False Equivalence

Letter to The Washington Post (Dec. 15, 1979)

The Mossadegh Project | May 20, 2022                    

The nephew of Mossadegh, Farhad Diba, wrote this letter to The Washington Post in response to a column comparing the former Iranian Premier with Ayatollah Khomeini. Diba later authored Mossadegh: A Political Biography (1986).

December 15, 1979
The Washington Post

The Spirit of Mossadegh

Jack Anderson’s Nov. 15 column, "First Mossadegh, Now Khomeini" may mislead your readers to believe that there exists some similarity between those two characters.

I find it surprising that Mr. Anderson, a person who is usually associated with being the source of revelation of undeniably accurate documents, gives a totally untrue picture of Mossadegh. In this case, his secret documents (CIA and State Department reports) have been closely examined by me (I am currently engaged in writing a biography of Mossadegh), and they do not substantiate his claim of “grisly murders.” I defy Mr. Anderson to quote one document, from any U.S. source, that accuses Mossadegh of being a murderer. Quite to the contrary, those same documents repeatedly refer to Mossadegh as “an honest man” and, in another, as “the living symbol of the nationalist movement in Iran.”

Mossadegh’s actions were based on rational forces, whereas Khomeini sees himself as the Messiah and therefore refuses to be judged by mortals. Mossadegh was a lawyer and very much attached to the rule of constitutional law, whereas Khomeini does not admit to any commonly accepted norms.

Khomeini certainly does not embody the spirit of Mossadegh, and this spirit continues to struggle for reemergence through such outlets as the National Front, the National Democratic Front, or other liberal-democratic groupings of Iranian nationalists.

Khomeini is a republican Pan-Islamist; Mossadegh was a democrat Iranian, and the twain shall never meet.


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Related links:

Prof. Richard N. Frye: Iranian Revolt Like Labor Strikes (Dec. 1979 Letter)

Robert Gulick, Jr.: In Defense of Iran | Washington Star, July 1951 Letter

Negotiations In Iran | Washington Post, August 6, 1951 Letter

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