Date written : March 1954 Date published : October 1969 Written by : Dr. Donald N. Wilber
This paper, entitled Overthrow of Premier Mossadeq of Iran, was written in March 1954 by Dr. Donald N. Wilber who had played an active role in the operation. The study was written because it seemed desirable to have a record of a major operation prepared while documents were readily at hand and while the memories of the personnel involved in the activity were still fresh. In addition, It was felt advisable to stress certain conclusions reached after these in the form of recommendations applicable to future, parallel operations.
Documents pertaining to the operation described in this paper are in the Project TPAJAX files which are held by the Iran Branch of the Near East and South Asia Division.
All proper names mentioned in this paper have been checked for accuracy and completeness. A serious effort has been made to supply the first name and middle initial of each individual. The omission of any first names and middle initials indicates that such information could not be located.
Dean L, Dodge NE Division Historical Officer March 1969
By the end of 1952, it had become clear that the Mossadeq government in Iran was incapable of reaching an oil settlement with interested Western countries; was reaching a dangerous and advanced stage of illegal, deficit financing; was disregarding the Iranian constitution in prolonging Premier Mohammed Mossadeq's tenure of office; was motivated mainly by Mossadeq's desire for personal power; was governed by irresponsible policies based on emotion; had weakened the Shah and the Iranian Army to a dangerous degree; and had cooperated closely with the Tudeh (Communist) Party of Iran. In view of these factors, it was estimated that Iran was in real danger of falling behind the Iron Curtain; if that happened it would mean a victory for the Soviets in the Cold War and a major setback for the West in the Middle East. No remedial action other than the covert action plan set forth below could be found to improve the existing state of affairs.
It was the aim of the TPAJAX project to cause the fall of the Mossadeq government to reestablish the prestige and power of the Shah; and to replace the Mossadeq government with one which would govern Iran according to constructive policies. Specifically, the aim was to bring to power a government which would reach an equitable oil settlement, enabling Iran to become economically sound and financially solvent, and which would vigorously prosecute the dangerously strong Communist Party.
Once it had been determined definitely that it was not in American interests for the Mossadeq government to remain in power and CIA had been so informed by the Secretary of State in March 1953, CIA began drafting a plan whereby the aims stated above could be realized through covert action. An estimate entitled "Factors Involved in the Overthrow of Mossadeq" was completed on 16 April 1953. It was here determined that an overthrow of Mossadeq was possible through covert operations. In April it was determined that CIA should conduct the envisioned operation jointly with the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). By the end of April, it was decided that CIA and SIS officers would draw up a plan on Cyprus which would be submitted to CIA and SIS Headquarters, and to the Department of State and the Foreign Office for final approval. On 3 June 1953, US Ambassador Loy Wesley Henderson arrived in the United States where he was fully consulted with regard to the objective and aims, as stated above, as well as CIA's intentions to design covert means of achieving the objective and aims.
The plan was completed by 10 June 1953 at which time Mr. Kermit Roosevelt, Chief of the Near East and Africa Division, CIA (who carried with him the views of the Department of State, CIA, and Ambassador Henderson); Mr. Roger Goiran, CIA Chief of Station, Iran; and two CIA planning officers met in Beirut to consider the plan. With minor changes the operational proposal was submitted to the SIS in London on 14 June 1953.
On 19 June 1953, the final operational plan, agreed upon by Mr. Roosevelt for CIA and by British Intelligence in London, was submitted in Washington to the Department of State; to Mr. Allen W. Dulles, Director of CIA; and to Ambassador Henderson for approval. Simultaneously, it was submitted to the British Foreign Office by SIS for approval. The Department of State wanted to be assured of two things before it would grant approval of the plan:
The Department of State satisfied itself on both of these scores.
In mid-July 1953, the Department of State and the British Foreign Office granted authorization for the implementation of the TPAJAX project, and the Director of CIA obtained the approval of the President of the United States. The SIS, with the concurrence of the CIA Director and Ambassador Henderson, proposed that Mr. Roosevelt assume field command in Tehran of the final phase of the operation. It was determined by the Department of State that it would be advisable for Ambassador Henderson to postpone his return to Iran, from Washington consultation, until the operation had been concluded. Arrangements were made jointly with SIS whereby operational liaison would be conducted on Cyprus where a CIA officer would be temporarily stationed, and support liaison could be conducted in Washington. Rapid three-way communications were arranged through CIA facilities between Tehran, Cyprus, and Washington. The time set for the operation was mid-August,
In Iran, CIA and SIS propaganda assets were to conduct an increasingly intensified propaganda effort through the press, handbills, and the Tehran clergy in a campaign designed to weaken the Mossadeq government in any way possible. In the United States, high-ranking US officials were to make official statements which would shatter any hopes held by Premier Mossadeq that American economic aid would be forthcoming, and disabuse the Iranian public of the Mossadeq myth that the United States supported his regime.
General Fazlollah Zahedi, former member of Mossadeq's cabinet, was chosen as the most suitable successor to the Premier since he stood out as the only person of stature who had consistently been openly in opposition to Mossadeq and who claimed any significant following. Zahedi was to be approached by CIA and be told of our operation and its aim of installing him as the new prime minister. He was to name a military secretariat with which CIA would conclude a detailed staff plan of action.
From the outset, the cooperation of the Shah was considered to be an essential part of the plan. His cooperation was necessary to assure the action required of the Tehran military garrisons, and to legalize the succession of a new prime minister. Since the Shah had shown himself to be a man of indecision, it was determined that pressure on him to cooperate would take the following forms:
Through agents in the Tehran military, CIA was to ensure, to the degree possible, Tehran Army cooperation in support of the Shah-appointed new prime minister.
The following public statements made in the United States had tremendous impact on Iran and Mossadeq, and contributed greatly to Mossadeq's downfall:
In cooperation with the Department of State, CIA had several articles planted in major American newspapers and magazines which, when reproduced in Iran, had the desired psychological affect in Iran and contributed to the war of nerves against Mossadeq.
After considerable pressure from Princess Ashraf and General Schwarzkopf, and after several meetings with Mr. Roosevelt, the Shah finally signed the required firmans on 15 August 1953. Action was set for 16 August. However, owing to a security leak in the Iranian military, the chief of the Shah's bodyguard, assigned to seize Mossadeq with the help of two truckloads of pro-Shah soldiers, was overwhelmed by superior armed forces still loyal to Mossadeq. The balance of the military plan was thus frustrated for that day. Upon hearing that the plan had misfired, the Shah flew to Baghdad. This was a act of prudence and had been at least partially foreseen in the plan. Zahedi remained in hiding in CIA custody. With his key officers, he eluded Mossadeq's security forces which were seeking to apprehend the major opposition elements.
Early in the afternoon of 17 August 1953, Ambassador Henderson returned to Tehran. General Zahedi, through a CIA-arranged secret press conference and through CIA covert printing facilities, announced to Iran that he was legally prime minister and that Mossadeq had staged an illegal coup against him. CIA agent assets disseminated a large quantity of photographs of the firmans, appointing Zahedi prime minister and dismissing Mossadeq. This had tremendous impact on the people of Tehran who had already been shocked and angered when they realized that the Shah had been forced to leave Iran because of Mossadeq's actions. US Ambassador Burton Y. Berry, in Baghdad, contacted the Shah and stated that he had confidence that the Shah would return soon to Iran despite the apparent adverse situation at that time. Contact was also established with the Shah in Rome after he had flown there from Baghdad. Mr. Roosevelt and the station consistently reported that Mossadeq's apparent victory was misleading; that there were very concrete signs that the Army was still loyal to the Shah, and that a favorable reversal of the situation was possible. The station further urged both the British Foreign Office and the Department of State to make a maximum effort to persuade the Shah to make public statements encouraging the Army and populace to reject Mossadeq and to accept Zahedi as prime minister.
On 19 August 1953, a pro-Shah demonstration, originating in the bazaar area, took on overwhelming proportions. The demonstration appeared to start partially spontaneously, revealing the fundamental prestige of the Shah and the public alarm at the undisguised republican move being started by the Communists as well as by certain National Frontists. Station political action assets also contributed to the beginnings of the pro-Shah demonstrations. The Army very soon joined the pro-Shah movement and by noon of that day it was clear that Tehran, as well as certain provincial areas, were controlled by pro-Shah street groups and Army units. The situation was such that the above-mentioned military plan could then be implemented. At the station's signal, Zahedi came out of hiding to lead the movement. He first broadcast over Radio Tehran and announced that the government was his. The General Staff offices were then seized, Mossadeq's home was gutted, and pro-Mossadeq politicians and officers arrested. By the end of 19 August, the country was in the hands of the new Premier, Zahedi, and members of the Mossadeq government were either in hiding or were incarcerated.
The Shah returned shortly to Iran where he was given a rousing popular reception. The Shah was deeply moved by the fact that his people and Army had revolted in the face of adversity against a vindictive Mossadeq and a Communist Party riding the crest of temporary victory and clearly planning to declare Iran a republic. The Shah felt for the first time that he had the mandate of his people, and he returned determined to regain firm control of the Army.
In order to give Zahedi badly needed immediate financial assistance so that month-end payrolls could be met before the United States could provide large scale grant aid, CIA covertly made available $5,000,000 within two days of Zahedi's assumption of power.
Representatives of British Intelligence met with Near East and Africa (NEA) Division representatives in Washing- ton during November and December 1952 for the purpose of discussing joint war and staybehind plans in Iran. In attendance for British Intelligence were Mr. Christopher Montague Woodhouse, recently Chief of Station for British Intelligence in Tehran; Mr. Samuel Falle of the British Intelligence station in Tehran; and Mr. John Bruse Lockhart, SIS Washington representative. In attendance for NEA Division were Mr. Kermit Roosevelt, Chief of Division, Mr. John H. Leavitt, Chief of Iran Branch; Mr. John W. Pendleton, Deputy Chief of Division; and Mr. James A. Darling, Chief of NEA Paramilitary Staff.
Although it was not on the previously agreed agenda of the meeting, British Intelligence representatives brought up the proposition of a joint political action to remove Prime Minister Mossadeq. The NEA Division had not intended to discuss this question at all and was unprepared to do so. The meeting concluded without any decision being made and with the NEA Division committing itself only to study in more detail the political action proposals advanced by British Intelligence.
In March 1953 a telegram was received from the Tehran Station which stated that General [Blacked-Out] had contacted the assistant military attache and had requested Ambassador Henderson's views as to whether or nor the US Government was interested in covertly supporting an Iranian military effort to oust Premier Mossadeq. A meeting was held in the Embassy at which Headquarters personnel, then in the field, and station personnel were in attendance. A cautiously worded reply was drafted at Headquarters and its substance delivered to General [Blacked-Out] . The reply did not commit the United States in any way but was mildly encouraging and revealed some US interest in the idea.
On the basis of the [Blacked-Out] overture and other clear signs that determined opposition to Mossadeq was taking shape, and in view of the totally destructive and reckless attitude of the government of Prime Minister Mossadeq, General Walter Bedell Smith, Under Secretary of State, determined that the US Government could no longer approve of the Mossadeq government and would prefer a successor government in which there would be no National Frontists. The change in policy was communicated to CIA, and the NEA Division was informed that it was authorized to consider operations which would contribute to the fall of the Mossadeq government. The Department of State and CIA jointly informed Ambassador Henderson and the Chief of Station, Roger Goiran, of the new policy and of the operational authorization. The Director, on 4 April 1953, approved a budget of $1,000,000 which could be used by the Tehran Station in any way that would bring about the fall of Mossadeq. Full authority was given to Ambassador Henderson and the Chief of Station enabling any part or all of the $1,000,000 to be used without further authority, as long as the Ambassador and the station concurred.
On 16 April 1953 a comprehensive study entitled: "Factors Involved in the Overthrow of Mossadeq" was completed. The Study indicated that a Shah-General Zahedi combination, supported by CIA local assets and financial backing, would have a good chance of overthrowing Mossadeq, particularly if this combination should be able to get the largest mobs in the streets and if a sizable portion of the Tehran garrison refused to carry out Mossadeq's orders. Subsequent contact was made with General [Blacked-Out] . Although his motives appeared serious, it soon became apparent that he had no concrete plan and was in fact in no position to take action against Mossadeq. General Zahedi, who at one time was a member of Mossadeq's cabinet, stood out as the only major personality in undisguised opposition to Mossadeq. For this reason he attracted to himself a considerable following. The Tehran Station, in April 1953, reestablished covert contact with Zahedi through Commander Eric Pollard, the US Naval Attache. In order to make the covert liaison with Zahedi more effective and reliable, and also for security reasons, Zahedi's son, Ardeshir Zahedi, was selected as the means of contact with General Zahedi in June 1953. After 21 July 1953, contact with General Zahedi was made directly.
