Communist Mobs Battle Iran Troops
August 18, 1953 — United Press [UPI]

The Mossadegh Project | August 21, 2011    

United Press — Tuesday, August 18, 1953:

Mossadegh Retains His Policy Toward United States

UPI - August 18, 1953 TEHRAN, IRAN, Aug. 18 (UP) — Communist mobs shouting demands for a “people’s democratic republic” battled the troops of Premier Mohammed Mossadegh’s nationalist government today.

The Communists, who had supported Mossadegh in putting down a week-end revolt which the premier blamed on Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi’s followers, suddenly switched their tactics and broke into nationalist clubs here.

Troops had to be called out to quell the rioting after the Reds slugged members of the nationalist clubs and broke up furniture. At least three persons were seriously injured in street fighting.

Troops and police used tear gas and rifle butts to disperse the Reds. A number of demonstrators were arrested.

Other reports of fighting came from the Caspian Sea area from which the shah fled to Iraq and thence to Rome after the unsuccessful coup.

The government offered a $3,000 reward for the capture of Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi, alleged leader of the revolt and issued warrants for the arrest of 50 other army officers suspected of loyalty to the shah.

The Communists shouted demands for immediate formation of a “people’s” regime in this strategic oil-rich nation after a government spokesman indicated Mossadegh would set up a three-man Regency Council to replace the deposed shah.

The rioting coincided with an announcement that agreement had been reached with Russia on a “new and larger” trade treaty.

Mossadegh’s Foreign Minister Hussein Fatemi [Hossein Fatemi] announced that the premier’s government planned to continue its foreign policy toward the United States. The Communists and some government supporters claimed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, [Mohammad Reza Pahlavi] who allegedly instigated the attempt to oust Mossadegh, had the support of the United States.

“There is no change in relations with the United States,” Fatemi said. The government will not close down “Point Four or other United States establishments here,” he said.

The 33-year old shah and Queen Soraya arrived in Rome today from Baghdad, Iraq, aboard a British Overseas Airways passenger plane.

He was dressed in a Western style gray flannel suit and looked worried and weary. The queen, considered one of the world’s most beautiful women, appeared pale and thin. She wore a light brown dress.

The shah answered only one question for reporters at the airport before driving with friends to the Excelsior Hotel in downtown Rome.

“I plan to stay here (Rome), but I do not know for how long,” he said.

Former Deputy Hussein Makki, [Hossein Makki] once a prominent Mossadegh supporter and leader in the fight against the British for oil nationalization, was arrested today. He had broken with the premier.

Related links:

Fatemi’s Brother Suffers Attack — August 19, 1953 (UPI)

Mossadegh’s Final Hours As Prime Minister of Iran

Iran Charges Russian PlotAP, November 4, 1951

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

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