh.

I encourage Mr. Minooei and other interested individuals to refer to extensive writings by Dr. Mohammad Ali Homayoon Katouzian on these issues. One such writing is an article in Farsi titled "The Great Sins of Dr. Mossadegh al-Saltaneh" in the book Mossadegh in the Presence of History compiled by Mr. Mohammad Tolooei.

Dr. Ebrahim Norouzi

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Related links:

Mossadegh’s Fall — U.S. editorial, August 25, 1953

No Pity For MossadeghThe Lethbridge Herald, September 24, 1953

Correcting Washington Post Staff Writer Tara Bahrampour — Letter to the Editor, July 2012

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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