Near the end of April 1953 Dr. Donald N. Wilber, covert consultant to NEA, was selected by the Division to go to Nicosia and, in close collaboration with SIS, draw up a plan for the overthrow of Mossadeq. The assumption by Headquarters was that the planners would come up with a project which they could conscientiously recommend.
The discussions were begun at Nicosia on 13 May 1953 between Wilber and SIS Officer Norman Matthew Darbyshire. Occasionally Mr. H. John Collins, Chief of SIS station at Nicosia, was also present. Mr. Darbyshire, who was in charge of SIS's Iran branch, had been in Iran for several years and was fluent in the language. Discussions were concluded on 30 May 1953, and the completed draft of a recommended operational plan was cabled by Dr. Wilber to Headquarters on 1 June.
The opening meetings consisted of a review of all the important personalities on the political scene in Iran with a view toward determining whether General Zahedi, the most prominent politician in opposition to Mossadeq, was in fact the sole figure worthy of support and, if so, what individuals and elements should be enlisted in his support. It soon became apparent that Dr. Wilber and Mr. Darbyshire held quite similar views of Iranian personalities and had made very similar estimates of the factors involved in the Iranian political scene. There was no friction or marked difference of opinion during the discussions. It also quickly became apparent that the SIS was perfectly content to follow whatever lead was taken by the Agency. It seemed obvious to Wilber that the British were very pleased at having obtained the active cooperation of the Agency and were determined to do nothing which might jeopardize US participation. At the same time there was a faint note of envy expressed over the fact that the Agency was better equipped in the way of funds, personnel, and facilities than was SIS.
Wilber reported the preliminary conversations concerning a threeway channel, set up for this occasion, which was designed to insure immediate relay between Washington, Nicosia, and Tehran. That is, a message originating at any one of these places would be sent by the most expeditious route to the other two. This route was the Middle East Communications Authority (MECA) link, the relay station a few miles outside of Nicosia.* *Unfortunately, communications between Nicosia and Tehran were not as rapid as was hoped during this period in which more than 45 cables were exchanged.
Discussions at Nicosia moved on to a disclosure of assets by both parties. Those by SIS were centered upon the contacts of the Rashidian brothers in such fields as the armed forces, the Majlis (Iranian Parliament), religious leaders, the press, street gangs, politicians, and other influential figures. When this material was relayed from Nicosia, the Tehran Station commented that it was their belief that these assets had been far overstated and oversold. In reply it was pointed out that SIS was as aware as we of the weaknesses of the Rashidians, but that one of the strongest points in their favor was their avowed willingness to risk their possessions and their lives in an attempt against Mossadeq. In the critical days of August 1953 the Rashidians did display such a willingness. SIS disclosures were followed by those of Dr. Wilber for CIA. Prior to Wilber's departure a discussion was held at Headquarters to determine which of the station assets should be disclosed to the SIS in return for promised disclosures by the SIS of the assets which they were prepared to put into an operational plan. It was agreed at Headquarters that the identities of the vitally important principal agents of the Tehran Station, [Djalili] [and Keyvani] [Blacked-Out] would not be disclosed. Since the SIS had been informed during the November 1952 meetings referred to above that CIA had two major principal agents in Iran, it was necessary to offer two such in place of [Djalili and] [Keyvani] . This was done, naming a station agent and a sub-agent** of [Blacked-Out] to these important posts. To the best of our knowledge [Djalili and Keyvani] were not uncovered by the Rashidian brothers or any other SIS agents during the course of this operation.
The continuing conversations at Nicosia were reflected by outgoing cables requesting, principally from the Tehran Station, information which would be helpful in drafting the operational plan.
Discussions now narrowed down to a series of basic assumptions which were stressed both in the draft plan and in its final form. It was determined that the details of the operational plan should be included within a framework of such basic assumptions as these: that Zahedi alone of potential candidates had the vigor and courage to make him worthy of support; that the Shah must be brought into the operation; that the Shah would act only with great reluctance but that he could be forced to do so; that if the issue was clear-cut the armed forces would follow the Shah rather than Mossadeq; that the operation must, if possible, be made to appear legal or quasi-legal instead of an outright coup; that public opinion must be fanned to fever pitch against Mossadeq in the period just preceding the execution of the overthrow operation; that the military aspect would be successful only if the station were able to review the plan with the Iranians chosen by Zahedi to execute it; that immediate precautions must be taken by the new government to meet a strong reaction by the Tudeh Party. Some of these assumptions were presented in cables sent off before the draft plan was completed. The reactions from the Tehran Station and Headquarters did not always express agreement with the ideas of the planners. The station expressed its feeling that the Shah would not act decisively against Mossadeq, while Headquarters wondered whether we should not support some other individual and whether the Persians themselves might not take the lead in action designed to overthrow Mossadeq. It was, however, agreed that the station should begin at once with its new policy of attacking the government of Mossadeq through grey propaganda. The station relayed this line to its own agents and passed it on to the Rashidian brothers of SIS. The CIA Art Group, a section of the PP Staff Advisory Panel, was asked to prepare a considerable number of anti-Mossadeq cartoons.
The meetings were interrupted for several days when one of the Rashidian brothers managed to get permission to leave Iran*-not at all an easy matter during the Mossadeq period-and went to Geneva where he was met by SIS Officer Norman Darbyshire. He not only briefed Darbyshire on the current situation but was able to give comprehensive answers to a number of specific questions. It should be noted that the SIS station at Nicosia had been in tri-weekly wireless contact with the Rashidian brothers at Tehran, employing the best of the British trained staybehind operators. This contact, in Persian, was naturally limited in time, and even more limited after we passed word to Darbyshire on his return from Geneva that the Iranian armed forces were now in possession of directional finders supplied under MAAG. *It is interesting to note that Rashidian obtained his CIA views that Fatemi was from time to time susceptible to British overtures and was trying to keep a hand in with the opposition and British in the event Mossadeq fell. He was certainly aware of Rashidian's agent status with the British.
Mr. George A. Carroll (FI Deputy Tehran, Designate) arrived at Nicosia on 29 May, in time to pass along reactions and suggestions from Headquarters, prior to the completion of the draft plan. As stated, this draft was cabled to Headquarters on 1 June 1953. (See Appendix A for a typed transcript of the cable.)
While Nicosia proved to be a hand point of contact with the British and a fairly good communications intersection point, it did have certain disadvantages. It was remote from the headquarters of either agency, and, even worse, the SIS station files were extremely inadequate so that any in- formation on personalities, especially members of the Iranian armed forces, had to be obtained by querying the Tehran Station and Headquarters.
Once the draft plan had been cabled, it was agreed with SIS that their copy would be hand-carried to London where the viewpoint of the SIS headquarters would be incorporated prior to 15 June. In the meantime, as had been agreed with Headquarters, the Agency would conduct a searching scrutiny of the plan at Beirut, and then bring these results to Lon- don for amalgamation with the draft as reworked by SIS at London. Carroll remained a few days after the completion of the draft to begin work on the military aspect of the plan. He also returned to Nicosia for a few additional days after the close of the Beirut meetings for this purpose. It must be noted that Miss Helen E. Morgan, CIA representative at Nicosia, gave strong support to the CIA personnel who worked at Nicosia.
On the afternoon of 9 June all those who were to take part in the discussions arrived in Beirut: Mr. Kermit Roosevelt, Chief NEA and project chief throughout the operation, came in by plane from London; Carroll came from Cyprus by plane; Roger Goiran, Chief of Station at Tehran, drove on from Damascus by car; and Wilber came in from Cairo by air.
On the morning of 10 June the talks got underway and continued for four days. The usual schedule was to start quite early, carry through until about two o'clock, and then assemble again in the late afternoon. The first order of business was a reexamination of all the factors and elements of the political scene in Iran in the light of the current and comprehensive information supplied by the Tehran chief of station. After all the basic principles of the draft plan had been accepted, the attention of the conferees turned to a section by section consideration of the plan. The object of the meetings was to determine how each section could be given the maximum structure and impact. One switch in general outlook was made that was most salutary for all later thinking. The draft plan had implied that definite counteraction would have to be taken against some of the strongest elements supporting Mossadeq, such as the Qashqai tribal leaders; but it was now decided that every effort should be devoted to increasing the size and effectiveness of the anti-Mossadeq forces, the assumption being that Mossadeq's supporting elements would not react once their leader was out of the picture.
The Tehran chief of station suggested that an alternative plan to provide for the overthrow of Mossadeq be developed. This was to become the Amini/Qashqai plan which the station kept alive as a possible alternative until the successful conclusion of TPAJAX.
Saturday afternoon the group held its final meeting and on the next morning, 14 June, departed by plane for its several destinations.
Roosevelt and Wilber arrived in London on 15 June and reported to the main offices of the SIS at 54 Broadway. They turned over the Beirut revision of the plan. No copy of the original Beirut draft exists, since it was reworked to form the final "London" draft.
The London meetings were held in one of the conference rooms at 54 Broadway, notable only for a large sign with the legend in red, "Curb Your Guests." For the SIS, Commander Maurice M. Firth and Norman Darbyshire, who had come on from Nicosia by way of Geneva (where he had seen Asadollah Rashidian a second time before the latter went back to Iran) were always present. Upon occasion Major P.(Paddy) J. Keen, whose post seemed to be that of desk officer for several Middle East countries, also participated. Montague Woodhouse, clearly one of their most highly esteemed officers, attended a single meeting but had little to contribute.
From the moment the discussion began, it was clear that the SIS had no major comments of their own on the draft plan. Nor did they have much to say on the Beirut version beyond a certain close attention to phraseology. As at Nicosia it was apparent that the Americans were to be placated and allowed to run things as they pleased. They did, however, seem to have abundant confidence in the plan and in the successful outcome of the operation, and said that the Rashidians would be ordered to follow completely the orders of CIA's Tehran Station.
At the final meeting those present reviewed the future conduct of affairs. The SIS officers stated that they thought it would take some time to obtain a firm decision from their government as to the approval or non-approval of the plan.
Roosevelt and Wilber left London on 17 June, and Roosevelt was back in his office by noon of the 18th. There the plan was immediately reconstructed and typed up. (It is given as Appendix B and it should be read at this point in the chronological accout of the operation.)
Since the meetings at Beirut and London had taken such a relatively short time, there was not too much that Headquarters could do in the interval from the time of Roosevelt's departure until his return. Progress had, however, been made in setting up a specific and close liaison with the State Department. The fact that an operational plan was being prepared was already known to a very restricted number of individuals in the State Department,* and it should be noted that the security there seems to have been excellent up to the time of the event.
The Greece-Turkey-Iran (GTI) office of the Department of State presented its informed opinion in two papers: one was a top secret paper of 6 June 1953 entitled, "Proposal to Bring about a Change of Government in Iran" and the other a top secret undated GTI memorandum on the subject, "Measures which the United States Government might take in support of a successor government to Mossadeq."
It was not the task of officers of the State Department to obtain high level decisions on the plan. However, the State Department did assert that, prior to acceptance of the plan, assurance must be forthcoming from the British that they would be flexible in their approach to the government that succeeded Mossadeq as far as the oil question was concerned.
Mr. Leslie Herbert Mitchell, UK Embassy officer (SIS representative) charged with liaison with the Agency, concerned himself with this point and did expedite the required assurances from the British Government. These assurances took the form of a foreign office memorandum presented by British Ambassador to the United States, Roger Mellor Makins, to Under Secretary of State Smith on 23 July 1953. (Copy attached as Appendix C.) Also the Department of State wanted to satisfy itself that an adequate amount of interim economic aid would be forthcoming to the successor government before it would finally approve decisive action.
During this same period discussions between Agency officers and Ambassador Henderson (in Washington, having arrived on consultation 3 June) began 8 June. (This is recorded in a memorandum of conversation contained in TPAJAX files.) The Ambassador appeared to backtrack somewhat from his earlier opinion that the premise of the plan that the Shah would cooperate was fallacious, and that the Shah would not issue a firman naming Zahedi unless in response to a vote of inclination by the Majlis. The Ambassador, who was always thoroughly cooperative, was absorbed in a search for constructive suggestions and willingly agreed to delay his return to Tehran by arranging a prolonged visit in Europe. From the standpoint of the plan it was not considered advisable to have the Ambassador in Tehran when the final operation was undertaken. In addition, his continued absence was thought to be an important factor in the war of nerves which was to be conducted against Mossadeq.
