Advocates of Democracy?
By: Kian Mokhtari
Mohammad Mosaddeq was born in 1882 in Tehran to an Ashtiani Bakhtiari finance minister, Mirza Hideyatu'llah Khan and a Qajar princess, Shahzadeh Malika Taj Khanum.
Mossadeq received his Bachelor of Arts and Masters in (International) Law from University of Paris (Sorbonne) before pursuing higher education in Switzerland. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in 1914 following a Bachelor of Economics in 1916. He also taught at the University of Tehran before beginning his political career.
In 1920, after being self-exiled to Switzerland in protest at the Anglo-Persian Treaty of 1919, he was invited by the new Persian Prime Minister, Hassan Pirnia, to become his Minister of Justice. He was later appointed Foreign Minister in the government of Moshir-ed-Dowleh in June 1923. He was re-elected to the Majlis in the same year and voted against the selection of the then Prime Minister Reza Khan as the new Shah of Iran.
After living as a political outcast throughout Reza Khan's monarchy, Mossaddeq was once again elected to parliament in 1944. This time he took the lead of Jebhe Melli Iran or Iran Patriotic Front. He aimed throughout his turbulent life to establish democracy and end the foreign presence in Iranian politics, especially by nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s (AIOC) operations in Iran.
Having been appointed premier on April 28 1951, Mossaddeq explained his nationalization policy in his speech of June 21, 1951:
"…With the oil revenues we could meet our entire budget and combat poverty, disease, and backwardness among our people…by the elimination of the power of the British company, we would also eliminate corruption and intrigue, by means of which the internal affairs of our country have been influenced. Once this tutelage has ceased, Iran will have achieved its economic and political independence. The Iranian state prefers to take over the production of petroleum itself. The company should do nothing else but return its property to the rightful owners. The nationalization law provide that 25% of the net profits on oil be set aside to meet all the legitimate claims of the company for compensation… It has been asserted abroad that Iran intends to expel the foreign oil experts from the country and then shut down oil installations. Not only is this allegation absurd; it is utter invention…"
In October 1952, Mossaddeq declared that Britain was "an enemy", and cut all diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom. In November and December 1952, British intelligence officials suggested to American "intelligence" that the prime minister should be ousted. The new US administration under Dwight D. Eisenhower and the British government under Winston Churchill agreed to work together toward Mossaddeq’s removal. In March 1953, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles directed the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which was headed by his younger brother Allen Dulles, to draft plans to overthrow Mossaddeq.
The pro-monarchy forces, led by retired army general and former Minister of Interior in Mosaddeq’s cabinet, Fazlollah Zahedi and street thugs like Shaban Jafari (also known as Shaban "the Brainless") gained the upper hand on 18 August 1953. Dr Mohammad Mossadeq was unceremoniously removed from an office he had been democratically elected to by Anglo-American "28 Mordad 1332" coup -Operation Ajax, after its CIA cryptonym.
Mossaddeq was imprisoned by the former Shah of Iran for three years and subsequently put under house arrest until his death.
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi returned from exile to the throne assisted by CIA and MI6 and squandered whatever economic advantages had been gained through nationalization of oil in Iran.
Today, Iran is once again at a crucial crossroads to make up for its future requirements through technological, economic and political progression that requires time. And once again the old enemies are back to defame our nation, to provoke and interfere with our political path; to tear apart the very fabric of our society and to create cracks in our history's consistency so they can replace our words and truths with falsities of their own, subjugate our proud land and slander our cultural heritage.
And those of us familiar with the jest and fancy of our historical foes can do little than humbly and wholeheartedly forewarn of the consequences.
We beg the Almighty's guidance in our journey.