Kashani - Zahedi Showdown Predicted

August 31, 1953 — New Republic

The Mossadegh Project | December 10, 2012                   

Post-coup assessment in the New Republic forecasts a "showdown" between Premier Zahedi and Islamic cleric Ayatollah Kashani, plus more trouble from the Communists in Iran.

Iran—No Change

New Republic, August 31, 1953 FOR MORE THAN two years in Iran, the means by which an orderly change of government could be effected were systematically paralyzed by Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh. But, at the same time, Mossadegh was pushing the nation into a choice between him and the Shah. The choice was made. Gen. Fazlallah Zahedi [sic — Fazlollah] is now Premier and Iran now has a government in which the Premier and the Shah are in accord.

Yet most of the old problems remain unsolved. The Shah probably could not have won without the passive support of an old enemy: Ayatollah Kashani, popular religious and political leader. After Kashani failed to conquer Mossadegh in the streets and in Parliament, the opposition grouped around Zahedi. To Kashani, stymied as long as Mossadegh held power, Zahedi probably seems a weaker opponent. It is unlikely that he will long remain an ally of the Shah.

The Tudeh (Communist) Party remains a threat. It will probably receive some rough treatment under the new regime, but both Kashani and the forces behind Zahedi have in the past been willing to work with the Tudeh for political advantage. The political opportunism shared by both men is indicated by their pro-Nazi activities during World War II. A showdown seems inevitable, and the Tudeh will know how to exploit it.

Hatred of England is as strong as ever in Iran. The first leader who attempts to bring moderation to the question of an oil settlement will be open to accusations of treachery. And since the West now has substitute oil sources, an oil settlement may now be postponed indefinitely. In the meantime, Iran's treasury is empty. The Shah has appealed for assistance “from anybody.” It seems this nation will have to meet that appeal. Assistance, however, would be only a stop-gap measure. An oil settlement alone can counter Communist strategy in Iran.

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Related links:

U.S. Hopes Fall of Mossadegh Will Mean Stable Rule | UPI, August 19, 1953

AP Columnist Predicts "Chaos and Bloodshed" from Tudeh | August 24, 1953

Shah Backers Won Out in Iran by Wee Margin | Walter G. Rundle, August 25, 1953

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

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