The following approvals of the operational plan were obtained on the dates indicated:
Pending final approval or disapproval of the operational plan, the station was carrying forward activities already authorized toward the achievement of the goal. In addition to the general authorization of April enabling the Tehran Station to spend up to $1,000,000 in covert activity in support of Zahedi, the station on 20 May was specifically authorized to spend one million rials a week (rate of 90 rials to the US dollar) in purchasing the cooperation of members of the Iranian Majlis.
On or about the end of June the station had established direct contact with the Rashidian brothers and was prepared to instruct them as their role and those of their contacts in the development of the operation.
At Headquarters two groups were organized within the NE/4 Branch on 22 June in support of Tehran Station operational preparations. One group, headed by Carroll who had returned from Nicosia in mid-June, was to make an exhaustive study of the military aspects of the overthrow operation. (Carrol's final report on the military aspect of TPAJAX planning is attached as Appendix D.) The intent was to present Zahedi and his chosen military secretariat with a concrete plan for their modification or improvement. It was felt that every effort should be made to bring the rather long-winded and often illogical Persians into a position where each one knew exactly what specific action was required of him. The soundness of this feeling was demonstrated when the failure of the Persians to maintain security resulted in the initial breakdown. The other group, headed by Wilber, assumed responsibility for the psychological warfare phases of the plan. Overall direction of these groups and of relations with the field station were in the hands of Mr. John Henry Waller, head of NE/4 Branch.
Carroll left for Tehran in mid-July. He stopped over at London to discuss his military plan with SIS Officer Norman Darbyshire and finally reached Tehran on 21 July. Wilber's group sent guidance cables and dispatches to the station, all intended to flesh up the skeleton of psychological operations as presented in the plan itself. In the meantime a considerable number of anti-Mossadeq articles were written or outlined by the group while the CIA Art Group was given constant guidance in its preparation of a large number of anti-Mossadeq cartoons and broadsheets. In addition, these artists did an effective drawing for a wall poster showing Zahedi being presented to the Iranian people by the Shah. Written and illustrative material piled up rapidly, and on 19 July a special courier took it all to Tehran. On 22 July the station began to distribute the material to several agents. What happened to this material will be described in later pages.
By the time that the go-ahead had been received from all parties involved, the NEA Division had picked out qualified individuals for special assignments connected with the project: Mr. Roosevelt, Chief, NEA, was to be field commander in Tehran; John H. Leavitt, NEA/CPP, was to go to Nicosia to be in contact and liaison with the SIS station and to maintain the three-way wireless contact established earlier; while Colonel Stephen Johnson Meads drew the job of representing the Agency in meetings in Paris with Princess Ashraf, energetic twin sister of the Shah. Mr. Joseph C. Goodwin, Chief of Station in Tehran, was to act for purposes of TPAJAX as chief of staff to the field commander, Mr. Roosevelt. Mr. George Carroll, Chief FI Tehran, was given the military planning responsibility first in Washington, then in Tehran. Dr. Donald Wilber was charged throughout the operation with the propaganda aspects of the plan and worked closely with the CIA Art Group in the preparation of propaganda material. Mr. John Waller, just having returned from service as Chief FI, Tehran, was charged with the Headquarters support responsibilities during TPAJAX and maintained the required liaison with the Departments of State and Defense. Although not present in Tehran for the final implementation of TPAJAX, Mr. Roger Goiran, previous Chief of Station Tehran, directed the early stages and preliminaries of the operation in Tehran. It should be here noted that Mr. Goiran, more than any other officer, was responsible for having developed, over a five-year period, station assets which proved valuable and necessary to the operation.
From the very beginning it had been recognized that the Shah must be forced to play a specific role, however reluctant he might prove to be. Therefore, the plan presented a series of measures designed to rid him once and for all of his pathological fear of the "hidden hand" of the British, and to assure him that the United States and the United Kingdom would firmly support him and had both resolved that Mossadeq must go. The measures were also intended to produce such pressure on the Shah that it would be easier for him to sign the papers required of him than it would be to refuse.
On 23 June the timetable covering all the envoys to be sent to the Shah was drawn up at Headquarters. In execution all these steps went off as planned.
The initial task was to brief Princess Ashraf, who was thought to be in Paris at that time. It was planned to approach her about 10 July in Paris and have her back in Tehran to see the Shah about 20 July. Asodollah Rashidian, still in Geneva, was to call upon her first and prepare her for the joint visit of Darbyshire for SIS and Meade for CIA. (SIS had assured Headquarters that this call could be made in Paris at any time.) Meade arrived in London by air on 10 July and went at once to Paris with Darbyshire. Then an unanticipated delay occurred. Princess Ashraf was not in Paris, and it was not until the 15th that she was located on the Riviera and visited by Asodollah Rashidian. He reported that she had shown no enthusiasm at all with regard to her proposed role. However, the next day the "official" representatives had two meetings with her and she agreed to do everything that was asked of her. She did say that her arrival would arouse a strong reaction from the pro-Mossadeq press and hoped that we would be able to put out effective counter blasts. Meade reported in London to Roosevelt and Leavitt. He then returned to Paris and stayed close to Ashraf until her departure for Iran.*
Ashraf reached Tehran as a passenger on a commercial flight on 25 July. As expected, her unauthorized return did create a real storm. Neither the Shah, himself, nor the government of Mossadeq had been asked to permit her to return. Both were furious. The Shah refused to see her but did accept a letter passed on through the medium of [Soleiman Behbudi] ,** head of the Shah's household, who was loyal and devoted in an effective way throughout this period. This letter contained news that US General Schwarzkopf was coming to see the Shah on an errand similar to that of Ashraf, herself. The Shah welcomed this news and received his sister on the evening of 29 July. The session opened stormily but ended on a note of reconciliation. On the next day she took a plane back to Europe. This was as had been planned, but it came as a relief to know that she was out of the country in view of the pro-Mossadeq press reaction.
* Meade's character study of Ashraf is in the TPAJAX file. **SIS agent within the palace. [See identity in Section 7.]
The second emissary arrived on the scene in the person of Asadollah Rashidian, the principal SIS agent. According to the plan, Asadollah Rashidian's initial task with the Shah was to convince the ruler that Rashidian was the official spokesman of the UK Government. The advance plan, that of having the Shah select a key phrase which would then be broadcast on the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) Persian language program on certain dates, was followed. In London the necessary arrangements had been made by Darbyshire to send the phrase over the BBC. On 30 July and again on the 31st the Shah saw Asadollah Rashidian. He had heard the broadcast, but he requested time to assess the situation. Asadollah was, however, able to prepare the Shah for the visit of the American emissary, General Schwarzkopf, and to stress the point that this emissary would repeat the message and, hence, give an additional guarantee of the close collaboration between the United Kingdom and the United States in this undertaking.
Schwarzkopf had been chosen by the drafters of the operational plan because of the fact that he had enjoyed the friendship and respect of the Shah in the period from 1942 until 1948 when he headed the US Military Mission to the Iranian Gendarmerie. Approached on 26 June 1953 by John Waller, Chief, NEA/4, briefed at Headquarters on 19 July, Schwarzkopf took to his mission with relish. He said that he had a reputation with the Shah for telling him unpleasant truths that others withheld from him, and he stated that he was sure he could get the required cooperation from the Shah. Schwarzkopf was given a cover mission consisting of a short tour to Lebanon, Pakistan, and Egypt so that his visit to Tehran would appear as a brief stop en route to a principal destination. Schwarzkopf left by air for Beirut on 21 July.
Schwarzkopf's mission was to obtain from the Shah the three papers which are described more fully in the operational plan. They were: (1) a firman naming Zahedi as Chief of Staff, (2) a letter indicating his faith in Zahedi which the latter could employ to recruit army officers for the plan in the name of the Shah, and (3) a firman calling on all ranks of the army to support his legal Chief of Staff. It was felt that it would be easier to get the Shah to sign such statements than to issure a firman dismissing Mossadeq. It was also believed that the action of replacing Mossadeq would be initiated through the Majlis.
Certain events of 21 July at Tehran both shocked and aroused from their attitude of complacency the more conservative elements which had firmly supported Mossadeq. Demonstrations marked the anniversary of rioting against the government of Qavam and of efforts made at that time, two years earlier, to settle the oil issue. However, it was obvious to all that the number of Tudeh participants far outnumbered those assembled by the National Front, and it was this fact more than anything else which alerted the thinking public to the strength acquired by the Tudeh under the Mossadeq government. At this time station personnel were active on several fronts. The propaganda campaign against Mossadeq was now gaining momentum. [Blacked-Out] owner of [Blacked-Out] was granted a personal loan of some $45,000 on signed notes in the belief that this would make his organ amenable to our purposes. Headqurters-prepared propaganda material was turned over by the station to Asadollah Rashidian, and by the end of the month an entirely separate and especially planned campaign in favor of the Shah as opposed to Mossadeq was under way in Azerbaijan. The parallel and alternative plans of keeping in close touch with the [Blacked-Out] [Blacked-Out] combination for the purposes of diverting their attention from TPAJAX and of discovering the plans and strength of this group remained in effect. Talks with the [Blacked-Out] continued. At one point the station suggested sending one of the brothers to this country, and Headquarters made an immediate investigation of the mechanics required for making such a trip. The SIS was informed of these talks, and they suggested that their facilities might be used to stir up tribal revolts in the homeland of the [Blacked-Out]
The station was now in direct contact with Zahedi, who had left his sanctuary in the Majlis on 21 July. After several meetings Station Chief Goiran and Station Chief Designate Goodwin reported that Zahedi appeared lacking in drive, energy, and concrete plans. They con- cluded that he must be closely guided and that the necessary plans must be made for him.
By 26 July a number of key individuals had moved into position: Roosevelt and Schwarzkopf were at Tehran, Leavitt had been at Nicosia for several days, and Ambassador Henderson had come to rest at Salzburg, where he was to remain, anxious but cooperative, for the next two weeks. At Nicosia, Leavitt did a most capable job of reassuring SIS officials who frequently felt that they were not receiving enough current information. Concomi- tantly, these SIS officials passed on valuable suggestions coming from London, such as detailed plans for putting the central telephone exchange out of operation.
With Roosevelt's arrival in Tehran the situation was restudied. As a part of the war of nerves against Mossadeq, it was considered advisable to cut down close contacts between high-ranking US officilas and officials of Mossadeq's government. Technical Cooperation in Iran (TCI) Director William E. Warne was requested to reduce his normal government contacts, and General Frank McClure, Chief of the US Military Mission in Iran, was requested to appear less friendly with those general officers who were firmly supporting Mossadeq. At this stage it was decided to alter the nature and number of documents which would have to be signed by the Shah. These documents would be limited to one firman naming Zahedi as Chief of Staff and one letter denouncing the government-staged referendum on the question of the dissolution of the Majlis as an illegal proceeding. As the month of July ended, station personnel in charge of the proganda campaign reported on the effective anti-Mossadeq activity of the formerly pro-Mossadeq politicians, [Blacked-Out] . It was stated that very effective use had been made of the 28 July statemen by Secretary of State Dulles* (made at CIA's suggestion). A request was made that US papers reflect the Iranian press campaign against Mossadeq and that inspired articles be placed in the US press.
On 1 August, two days after Princess Ashraf had left Iran and the Shah had heard the BBC message designed to convince him that Asadollah Rashidian was the official spokesman of the UK Government, Schwarzkopf had an extended meeting with the Shah. Fearful of planted microphones, the Shah led the General into a grand ballroom, pulled a small table to its exact center, and then both sat on the table. The Shah rejected the proposal that he sign the required documents at once, asserting that he was not fully confident of the loyalty of the army; that he must give advance approval for all members of a new cabinet; *This statement, made at a press conference, was as follows: "The growing activities of the illegal Communist Party in Iran and the toleration of them by the Iranian Government has caused our government concern. These developments make it more difficult to grant aid to Iran." and that he must have time to make his own estimate as to the probable success or failure of the undertaking. On the other hand, he said that should Mossadeq carry through his referendum and dissolve the Majlis then he, himself, would have full powers under the constitution to dismiss Mossadeq and replace him by a prime minister of his own choice. This meeting was to be followed by a series of additional ones, some between Roosevelt and the Shah and some between Rashidian and the Shah, in which relentless pressure was exerted in frustrating attempts to overcome an entrenched attitude of vacillation and indecision.
On 2 August Roger Goiran, for so long the exprienced and valuable chief of station, left Tehran headed for Headquarters duty. While his knowledge had been of inestimable value in the preparatory stages of TPAJAX, it was judged that his departure at just this time would be an important factor in the war of nerves against Mossadeq, and in the planned efforts to confuse and disturb the potential opposition. By this time the Counselor, Gordon Henry Mattison, and the ranking political officer, Mr. Roy Malcolm Melbourne, had been briefed on TPAJAX and were discreetly helpful. Mattison, in interviews with [Blacked-Out] [Blacked-Out] , followed station direction in a successful effort to divert attention of the [Blacked-Out] group from the real purpose of TPAJAX.
