Demonstrations in Favor of Mossadegh Break Out in Tehran

December 21, 1953 — United Press (UP)

The Mossadegh Project | November 13, 2018                   

Highlights of the Mossadeq Trial | CIA Memo (Nov. 1953)

Demonstrations For Mossadegh Break Out In City
Military Court Is Considering Verdict

TEHRAN, Iran, Dec. 21 (UP) — Demonstrations in favor of ousted Premier Mohammed Mossadegh broke out in Tehran today as a military court considered its verdict in his trial for treason.

The court had declared a recess after receiving a letter from young Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, announcing that he forgave any offense committed against him in view of his previous good service to the country.

During the recess, a group of about 60 students surged through the streets shouting “Death to the British” and “Mossadegh is victorious.”

People in the streets joined in sporadic demonstrations, fleeing as troops moved in to disperse them. Six persons were reported arrested.

Shortly before the demonstrations a staff of British embassy personnel had arrived at the airport, under a heavy military guard, as the result of the newly resumed Iranian-British diplomatic relations.

The Shah’s intervention in Mossadegh’s behalf had caused a sensation.

The Shah commented that Mossadegh’s action in nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil company, which threw the country into crisis, was made in compliance with the nation’s wish.

Court Chairman Nazrollah Moghbeli read the Shah’s letter to the judges and called a recess to consider it. [sic—Nasrollah Moghbeli]

“I have committed no crimes to be pardoned for,” Mossadegh said when the letter was read. “I don’t need to be forgiven.”

The Shah’s letter merely forgave Mossadegh for any offenses against him personally. Under Iranian law he has not the right to ask mercy for a defendant or make any formal recommendations for clemency until after a verdict is announced.

It was believed the court might hand down its verdict late today.

Mossadegh and Brig. Gen. Taqqi Riahi, [sic—Taghi Riahi] his co-defendant in the six-weeks-long treason trial, had the right to appeal the court’s verdict. The appeal would be considered by a military appeals court which might take months to act. Both Mossadegh and Riahi had announced they would appeal any sentence.

The prosecutor had demanded the death sentence for both men. Under Iranian law the execution of anybody over 60 years of age is forbidden. Mossadegh, who keeps his age a secret, is somewhere in his seventies. [He was 71]

But in any event, the Shah must confirm any verdict and even before his letter to the court he had expressed sympathy with Mossadegh.

Mossadegh, in a sobbing last speech to the court, had predicted: “I will die in the corner of a prison.”

Mossadegh was charged with trying to overthrow the Shah and with defying his authority by remaining in office after a decree was issued dismissing him. Mossadegh was overthrown by a military coup.

Alternate headlines:

Mossadegh Friends Stage Demonstration — Court Recesses After Shah Forgives Ousted Premier
Shah Forgives Mossadegh; Letter Brings Court Recess — Dramatic Intervention Delays Treason Trial Verdict in Iran
Shah “Forgives” Ex-Premier For Offenses — Demonstrations “Flare” As Mossadegh Verdict Studied
Students Surge Through Streets Of Iran’s Capital
Shah Forgives Mossadegh
Court Considers Verdict in Mossadegh Trial
Demonstrations Break Out as Court Weighs Fate of Mossadegh
Mob Demonstrates For Mossadegh — Court Recesses As Shah Forgives
Shah Intercedes For Mossadegh in Treason Trial — Ruler Forgives Acts Of Former Premier
Mossadegh Given Support By Rabble
Mossadegh Is Still Power as Riot Maker
Mossadegh Backed By Demonstrators
Students March As Court Weighs Mossadegh Fate — Shah Forgives Former Premier For Offenses Made Against Him


Related links:

Trial Of Mossadegh Brings Riots; 1 Dead | Nov. 12, 1953 (United Press)

Mossadegh’s Backers Plot General Strike| Nov. 11, 1953 (United Press)

Mossadegh Treated Well | The San Bernardino County Sun (Dec. 24, 1953)

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

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