During this period Mossadeq, as always, had been on the alert to try to hold the initiative and keep his growing opposition off balance. His attention turned toward the Majlis, where opposition appeared to be hardening. On 14 July he directed the deputies supporting the government to resign. Several of the neutral or timidly anti-Mossadeq deputies followed suit until a total of 28 had resigned. Headquarters urged that the anti-Mossadeq deputies be given every encouragement to keep their posts and to take up bast (political sanctuary) in the Majlis. The theme to be built up was that those who had not resigned from the Majlis would constitute the legitimate parliamentary body. This stand was at least partially responsible for Mossadeq's growing belief that the body must be dissolved. Such action would leave him as the undisputed dictator of the country since his full-powers bill had several months more to run. However, he still had to get around the provision of the constitution that only the Shah had the authority to dissolve the Majlis. He did this by staging a national referendum in which the people were to state "yes" or "no" to the question as to whether the Majlis should be dissolved. The referendum was a clear and palpable fake. Held throughout the country beginning 4 August, some two million were said to have voted for dissolution and only a few hundred against. As a maneuver the action was not as satisfactory as Mossadeq anticipated since it clearly revealed abuse of the constitution. This provide an issue on which Mossadeq could be relentlessly attacked by the CIA/SIS subsidized opposition press. The action also did much to alarm the more stable and established elements of the populace, who were nationalists along with everyone else, but who did not favor such a fraudulent breach of the constitution.
During the days of the referendum the station reported in detail on the multiple efforts of station agents to exploit the illegality of this referendum, both before and during the event. Also every declaration made by a religious leader in these days stressed this point. The station indicated that some 20 local newspapers were now in violent opposition to Mossadeq and that some 15 Headquarters- prepared anti-Mossadeq cartoons had appeared in these papers during the referendum week. On 4 August word reached the station that Mossadeq was aware of the true purpose of the visit of Ashraf, and the personnel on the scene felt strongly that action must be mounted very soon. On 4 August Ambassador Henerson per schedule set out from Salzburg for Tehran. He was to be met on 9 August at Beirut by Leavitt, who persuaded him to put off his return in view of the delayed but imminent date for action. In these same days, Henerson, officials of the State Department, and officials of the Foreign Office were drafting proposed statements which their governments planned to issue upon the successful conclusion of TPAJAX.
At Tehran the meetings with the Shah were continuing. On 2 August Asodollah Rashidian had presented His Majesty with specific details concerning the manner in which the operation would be carried out, and reported that the Shah had agreed to dismiss Mossadeq and to appoint Zahedi as both Prime Minister and Deputy Commander-in-Chief. The Shah also agreed to name General Vosua as Chief of Staff. On 3 August, Roosevelt had a long and inconclusive session with the Shah. The latter stated that he was not an adventurer and, hence, could not take the chances of one. Roosevelt pointed out that there was no other way by which the government could be changed and the test was now between Mossadeq and his force and the Shah and his army, which was still with him, but which would soon slip away. Roosevelt finally said that he would remain at hand a few days longer in expectation of an affirmative decision and then would leave the country; in the latter case the Shah should realize that failure to act could lead only to a Communist Iran or to a second Korea. He concluded by saying that his government was not prepared to accept these possibilities and that some other plan might be carried through. In a later meeting with the Shah, the latter requested Mr. Roosevelt to solicit from President Eisen- hower assuracnes that it was advisable for the Shah to take the initiative in removing Mossadeq. Mr. Roosevelt stated that he would pass this request on to the President, but he was very confident that the latter would adopt the attitude that the Shah had already had US desires made adequately clear to him. By complete coincidence and good fortune, the President, while addressing the Governors' Convention in Seattle on 4 August, deviated from his script to state by implicaiton that the United States would not sit idly by and see Iran fall behind the Iron Curtain. Mr. Roosevelt used the President's statements to good effect, by telling the Shah that Eisenhowere did indeed feel further assurances of US attitude toward Mossadeq were unnecessary but that his reference to Iran in the Governors' Convention speech was made to satisfy the Shah. In the end the Shah said he would again discuss the question with Rashidian. In the cable describing this meeting, Roosevelt stated his belief that it was hopeless to attempt to proceed without the Shah, and that it must be decided whether to exert ultimate pressure for the next two or three days or to accept a delay of up to ten days in which the Shah might finally be won over. On 7 August Rashidian met again with the Shah who agreeed that action should be taken on the night of either the 10th or 11th. On 8 August Roosevelt again saw the Shah and struggled against a mood of stubborn irresolution which broke down to the extent that the Shah agreed to give oral encouragement to selected army officers who would participate in the action. Then, he said, he would go to Ramsar* and let the army act without his official knowledge, adding that if the action was successful he would name Zahedi as Prime Minister. On 9 August Rashidian took over the struggle in his turn and reported that the Shah would leave for Ramsar on the 12th, and that prior to his departure he would see Zahedi and key officers and express orally his choice of Zahedi as the new head of the government.
On 10 August Colonel [Hassan Akhavi] saw the Shah and informed him of the names of the army officers who were ready to take action upon receipt of an order from the Shah. The Shah again asserted that while he approved of the plan for action he would sign no papers. [Akhavi] *Royal resort on the Caspian Sea, north of Tehran. registered a protest at this decision, and the Shah again sent for Rashidian to discuss this all important point. Rashidian carried a message from Roosevelt to the effect that the latter would leave in complete disgust unless the Shah took action within a few days. At the conclusion of the audience the Shah stated that he would sign the papers, would see Zahedi, and then would leave for Ramsar on the Caspian. The next day he did see Zahedi and did leave for Ramsar, but the papers, contrary to the promise of the Rashidians, were not ready for the signature of the Shah. The Shah thus promised to sign the papers as soon as they were sent to him at Ramsar.
After discussion between Roosevelt and Rashidian, they reverted to a decision closer to the original London draft of TPAJAX, deciding that there should be two firmans (royal decrees), one dismissing Mossadeq and one naming Zahedi as Prime Minister. Rashidian and [Behbudi] , the Shah's [palace] [head] and an established UK agent, prepared the documents, and on the evening of 12 August [Colonel Nematollah Nasiri], [Commander of the Imperial Guard] took them by plane to Ramsar.
At this time the psychological campaign against Mossadeq was reaching its climax. The controllable press was going all out against Mossadeq, while [Blacked-Out] [Blacked-Out] under station direction was printing material which the station considered to be helpful. CIA agents gave serious attention to alarming the religious leaders at Tehran by issuing black propaganda in the name of the Tudeh Party, threatening these leaders with savage punishment if they opposed Mossadeq. Threatening phone calls were made to some of them, in the name of the Tudeh, and one of several planned sham bombings of the houses of these leaders was carried out.
The word that the Shah would support direct action in his behalf spread rapidly through the "Colonels' conspiracy" fostered by the station. Zahedi saw station principal agent, Colonel [Aban Farzanegan], and named him as liaison officer with the Americans and as his choice to supervise the staff planning for the action. Then [Farzanegan] took General [Batmangelich] and Colonel [Zand-Karmini] to see Zahedi. CIA officer Carroll maintained close contact with [Farzanegan] and members of the "Colonels' conspiracy," and on 13 August was present at the final meeting of those individuals to whom would fall the responsibility of carrying out the operational staff plan. However, this meeting was the last one in which the station was represented, and the fact that contact was broken proved to have serious results.
Late on the evening of 13 August, Colonel [Nasiri] returned to Tehran with the firmans signed by the Shah and delivered them to Zahedi; according to his story (which has never been confirmed), it was Queen Soraya who finally convinced the Shah that he must sign. If this is true, here was an ally form a totally unexpected quarter.
On 14 August the station cabled that upon the conclusion of TPAJAX the Zahedi government, in view of the empty treasury of the country, would be in urgent need of funds. The sum of $5,000,000 was suggested, and CIA was asked to produce this amount almost within hours after the conclusion of the operation. No more news came in from Tehran on the 14th, and there was nothing that either the station or Headquarters could do except wait for action to begin.
The precise order of events of the night of 15 August 1953 has not yet been established in all detail. The early accounts of various participants differed widely enough to make it impossible to follow the slender thread of truth through the dark night. However, the main outline of this first try is clear, as are two basic facts connected with it. These facts are: that the plan was betrayed by the indiscretion of one of the Iranian Army officer participants-primarily because of the protracted delay-and that it still might have succeeded in spite of this advance warning had not most of the participants proved to be inept or lacking in decision at the critical juncture.
Not until the evening of 14 August were Tehran Station personnel informed that action had been postponed from that night until the next one. Station principal agent Colonel [Farzanegan] was not longer in touch with events and the station was unable to guide General [Batmangelich] , Zahedi's Chief of Staff designate-if, indeed, it was he who had assumed the main responsibility.
According to a statement by Mossadeq's Chief of Staff, General Tahi Riahi, he was informed of all the details of the "plot" at five in the afternoon of 15 August. But curiously enough-and according to his own account-he did not leave his house in Shimran, where National Frontists Zirakzadeh and Haqshenas were staying, until 2000 hours and then drove to staff headquarters in Tehran. Riahi did, however, order the commander of the 1st Armored Brigade to have the brigade ready at 2300 hours. At 2300 hours Riahi sent his deputy, General Kiani, to the Bagh-i-Shah, the army barracks on the western side of Tehran which included the barracks of the Imperial Guard. Kiani was arrested there by Colonel [Namiri] who had arrived at the Bagh-i-Shah sometime earlier with several officers who supported him.
In the meantime a number of truckloads of pro-Shah soldiers were making arrests. About 2330 hours they came to Riahi's house in Shimran and, finding him out, arrested Zirakzadeh and Haqshenas. Also about 2330 hours several officers and a considerable body of soldiers rushed into the home of Hoseyn Fatemi, Mossadeq's Foreign Minister, and took him away before he had a chance to put on his shoes. This meager haul of prisoners was driven to the guard house of the Imperial Palace (Saadabad) at Shimran.
Officers who were aware that Riahi had been alerted took no action, but others who were not, carried out their tasks.
Sometime before 2330 hours a limited attack had been made against the telephone system. Wires leading to the house of Fatemi and to the houses of others who were to be arrested were cut; the wires between GHQ (staff headquarters) and the Bagh-i-Shah were cut; and Colonel [Blacked-Out] with a small armed force, occupied the telephone exchange in the Tehran bazaar.
When Riahi did not hear from General Kiani, who had gone to the Bagh-i-Shah, he (according to his own account) phoned Colonel Momtaz of the 2nd Mountain Brigade and Colonel Shahrokh of the 1st Armored Brigade and told them to take their forces to the Bagh-i-Shah. At or before this time he also alerted other officers, including Colonel Parsa of the 1st Mountain Brigade; Colonel Ashrafi, the Military Governor and Commanding Officer of the 3rd Mountain Brigade; and Colonel Novzari of the 2nd Armored Brigade. However, according to the accounts of Zahedi men engaged in their operation, Momtaz and Shahrokh were arrested at the Bagh-i-Shah and held there with Kiani for some time.
Government sources differ in their accounts as to what happened when Colonel [Namiri] tried to deliver to Mossadeq the Shah's firman dismissing him. According to General Riahi, Colonel Momtaz was on his way to the Bagh-i-Shah when he ran into Colonel [Namiri] in the street and thereupon arrested him. According to the official communique of the Mossadeq government, [Namiri] showed up before Mossadeq's house at 0100 hours on 16 August with four trucks full of soldiers, two jeeps, and an armored car. He claimed that he had a letter to deliver to Mossadeq, but was at once arrested by the guards at the house of the Prime Minister. Farzanegan [in clear] had still another version, claiming that [Namiri] was arrested at 2350 hours at Mossadeq's house. After his arrest, [Namiri] is alleged to have said that a delay of two minutes in the arrival at Mossadeq's house of Lt. Colonel [Zand-Karimi] with two truckloads of soldiers caused the plan to fail.
It does seem fairly certain that Riahi had been able before midnight to get detachments of soldiers to the strategic points most likely to be attacked. Just what incident or what reaction on the part of Riahi and others loyal to Mossadeq caused the pro-Zahedi officers to falter in their duties is not clearly known. It is known, however, that Zahedi's Chief of Staff, General [Batmangelich] , lost heart and went into hiding. This undoubtedly did much to lower morale at the crucial time, as did the rapidly circulated word of [Namiri's] arrest. Colonel [Farzanegan] went to the Chief of Staff's office at 0100 hours on the 16th to meet [Batmangelich] and it is known that General [Batmangelich] did approach the GHQ with the intention of taking it over but was frightened off when he saw tanks and troops in readiness. He then rushed to Zahedi and told him to flee, but Zahedi only laughed at him. Even the trucks with the prisoners had come down from Saadabad to the GHQ but, finding it in hostile hands, retreated to Sasdabad. Those in charge of the trucks released the prisoners at dawn. Zahedi waited in vain for an escort to come and conduct him to the Officers' Club. By about 0230 hours those Persians who were still willing to carry out the operation were convinced that the cause was lost, as they saw strengthened detachments, more troops moving into the city, and vehicles being stopped for questioning. [Farzanegan] and General [Batmangelich] themselves, toured the town about 0230 hours; then presumably separated, since [Batmangelich] was soon picked up, while [Farzanegan] found sanctuary in station hands. At the Embassy the station personnel had spent a nerve-racking period of hours. The army radio-equipped jeep called for in the plan failed to arrive at the compound, and there was no way of knowing what was happening in the city.
At 0545 hours on the morning of 16 August 1953, Radio Tehran came on the air with a special government communique covering the so-called abortive coup of the night just ending, and by 0600 hours Mossadeq was meeting with his cabinet to receive reports on the situation and to take steps to strengthen the security forces at government buildings and other vital points. Again at 0730 hours the communique was broadcast.
Station personnel had passed an anxious, sleepless night in their office. From the fact that certain actions provided for in the military plan failed to materialize- no jeep with radio arrived at the compound, and the telephone system continued to function-it was obvious that something-or everything-had gone wrong. At 0500 hours, as soon as the curfew was lifted, Carroll toured the town and reported there was a concentration of tanks and troops around Mossadeq's house, and other security forces on the move. Then Colonel [Farzanegan] called the office to say that things had gone badly, and he, himself, was on the run toward the Embassy in search of refuge. At 0600 hours he appeared, gave a summary of the situation, which was like that of the government communique, and was rushed into hiding. The station was now suddenly faced task of rescuing the operation from total failure, and decisions of far-reaching effect were quickly taken. The first need was to establish contact with Ardeshir Zahedi, son of General Zahedi. At 0800 hours he sent word to the station of his whereabouts, and Roosevelt drove up to Shimran-the summer resort section north of Tehran-to hear that Areshir and his father felt that there was still hope in the situation. It was immediately decided that a strong effort must be made to convince the Iranian public that Zahedi was the legal head of the government and that Mossadeq was the usurper who had staged a coup. (It should be noted that all action taken from this time on corresponded to the basic estimate of the operational plan that the army would respond to the Shah if they were forced to a choice between the ruler and Mossadeq.) This action was initiated by employing station communications facilities to relay a message to the New York Associated Press (AP) office stating that: "Unofficial reports are current to the effect that leaders of the plot are armed with two decrees of the Shah, one dismissing Mossadeq and the other appointing General Zahedi to replace him." In order to get an authoritative statement that could be distributed for local consumption, the station planned to send General McClure, head of the American Military Mission, to see the Shah and ask him whether the alleged firmans were valid. Later in the day it was learned that the Shah had fled.
By 0930 hours the city was calm, with shops opening and people going about their normal business. However, tanks, extra soldiers, and police were stationed at key points, including the royal palaces which were sealed off from outside contact. Rumors began to circulate. The one that gained early attention was to the effect that the alleged coupt had been inspired by the government in order to give Mossadeq an excuse to move against the Shah. At about this time Roosevelt sent General McClure to see General Riahi, Chief of Staff, to ask whether the US Military Mission was still accredited to Mossadeq or someone else, as the Embassy had heard that an imperial firman had been issued naming Zahedi as Prime Minister. Riahi denied that the firman had been "authentically signed" and stated that: "Iran and its people are more important than the Shah or any particular government," and that the army was "of the people and would support the people." It was not until a number of hours later that McClure reported to Roosevelt on this meeting, and from the time of the meeting on, McClure seemed disposed to go along with Riahi in the hope that Riahi himself might eventually try to overthrow Mossadeq.
It was now well into the morning, after the papers had been out for some time. Shojat, the substitute for the principal Tudeh paper, Besuye Ayandeh, had been predicting a coup since 13 August. It now stated that the plans for the alleged coup had been made after a meeting between the Shah and General Shwarkkopf on 9 August, but that Mossadeq had been tipped off on the 14th. It should be noted that the Tudeh appeared to be at least as well posted on the coup plans as the government-how is not known. The station principal agent team of [Djalili and Keyvani] working on their own and with singular shrewdness, had put out a special broadsheet with documented the current rumor but twisted it to read that the alleged coup was arranged to force out the Shah. The morning issue of Mellat-i-Ma told this same story, while a first mention of the firman naming Zahedi was given on an inner page of the large circulation daily Keyhan.
At 1000 hours another communique added a few details to the earlier one. By this time the Tudeh party members, organized in small groups, were making speeches in many parts of the city, while smaller groups of pro-Mossadeq nationalists were also out in the streets. Then a fresh rumor made the rounds: that a plot had existed but that, when it had failed to materialize, Mossadeq had staged a fake coup. At 1100 hours two correspondents of the New York Times were taken to Shimran, by station arrangement, to see Zahedi. Instead, they say his sone, Ardeshir, who showed them the original of the imperial firman naming Zahedi as Prime Minister and gave them photostatic copies. These photostats had been made by Iranian participants in the plan. Following this meeting the station took charge of the firman, had its own photostats made, and kep the original locked up in the station safe until final victory. At noon Radio Tehran put out a very brief statement signed by Dr. Mohammed Mossadeq (without his title of Prime Minister being used) stating that: "According to the will of the people, expressed by referendum, the 17th Majlis is dissolved. Elections for the 18th session will be held soon." It was this statement, together with the following violently anti-Shah remarks of Fatemi and the undisguised and freely-preached republican propaganda of the Tudeh Party, that was instrumental in persuading the general public that Mossadeq was on the verge of eliminating the monarchy.
At 1400 hours Minister of Foreign Affairs Fatemi held a press conference. He stated that for some time past the government had received reports from several sources to the effect that the Imperial Guards were planning a coup and, hence, measures were taken to counteract any such coup. He then went on to review the incidents of the coup, as already stated by the government communiques. In reply to a question, he said that Abul Ghassem Amini, Acting Minister of Court, had been arrested since it could not be considered that the court was not a part of the conspriacy. He added that his own views would be found in his editorial in Bakhtar Emruz: this editorial, as printed and as read in full, over Radio Tehran at 1730 hours, was a save, lengthy, malicious attack upon the Shah and upon Reza Shah-a man for who the general public still feels a large measure of respect and awe. It may be said that this editorial did a great deal to arouse public resentment against the government of Mossadeq.
During the afternoon the station was at work preparing a public statement from General Zahedi which was prepared with the direct advice of Ardeshir Zahedi, the Rashidian brothers, and Colonel [Farzanegan.] When it was ready the agents were unable to find a press in town which was not watched by the government. Therefore, one of the Rashidians did ten copies on a Persian typewriter. These were rushed to General Zahedi for his signature and then given out to the foreign correspondents, to local pressmen and to two key army officers. By the time they were distributed, it was too late to catch the press for the morning of the 17th. However, station agents, [(Djalili and Keyvani),] although not in touch with the station, the Rashidians, or [Farzanegan,] went ahead on their own. They composed a fabricated interview with Zahedi and had it printed on the 17th, along with a copy of the firman. In this instance, as in a number of others, the high-level agents of the station demonstrated a most satisfying ability to go ahead on their own and do just the right thing. During the day the station was securing the persons of key individuals and sending them to safety. Some were concealed in the house of a station clerk in the Embassy compound and some in the houses of US personnel of the station outside the compound. Thus, Ardeshir Sahedi was in station hands from the morning of the 16th on, General Zahedi from the morning of the 17th on, the Rashidian brothers from the 16th on with the excep- tion of a venture out on the 18th, Colonel [Farzanegan] from the morning of the 16th on, and General [Guilanshah] from the morning of the 16th. These people had to be concealed by the station, both in order to secure them from arrest and also to have them in places to which Americans could logically and easily go.
That evening about 1930 hours crowds massed in the Majlis Square to hear speeches, and the proceedings were rebroadcast over Radio Tehran. The speakers included pro-Mossadeq ex-Majlis deputies Mosavi, Dr. Szyyid Ali Shayegan, Engineer Zirakzadeh, Engineer Razavi, and Foreign Minister Fatemi. All the speakers attacked the Shah and demanded that he abdicate. During the course of these speeches, the public was informed for the first time that the Shah had fled to Baghdad. The station had learned several hours earlier that the Shah had left. By 1600 hours the two principal US Embassy political officers had given up hope, while Roosevelt was insisting there was still a "slight remaining chance of success" if the Shah would use the Baghadad radio and if Zahedi took and aggressive stand. Additional station messages to Headquarters contained the texts of the type of statements the Shah could make over Baghdad radio.
Allowing for the seven hour difference in time, Head-quarters received the first message from the station on the non-success of the coup at 0130 hours on the 16th, and a few hours thereafter was working on the station's request to get the Shah to broadcast from Baghdad. As the working day ended, they had to report to the station that the State Department was firmly opposed to any American effort to contact the Shah and suggested the British do it. At Nicosia they responded enthusiastically to the station's suggestion, and the SIS attempted to get permission from London to have Leavitt and Darbyshire flown to Baghdad by RAF jet fighter early in the morning of the 17th, for the purpose of exerting pressure on the Shah. Londong refused permission.
As the station personnel entered on another day after a second sleepless night, some real encouragement came from word that, in breaking up Tudeh groups late the night before, the soldiers had beaten them with rifle butts and made them shout, "Long live the Shah." The station continued to feel that the "project was not quite dead" since General Zahedi General [Guilanshah] , the Rashidian brothers, and Colonel [Farzanegan] were still determined to press action.
Now, on the morning of 17 August, the press was again on the streets. Niruye Sevum stated that Schwarzkopf engineered the plot with the Shah and that "simple-minded Americans thought the Shah was a trump card." Dad and Shahed both blamed the so-called coup on the government, and Keyhan carried the text of an alleged Radio London statement quoting Zahedi to the effect that he had a firman from the Shah and that the Shah had left because his life was threatened. Throughout the morning Iranians with good radios were able to get word from foreign stations of statements that the Shah had made in Baghdad. He said: "What has taken place in Iran cannote be considered a coup d'etat in the real sense." The Shah said he had issued his orders for the dismissal of Dr. Mossadeq under the prerogatives given to him by the constitution, and had appointed General Zahedi in his place. He went on to say that he had not abdicated and that he was confident of the loyalty of the Iranian people to him. This line was what the station had in mind, if less strong than desired; and the Baghdad papers hinted that painful, bloody events were still to come in Iran. The station suggested that Imam Khalasi, religious divine at Baghdad, and the Agha Khan be enlisted to give the Shah moral backing, while Headquarters, on State Department instructions, continued to refuse permission for direct US contact with the Shah. In the meantime the US Ambassador to Iraq, Burton Berry, reported on his conversation with the Shah on the evening of the 16th. His statements, made on his own initiative, were quite in line with suggestions reaching him after the event.
About 1000 hours a considerable body of the troops that had been dispersed throughout the city were called back to their barracks, as the government was certain the situation was well in hand. At 1030 hours Radio Tehran called up General Zahedi to surrender to the authorities, and then began broadcasting lists of those arrested as having taken part in the abortive coup or having had some connection with those events. The separate lists, including those of the next day, contained the following names (those underlined indicate the individuals who were known to the station to be engaged in the coup attempt):
The station devoted a great deal of effort during the day to circulating photostatic copies of the firman- particularly among the army-and in trying to arrange for more and more press coverage. It was now obvious that public knowledge of the existence of the firmans was having an effect. Everyone was asking questions: "Was it true that the Shah had issued the firmans? If so, why was Mossodeq lying about it? Wasn't that a most reprehensible thing to do?"
At 1325 hours Fatemi held a press conference at which he dealt with the flight of the Shah to Iraq, read the abjectly pleading letter from arrested Acting Minister of Court Armini, and stated that 14 officers had been arrested. His more detailed views on the current situation were expressed in an editorial in Bakhtar Emruz and were in the main a repetition of his previous scurrilou attacks against the Shah. He wrote such words as, "O traitor Shah, you shameless person, you have completed the criminal history of the Pahlevi reign. The people...want to drag you from behind your desk to the gallows."
Early in the afternoon, Ambassador Henderson arrived in Tehran from Beirut. On the way out to the airport to meet him, members of the Embassy passed the site of the bronze statue of Reza Shah at the end of the avenue of that name. Only the boots of the figure remained on the pedestal. A passing truck was dragging behind it the horse from the equestrian statue of the same ruler that had stood in Sepah Square. In the crowds engaged in this activity, the Tudeh were obviously in the majority.
On behalf of the government, Henderson was welcomed by Dr. Gholam Hosein Mossadeq, son of the Prime Minister, and by Dr. Alemi, Minister of Labor. At 1630 hours the station sent off a cable giving a general survey of the local situation which, although it foresaw Mossadeq's position strengthened for the next few weeks, did insist that a policy of opposition to him be continued. Near the end of the afternoon, the government used the voice of a religious leader, Sadr Balaghi, to attack the Shah over Radio Tehran.
The evening was a most active and trying time for the station. Principal agents [Keyvani and Djalili] were reached and given instructions. Within the Embassy compound, Roosevelt and Carroll held a prolonged council of war with the heads of their team: General Zahedi and Ardeshir Zahedi, General [Guilanshah,] the three Rashidian brothers, and Colonel [Farzanegan] . These teammates were, when required, smuggled in and out of the compound in the bottom of cars and in closed jeeps. A few hundred yards away Ambassador Henderson and General McClure were out in the garden in front of the residency, and Roosevelt wore a path back and forth to reassure them that no Persians were hidden out in the compound, so that they could in all honesty so inform Mossadeq if the question were asked. The council of war went on for about four hours, and in the end it was decided that some action would be taken on Wednesday the 19th. As preparation for this effort, several specific activities were to be undertaken. In the field of political action, it was planned to send the Tehran cleric [Ayatollah Behbehani] to Qum to try to persuade the supreme cleric, Ayatollah Borujerdi, to issue a fatwa (religious decree) calling for a holy war against Communism, and also to build up a great demonstration on Wednesday on the theme that it was time for loyal army officers and soldiers and the people to rally to the support of religion and the throne. In the field of military action, support from outside of Tehran seemed essential. Colonel [Farzanegan] was sent off in a car driven by a station agent (US national Gerald Towne) to [Kermanshah, a distance of 400 miles,] to persuade Colonel [Timur Bakhtiar,] commanding officer of the [Kermanshah] garrison, to declare for the Shah. Zahedi, with Carroll, was sent to Brigadier General [Zargham] at [Isfahan] with a similar request. Through station facilities these messengers were provided with identification papers and travel papers which stood up under inspection. All those leaving the compound were also given station-prepared curfew passes.
Throughout the long hours of 17 August, there seemed little that Headquarters could do to ease the pangs of despair. A wire sent to the station in the afternoon expressed the strong feeling that Roosevelt, in the interest of safety, should leave at the earliest moment, and it went on to express distress over the bad luck. At about the same time, an operational immediate cable went out to Ambassador Beery in Baghdad with guidance concerning his future meetings with the Shah. Propaganda guidance was sent to the stations in Karachi, New Delhi, Cairo, Damascus, Istanbul, and Beirut to the effect that the Zahedi government was the only legal one. Just after midnight Headquarters urged a Paris Station officer in southern France to get in touch with the Agha Khan at once, in order to urge the latter to send a wire to the Shah expressing his strongest moral support. Much later, Headquarters learned that contact had been established, but there was not the hoped-for outcome. The Agha Khan had at once stated that a ruler who left his throne and country would never return, and after his statement no effort was made to sell him on the idea of backing the Shah. Of course, he was later delighted to hear that the Shah did get his throne back after all.
At Nicosia the SIS refused to give up hope, and bucked against their own office in London and against the Foreign Office. Darbyshire continued to try to get permission to got to Baghdad. While the persistence and apparent faith shown by the SIS station at Nicosia was altogether admirable, it should be remembered that they had nothing to lose if the cause had been pressed to ultimate failure and disclosure.
The 18th was to be the most trying day for every person in every country who was aware of the project. At 0730 hours that morning the Shah left Baghdad for Rome on a regular BOAC commercial flight. It would be some hours before this news reched Tehran. In Tehran the day opened with small bands roaming the streets. The Tudeh managed to ransack the Pan-Iranist Party headquarters ([Keyvani/Djalili] claim credit for this incident) located near the Majlis Square, and then there were minor clashes between gangs of the Tudeh and the Third Force (a Marxist, non-Tudeh opposition group).
Morning papers appeared about as usual, although very few opposition sheets were available since secret police were posted in all printing shops. Those papers supporting Mossadeq announced that the Pahlevi dynasty had come an end, while [Ettelaat (despite assurances from its publisher to support the station's line)] wrote that the nation expressed its violent disapproval of the coup which was in foreign interests. [Dad continued its really remarkable efforts by reprinting the firman and an interview with Zahedi.] Shahed ran a copy of the firman, and Keyhan ran two brief notes on Zahedi's claims. Shojat, replacement for Besuye Ayandeh and, hence, the leading organ of the Tudeh Party, printed a statement by the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party-the first such statement to appear for some weeks. In this statement the party blamed the recent events on Anglo-American intrigue, and added that the watch-word for the day must be: "...Down with the Monarchy! Long live the democratic republic!" During the morning the AP correspondent wired out a story, destined to get considerable play abroad, which included Zahedi's statement to the officers of the Iranian Army: "Be ready for sacrifice and loss of your lives for the maintenance of independence and of the monarchy of Iran and of the holy religion of Islam which is now being threatened by infidel Communists."
Military communiques read over Radio Tehran indicated that continuing efforts were being made by the government to firm up its control. One announcement offered a reward of 100,000 rials for information as the whereabouts of General Zahedi, [a second demanded that retired officer Colonel Abat Farzanegan appear before the military government] and a third was a reminder that all demonstrations were forbidden by the government. At 1030 hours General Riahi, Chief of Staff, met with the high ranking officers of the army in the lecture hall of the Military School and read them the riot act, stressing that they must be faithful to the government.
Personnel at the Tehran Station, while continuing to make every effort to carry out its decision of the 16th, were also planning for eventualities. One message to Headquarters asked that the means for a clandestine evacuation of up to 15 people from Iran be prepared. Another cited local military opinion that officers would carry out instructions broadcast by the Shah, and then went on to put it up to Headquarters as to whether the station should continue with TPAJAX or withdraw. Nicosia commiserated over the initial failure and stated that they, personally, were continuing to do all they could to induce London to continue to support station efforts. This message was followed by a report on the Shah's statements at Baghdad, and by still another to the effect that SIS Nicosia was asking London's assent to urge the Shah's return on pilgrimage to the holy shrines in Iraq where he would be in direct contact with Iranian divines resident there.
During the afternoon most of the news was not of action but of statements from various sources. At his press conference Minister of Foreign Affairs Fatemi asserted that there had been serious anti-Shah riots in Baghdad-a complete lie. At 1500 hours the Shah arrived in Rome, where he was to make statements to the press which followed a middle ground. These statements did not dash the hopes of his supporters, but neither were they a call to action. Also, in the afternoon, Radio Moscow carried the text of the appeal of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party as it had been printed that morning in Shojat.
In the evening, violence flared in the streets of Tehran. Just what was the major motivating force is impossible to say, but it is possible to isolate the factors behind the distrubances. First, the flight of the Shah brought home to the populace in a dramatic way how far Mossadeq had gone, and galvanized the people into an irate pro-Shah force. Second, it seems clear that the Tudey Party overestimated its strength in the situation. This fault may have been that of the Soviet liaison people, of of the leaders of the Tudeh party, or of the rank and file. During the day the Party not only had defiled statues of the monarchy, but also had erected their own flags at certain points. Party members had also torn down street signs in which the Pahlevi dynasty was mentioned or which commemorated events in the reign of Reza Shah, and had replaced them with "popular" names. The party seemed ready for an all-out effort to bring in a peoples' democracy, believing either that Mossadeq would not challenge them or that they could outfight him in the streets. Third, the Mossadeq government was at last beginning to feel very uneasy about is alliance with the Tudeh Party. The Pan-Iranists were infuriated and the Third Force was most unhappy about the situation. Fourth, the climax was now approaching of the [Keyvani/Djalili] campaign of alleged Tudeh terrorism. (Details of this campaign have been given on earlier pages.) On this evening [Keyvani/Djalili] had gangs of alleged Tudehites on the streets with orders to loot and smash shops on Lalezar and Amirieh streets when- ever possible, and to make it clear that this was the Tudeh in action.
During the evening all these factors came together in ferment. Security forces were given orders to clear the streets and serious fighting resulted. Friends of Colonel [Hamidi] in the Police Department exceeded instructions in preventing Tudeh vandalism by beating up Tudehites and shouting for the Shah.
The Tudeh did seem to take rapid cognizance of the facts that a covert action was being staged, and that their members were not strong enough to fight the police. They brought people out who tried to argue demonstrators into going home.
Headquarters spend a day featured by depression and despair. The immediate direction of the project moved from the Branch and Division to the highest level. At the end of the morning a handful of people worked on the draft of a message which was to call off the operation. As the message was finally sent, in the evening, it was based on the Department of State's tentative stand: "that the operation has been tried and failed," the position of the United Kingdom that: "we must regret that we cannot consider going on fighting" and Headquarters' positon that, in the absence of strong recommendations to the contrary from Roosevelt and Henderson, operations against Mossadeq should be discontinued.
While on the 18th only [Dr. Baghai's paper Shahed] had published the imperial firman naming Zahedi as Prime Minister, on 19 August, as soon as the city was awake, early risers could see photostats or type-set copies of the firman in the papers Setareh Islam, Asia Javanan, Aram, Mard-i-Asia, Mellat-i-Ma, and the Journal de Tehran. The first four of these papers, and Shahed and Dad in addition, ran an alleged interview with Zahedi which stressed that his government was the only legal one in existence-an interview that had been fabricated by [Djalili] . Somewhat later in the morning the first of many thousands of broadsheets which carried a photostatic copy of the firman and the text of the Zahedi statement appeared in the streets. Although each of these newspapers had a normal circulation of restricted size, the news they carried was undoubtedly flashed through the city by word of mouth, for before 0900 hours pro-Shah groups were assembling in the bazaar area. Members of these groups had not only made their personal choice between Mossadeq and the Shah, but they were stirred up by the Tudeh activity of the preceding day and were ready to move. They needed only leadership.
Even before the day had dawned [Keyvani and Djalili] having been informed that a pro-Shah statement by the ranking religous leader, Ayatollah Borujerdi, might be forthcoming during the day, had made definite preparations to utilize any such statement. [Djalili] and two of their most enegetic sub-agents, [Mansur Afshar and Majidi] were down at the bazaar section with a jeep and trucks ready to set out for Qazvin. Their plan was to print broadsheets at this town some 85 miles west of Tehran should it appear that the Mossadeq government had increased its attempted strangelhold on the urban press. As soon as they notice that the pro-Shah groups were gathering, [Djalili, Majidi,] [and Rezali, another sub-agent] rushed to supply the needed leadership. [Djalili] accompanied one group in its progress toward the Majlis, and on the way incited them to set fire to the offices of Bakhtar-i-Emruz, the semi-official paper owned by Minister of Foreign Affairs Fatemi, which on the 17th and 18th had printed most bitter and scurrilous attacks on the person of the Shah. About the same time [Afshar] led other elements toward the offices of the Tudeh papers Shahbaz, Besuye Ayandeh, and Javanan-i-Democrat, all of which were thoroughly sacked.
The news that something quite startling was happening spread at great speed throughout the city. Just when it reached Mossadeq, who was meeting with members of his cabinet, is not known. By 0900 hours the station did have this news, and by 1000 hours word had come in that both the Bakhtar-i-Emruz office and the headquarters of the Iran Party had been ransacked. Also about 1000 hours contact was established with the Rashidian brothers who seemed full of glee. Their instructions, as well as orders directed to [Keyvani and Djalili] were now to attempt to swing security forces to the side of the demonstrators and to encourage action for the capture of Radio Tehran. To what extent the resulting activity stemmed from specific efforts of all our agents will never be known, although many more details of the excitement of the day may slowly come to light.
Fairly early in the morning Colonel [Demavand] one of those involved in the staff planning, appeared in the square before the Majlis with a tank which he had secured from the Second Battalion of the Second Armored Brigade, [a battalion originally committed to the operation] Lt. Col.[Khosro-Panah] and Captain [Ali Zand] were on hand and were joined by two trucks from the same battalion, while members of the disbanded Imperial Guard seized trucks and drove through the streets. By 1015 hours there were pro-Shah truckloads of military personnel at all the main squares.
While small groups had penetrated to the north of the city by 0930 hours, the really large groups, armed with sticks and stones, came from south Tehran and merged as they reached Sepah Square in their progress north toward the center of the city. There the troops held in readiness fired hundred of shots over the heads of the crowd, but apparently were not willing to fire at these partisans of the Shah. As a result the crowds were able to fan out toward key points. Just up Lalezar, a main shopping street, the Saadi theater, long sponsored by the Tudeh Party, ws burned. The surging crowds of men, women, and children were shouting, "Shah piruz ast," (The Shah is victorious). Determined as thye seemed, a gay holiday atmosphere prevailed, and it was if exterior pressures had been released so that the true sentiments of the people showed through. The crowds were not, as in earlier weeks, made up of hoodlums, but included people of all classes-many well dressed-led or encouraged by other civilians. Trucks and busloads of cheering civilians streamed by and when, about noon, five tanks and 20 truckloads of soldiers joined it, the movement took on a somewhat different aspect. As usual, word spread like lightning and in other parts of the city pictures of the Shah were eagerly display. Cars went by with headlights burning as a tangible indication of loyalty to the ruler.
At about 1030 hours, General Riahi informed Mossadeq that he no longer controlled the army and asked for relief, but Mossadeq visited his office and told him to hold firm. Colonel Momtaz was able to assemble only one battalion and disposed that force around Mossadeq's house.
About noon separate elements composing the crowds began to receive direct leadership from the military and police. Those army officers previously alerted to take part in the military operations provided by TPAJAX were now taking separate but proper individual action. By 1300 hours the central headquarters of the telegraph office on Sepah Square had fallen into royalist hands. The AP man filed a cable there shortly after 1300 hours giving a brief report on the fighting. Then fighting moved a few hundred yars away to the police headquarters and to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building just across the wide avenue from it. Defenders of the police station held out until nearly 1600 hours.
Also about noon, Roosevelt went to the houses where Generals Zahedi and [Guilanshah] were in hiding. They were both fully informed of the events of the morning and told to wait for instructions. An hour later Carroll and Persian-speaking Major William R. Keyser (Assistant US Military Attache) reported on the military situation. By early afternoon more of the important objectives in the center of the city, such as the press and propaganda offices, had been taken over by the royalists. With important facilities under control, it was possible to begin dispatch of streams of telegrams to the provinces urging them to rise in support of the Shah. Even during the greatest heat of the day there was no slacekening of activity. Station agent [Djalili] was still on the streets and, finding a crowd on Firdausi Avenue, urge them to go to military police headquarters and demand the release of Colonel [Nasiri] and General [Batmanlegich] . This they did. The soldiers on guard put no resistance. Meanwhile agent General [Nakhi (Qods Nakhai)] was touring the city in his car attempting to round up members of the Imperial Guard, soldiers who later took part in the attack on Mossadeq's house. Early in the afternoon the crowds did collect around approaches to Mossadeq's residence. By this time he had probably already left.
Radio Tehran was a most important target, for its capture not only sealed the success at the capital, but was effective in bringing the provincial cities quickly into line with the new government. During the heat of activiy, it broadcast dull discussions of cotton prices, and finally music only. Already at 1030 hours there had been an inerruption of its schedule, but it was not until early afternoon that people began streaming up the borad avenue toward their goal, some three miles to the north. Buses and trucks bore full loads of civilians, army officers and policemen. Sheer weight of numbers seemed to have overwhelmed the defenders of the radio station, and after a brief struggle in which three deaths were reported, at 1412 hours the station was in royalist hands. At 1420 hours it broadcast the first word of the success of the royalist effort, including a reading of the firman. A stream of eager speakers came to the microphone. Some represented elements upon whom reliance had been placed in TPAJAX planning, while others were quite unknown to the station. Among the former elements were opposition papers [Bakhtiar and Zelzeleh,] one of [Ayatollah Kashani's sons,] and [likeh Etozadi.] Among spontaneous supporters of the Shah to come to the microphone were Colonel Ali Pahlevan and Major Husand Mirzadian; their presence was the proof- no longer required-of the truth of the TPAJAX assumption that the army would rally to the Shah under just such circumstnces. For some period of time, Radio Tehran was alternately on and off the air. It may have been finally put into good operating condition by those engineers who, as one speaker said, had come along for just such a purpose. Here, as in so many other phases, chance served the cause very well, for, hd the original defenders of the radio station managed to damage its facilities, the firm control of the capital might have been delayed.
At the Embassy, station personnel were following the broadcasts of Radio Tehran, and were elated when it sudden- ly fell into royalist hands. Once again Roosevelt set off toward the hiding place of his valuable charges, meeting them a little before 1600 hours. Told it was time for them to play an active role, both promptly dressed for the occasion. It was agreed that General Zahedi should meet General [Guilanshah] at 1630 hours on a certain street corner with a tank, and should proceed wih this vehicle to Radio Tehran where Zahedi would speak to the nation. General [Guilanshah] was taken from the house by Major [Keyser] in a jeep; and then along the way, he spied two Air Force officers, he asked to be let out, saying he would take care of everything. Right on the street these officers greeted him warmly and when he said he would like a tank, they soon rounded one up. Asked if he knew where Zahedi was, he said he did and that he had an appointment to meet him at 1630 hours. His comrades pressured him to make an immediate rendezvous with Zahedi, so he directed the tank toward the compound in which the house sheltering Zahedi was situated. Zahedi emerged and the tank set off again. At 1725 hours Zahedi spoke over Radio Tehran, and this speech was repeated a little after 2100 hours that evening.
Howevere, Zahedi had been preceded on the air by [station agent Farzanegan.] In the dash back from [Karmenshah] [Farzanegan's] car had broken down completely at about the halfway mark, but he was able to get an uncomfortable ride the rest of the way in an oil tank truck. He arrived in Tehran by morning and contacted the station. At the latter's urgent instructions, [Farzanegan] sent a telegram to Colonel [Bakhtiar] which message contained a code phrase* signalling [Bakhtiar] to lead his division on forced march to Tehran. An interesting sidelight concerning [Bakhtiar's] march to Tehran** occurred en route to Hamadan. The division entered Hamadan just as the local Tudeh Party was holding a large pro-Mossadeq demonstration. [Bakhtiar] quelled the demon- stration in short order. The astonishment of the Tudeh on seeing the [Kermanshah] division enter Hamadan was ex- ceeded only by that of the town mayor.
Within Tehran proper the last nests of resistance were being subdued. The Chief of Staff headquarters gave in at * "Am coming today to see my sick sister." the end of the afternoon, and befofe 1900 hours Mossadeq's house was taken and soon turned into a shambles. Its belongings were dragged out into the street and sold to passersby. Reactions were also being reported from the provinces. At 1450 hours the regional station at Sanandaj in Kurdestan suddenly went off the air. At 1555 hours Radio Tabriz reported the capture of the station itself by forces loyal to the Shah, and stated that ll of Azerbaijan was in the hands of the army. As it continued broadcasting, it became apparent that one of the speakers, [Mohammad Deyhim, head of the Fedakaran-i-Azerbaijan] and an effective sub-agent of station assets had played an important role in events at Tabriz. By 1800 hours the station at Isfahan was on the air with strong statements in favor of the Shah and Zahedi by such elements as local editors, a member of Baghai's Toiler's Party, religious leaders, and staff officers-all groups which we had hoped would react in this fashion. Not until 2000 hours did the radio station at Kerman proclaim loyalty to the new government. Meshed Radio was not heard from at all, but the religious-minded town turned Loyalist almost immediately after the news of the change had been sent out over Radio Tehran. Known Tudehites were pursued and shops of Tudeh sympathizers looted.
Colonel [Farzanegan] following Zahedi's instruction, and Carroll now closed up the operation. While [Batmangelich] had [been named Chief of Staff, Farzanegan]-at that office- kept in touch by phone and placed known supporters of TPAJAX in command of all units of the Tehran garrison, seized key military targets, and executed the arrest lists.
As the afternoon drew to its close, Radio Tehran seemed to get down to a less haphazard schedule. From 1800 hours on, it made short announcements of government appointees. At 1845 hours the Associated Press representative and the New York Times man made fairly brief statements on the events of the day, intended for their home offices. Brief government communiques dealt with curfew hours, contained warnings against demonstrations, etc. A general news summary at 2100 hours was followed by a statement from Zahedi, installed in the office of the Chief of Police, and before 2200 hours the station had signed off for the night. The hectic day was over and curfew now in effect. Lives had been lost, but not nearly as many as stated in the white heat of the actual events. The security forces were firmly in control and well prepared to destroy any counter-effort.
How had other interested parties weathered the exciting day? One such must have felt real anguish. This was the behind the rest of the world and did not put out a summary of the day's events at Tehran until 2300 hours GMT. Its Persian program that reach Iran early in the afternoon was built around the text of the earlier Pravda article entitled "The Failure of the American Adventure in Iran," and this program was repeated early in the evening. The same Pravda article was broadcast throughout the late afternoon and early evening from Moscow in English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Polish, Czech and Slovak, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, and Turkish, although by that time nearly everyone of its listeners must have known that this materila was no longer applicable.
The other parties to the original plan felt elated, and possibly self-satisfied. While the reactions of the Shah at Rome are rather beyond the scope of this account, one or two of his remarks are worth citin as they bear upon some of the original assumptions of the TPAJAX plan. He said, "It was my people who have shown me that they were faithful to the monarchy and that two and a half years of false propaganda were not enough," and again, "My country didn't want the Communists and therefore have been faithful to me."
At Nicosia the earliest FBIS intercepts had not been translated and distributed until nearly mid-afternoon local time. As word passed from Leavitt to Darbyshire, he latter became so excited that he drove his friend right to his had always avoided doing in earlier weeks.
Headquarters had its first word of what the day was to bring just before 0900 hours when someone burst in from the hall pouring out what at first seemed to be a bad joke- in view of the depression that still hung on from the day before-the news that Mossadeq was on the way out. Throughout the morning, the afternoon, and until late that night people hurried down the corridors with fresh slips of ticker tape. During the entire day only two TPAJAX cables were received from the station. However, it was a day that should never have ended for it carried with it such a sense of excitement, of satisfaction, and of jubilation that it is doubtful whether any other can come up to it. Our trump card had prevailed and the Shah was victorious.
Roosevelt arrived in London the afternoon of 25 August. He had been smuggled out of Tehran in Naval Attache Eric Pollard's plane and picked up by a Military Air Transport Service (MATS) plane (the pilot and crew of which were not aware of his identity) at Bahrein. In London Roosevelt was met by Firth and taken to see Maj. General J. Alexander Sinclair and others in SIS that evening. From the very beginning it was made plain to him that SIS was grateful not only because of the success of the operationper se, but because of the effect its success had already had and would continue to have upon SIS's reputation and relations with its superiors. In turn he expressed gratitude for the fine support the station had received and recognition of the fact that such weaknesses as had existed in the support given us were attributable to the paucity of reporting from Tehran, which had resulted in a justifiable lack of hope both in London and Washington. Roosevelt went to some pains to explain the reason for the lack of reporting. He pointed out that if they had simply reported what they were doing, London and Washington would have thought they were crazy and told then to stop immediately; if they had reported the reasons why they felt justified in taking such action they would have had no time to take action; accordingly they followed the third course which was to act, and report practically nothing. This decision was initially made on the assumption that they had very little more to lose by following up the last hopes, and everything to win. As the hours passed, evidence that the action had great hopes of success increased rapidly, but they still had no time or energy to prepare and present the evidence. Sinclair and members of his staff said that they fully understood the situation and were glad that Roosevelt had taken what was in their opinion the best and most constructive decision. We all recognized, however, that if the outcome had been different, a substantially different attitude toward that action might have been found in many quarters. Sinclair commented that it was recognition of the probability that such grave decisions would have to be taken speedily and could only be taken in the field that had led him to request the appointment of a combined theatre commander. He also requested that in Roosevelt's briefing of senior members of the British Foreign Office he should emphasize this aspect of the story. The following days Roosevelt did so, and, without exception, from Churchill through Lord Salisbury all down the line, the decision taken in Tehran was enthusiastically endorsed. (Sir Winston made reference to Lord Nelson's blind eye.)
On 26 August Roosevelt was shepherded through a round of appointments at the Foreign Office by the Foreign Office representative attached to SIS. He first saw Sir (Reginald) James Bowker (Byroade's British opposite number-responsible for NEA) and two members of his staff, and gave them an account of developments and the psychological climate in Iran, without giving much in the way of operational detail. He got the impression that SIS was glad to take advantage of any opportunity of selling themselves to this level of the Foreign Office. It appeared that their relationships, at least in this area, were neither close nor cordial at this level. Later in the morning he spent an hour alone with the Acting Foreign Secretary, Lord Salisbury. As requested by Sinclair, Roosevelt gave Lord Salisbury the full treatment, and he appeared to be absolutely fascinated. His attitude seemed to be very much more flexible and progressive than that of Bowker. He seemed genuinely anxious to help the new Iranian Government and very conscious of the problems which the relations with the United Kingdom presented to that government. He recognized the importance of immediate short term economic aid which would produce quick and obvious results, but remarked that perhaps long-range aid could be worked out with an "oil settlement in mind."
Roosevelt reported fully to Salisbury, as he had to Bowker, on the assurances which he had given on behalf of Her Majesty's Government (HMG) to the Shah and Zahedi. Salisbury assured him, as did everyone else, that these statements were justified and properly presented, that the British fully appreciated the necessity of reaching agreement on an oil settlement with the Iran Government as rapidly as possible, and that they were fully prepared to do so.
At 1400 hours Roosevelt was received by the Prime Minister who was in bed at 10 Downing Street. This was a most touching occasion. The Prime Minister seemed to be in bad shape physically. He had great difficulty in hearing; occasional difficulty in articulating; and apparent difficulty in seeing to his left. In spite of this he could not have been more kind personally nor more enthusiastic about the operation. He was good enough to express envy of Roosevelt's role and a wish that he had been "some years" younger and might have served under his command. He repeated the statement that he had already made to Sinclair, that if the success of this operation could be maintained it would be the finest operation since the end of the war. He emphasized his strong feeling that everything possible to help the new government should be done. Economic aid to Iran should not wait either for the restoration of diplomatic relations with the British or for an oil settlement. He went so far as to proclaim that if it were necessary he, himself, would provide economic aid to Iran before the restoration of diplomatic relations, although he did not explain how this might be accomplished. He commented that the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) had really "fouled things up" in the past few years and that he was determined that they should not be allowed to foul things up any further. Our operation had given us a wonderful and unexpected opportunity which might change the whole picture in the Middle East. In closing he asked Roosevelt to tell the President that he was feeling much better and could "hang on as long as may be necessary". He also asked that Roosevelt write to him after his meeting with the President, and that he keep in touch with him in the future.
The Prime Minister made several references which indicated that he regarded SIS as his service, and that it was very close to his heart. Perhaps due to his physical condition at the time, however, he appeared a bit hazy as to its jurisdiction and the distinction between MI-5 and MI-6. He was definitely hazy on Sinclair and upon the American setup. The initials CIA meant nothing to him, but he had a vague idea that Roosevelt must be connected in some way with his old friend Bedell Smith.
At the outset Sinclair had said that he thought it might make a better impression if neither he nor any members of his service were present during Roosevelt's reports to other members of HMG, and although he knew that Roosevelt was to see the Prime Minister and the Acting Foreign Secretary, he suggested only one exception to this procedure. He asked if Roosevelt would have any objection to his sitting in on the discussions with Sir William Strang, the Permanent Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He explained that Strang was the source of his political guidance and such authorizations as were required from the Foreign Office, and said that he was anxious to see the impact of certain portions of this briefing upon Strang. In the course of the conversation it became apparent that the portion of particular interest to Sinclair was the reason why the station had not reported more fully from Tehran between 15 and 19 August. Sinclair is not a demonstrative person, but there was a definite glow emanating from him when Strang with apparent heartiness responded to the explanations, remarking that Roosevelt had done the only possible thing and that in matters of that sort decisions could only be made on the spot. As they came out of Strang's office, one of Sinclair's staff came up to him in great glee with a folder covered with red ribbons, sealing wax, and other objets d'art. Sinclair told Roosevelt that this represented approval of a project on which they had previously been turned down by the Foreign Office and that this reversal of the Foreign Office was due to the success in Iran.
* For a military critique of the operation, see Appendix E.
Two elements lending support to the operation seemed unable to meet the sudden demand for utmost speed and accomplishment. These were Communications and the Psychological Warfare (PW) Senior Staff. Many individual communications officers-at Headquarters, Nicosia, and Tehran-worked many extra hours and displayed commendable zeal and initiative in dealing with a great volume of traffic. Between 14 May and 1 September a total of 990 TPAJAX messages entered or left Headquarters. The unsatisfactory phase of communications was the three-way link between Headquarters, Nicosia, and Tehran by which MECA facilities were made available for simultaneous transmission from any one of the three stations named to the other two. Until near the end of the period of the operation, there was considerable delay in Tehran messages destined for Nicosia and for those in the opposite direction. It may also be suggested that transmission time was not as rapid as had been hoped. Very few "operational immediate" messages were originated by any of the three stations, but when Tehran sent such a message it took from three to four hours to get to Headquarters measured from the time the enciphered message was filed for transmission until the deciphered message reached the branch desk.
In July support was sought from the PW Staff. Both the branch and higher levels were anxious to have certain items, including the texts of news articles, commentaries and editorials, appear in papers in this country. The texts themselves were prepared by NE/4 Branch on themes agreed upon by Headquarters and the station. It was planned to cable summaries of such planted material to the station for distribution to the friendly local press and, hence, to backstop the active propaganda campaign against Mossadeq. This support was not forthcoming. It appeared to the branch as if the staff lacked contacts capable of placing material so that the American publisher was unwitting as to its source, as well as being able to see that no changes in theme or emphasis are made. In contrast to this relatively ineffective venture, the Iran desk of the State Department was able to place a CIA study in Newsweek, using the normal channel of desk officer to journalist. Recognizing the fact that the Agency is not able to employ such a channel as just described, it does appear that some improvement of capabilities might be desirable. Either those contacts used to secure the unwitting publication of material should be expanded and improved, or else there should be a provision made for passing material directly to cleared editors and owners of press media.
Throughout the course of the operation, members of the Agency were in touch with members of SIS in Washington, Nicosia, London, and-incidentally-Cairo. In all but one of these places, we were on their home ground and, hence, in a position to penetrate their organization, particularly with regard to building up personal histories of its personnel. The apparent fact that this organization was quite ready to act as the junior partner in this operation has been covered in an earlier paragraph, as has the indication that individual SIS officers made a definite effort to win the friendship and confidence of their contacts. The existence of friction between SIS headquarters and the station at Nicosia was also of interest to us. However, of greatest interest from an operational point of view was the very limited number of personnel engaged in Middle East operations. At Nicosia there were only two officers and two typists to deal both with Iran and with several other countries of the Middle East. At London headquarters no individual was exclusively concerned with Iran, and the one specialist in the field appeared to be spread out over the Middle and Far East. This shortage of personnel was directly reflected in a number of ways which seemed quite surprising at first glance. An example of this is the fact that the representative in Washington had to spend a good part of his time in enciphering and deciphering. The character of this limited personnel was also of interest for we were informed that all the old colonial hands and all the veterans of the India Office had been dispensed with. Certainly the two Nicosia officers who were dealing with the Agency were both young and had a very sound foundation. The one in charge has had six years in the country and is extremely fluent in the language, while the younger, still a probationer, also knows the language well.
Other lessons learned from the operation relate to Headquarters and station capacities for planning, and to the capabilities of the local agents to execute general and specific directives. First, we may make a brief critique of Headquarters planning.
As had been pointed out in some detail in earlier pages, the operational plan grew directly from a series of basic assumptions, established by CIA in collaboration with SIS. In briefest review, the principal assumptions were:
These assumptions, whether presented as such within the operational plan, or discussed in some unwitting survey of the current situation, were challenged. The American Ambassador and the State Department desk officer for Iran, as well as the Chief of GTI office at State, insisted that assumption number one above was completely unsound. Ambassador Headerson stated that the premise that the Shah would cooperate actively was fallacious.
The station at one point expressed a similar opinion in these words: "it (is) unrealistic (to) expect Shah (to) sponsor a coup supported by army." The Office of Intelligence and Research of the State Department, in a special study, dated 29 July 1953 and entitled "Estimate of the likelihood and possible consequences of Mossadeq's removal as Prime Minister," indicated a positive belief that the opposition to Mossadeq was weak, lacked a plan, and was composed of heterogeneous elements incapable of unified action. How was it that the Headquarters planners could be so at odds with every other well informed opinion? This was because the plan had of necessity to avoid acceptance of the status quo and could take a bolder stand because it was based upon the principle of strong, positive action to make the assumptions come true. It should be noted that during the conversations at Beirut and in the later exchange of messages, representatives of the field station accepted the assumptions to which they had objected earlier. Thus, as the time for action approached complete harmony prevailed.
Not only did the basic assumptions stand their test, but other factors of the plan which had been determined by a detailed estimate of the psychology of the Persians, as discussed at Nicosia and Beirut, worked out about as anticipated. Specifically, it had been realized that not all the Persians involved in the plan would take the action required of them, that even those who took it might not follow through exactly as required and, therefore, that the operational aspect of the plan called for repetitive efforts on the targets. This analysis was correct. That the initial military aspect went astray may be charged directly to the Persians who a the very end refused to continue to accept the guidance which the station felt was so essential.
With regard to the fact that the military aspect of the plan was balanced, or complemented, by action designed to result in publicly expressed hostility to the government of Mossadeq, it was in this field that those in charge of executing the plan had to deviate the most from its details. The plan placed emphasis upon a program for a massive bast, or political sanctuary movement, against the government; but it was found impossible to bring this into being because of the dissolution of the Majlis and because the most influential religious leaders were not willing to make the commitments required of them. This unwillingness of the leaders had been foreseen by the planners, but they had been assured by the principal agents of SIS that these leaders would take whatever action was required of them. Failing in this respect, public hostility was fanned in a number of other ways, some suggested by the station to its agents and others thought up by agents. This activity has been covered in the earlier pages dealing with events in Tehran, and here it is necessary to repeat only one conclusion concerning what was learned during the operation as to the influence of the press in Iran. It must be admitted that in the years and months of working with a subsidized press and its venal (or patriotic) journalists in Tehran, the station was still not sure whether it was achieving results comparable to the sums so spent. In July and early August every segment of the press with which we or the United Kingdom had working relations went all out against Mossadeq. As judged by the public reactions on the days following 16 August, there can be no doubt whatsoever that this campaign had reached a very large audience and had directly influenced their thinking in a most positive way. A separate analysis of this press operation should be made to serve as basic guidance in mounting future campaigns.
The operation was a time of testing for the US principal agents and for those of the station agents who were committed to the effort. All these agents did a superb job. It is easy to say that they did such a good job because they were not merely carrying out orders but were heart and soul in favor of the operation. This is true, but the fact must not be overlooked that in recruiting these individuals over a considerable period of time the station wittingly selected people whose basic ideologies were in accord with US policy toward Iran and the USSR. This factor should not be overlooked in future recruitment in Iran. A word should be said about the fact that the high caliber of the agents was reflected in their performances. In one of the most critical periods station principal agents [Blacked-Out] were out of touch with the station, but on their own initiative took actions of just the type the station would have assigned to them. The performance of the indigenous agents is just one factor in the demonstration of the values received from long-term station planning. Another such factor of real importance was the capability of the station to produce indigenous documents on short order, documents which stood serious scrutiny shortly after they had been manufactured. This program had been long under development.
The operation did reveal a need for the development of other long-term assets. Important in this field is the procurement of safehouses, at least two of which should be kept completely uncontaminated until time of real emergency. While the executors of the plan made brilliant use of the grounds of the Embassy and of houses occupied by US personnel, this effort could have been nullified by a careful watch of the Embassy by agents of the government.
Among the other long-term assets which the station feels should be developed are independent printing and reproduction facilities. The station believes that these facilities should be within the Embassy. This matter is now under discussion as it would appear that the movement of supplies into the Embassy and the removal of the finished products for distribution would create a serious security problem.
The major role in the execution of the operational plan was assumed by US assets. This does not mean, however, that the operation could have been carried through without the active cooperation of the United Kingdom and their assets. For one thing, it would have been impossible to get the Shah to move had he not been finally convinced that both the US and the UK were ready to support him. For another, had not the UK assets been cut in an the operation, they would either have exposed whatever they learned about it to the government or tried actively to see that it failed. The lesson here is clear. As in the larger world picture, US-UK interests and activities must be coordinated. A great deal is to be gained by direct coordination in special fields of activity once both parties have recognized that their aims are really identical.
A final subject of interest concerns the security problem connected with such an operation. From the moment the project got underway, the NEA Division made a serious effort to put special security measures :Into effect; within the NEA Division and even within the NE/4 Branch the rule of "need to know" came into effect. However, by the time the operation had been concluded, a considerable number of people-British and Americans-were aware of what was going on. From the viewpoint of NE/4 Branch, which has listed all the individuals whom it knows were aware of the project and its purpose, the number was excessive-it totaled 89. How many others were told by people without the NE/4 Branch being aware of this, there is no way of knowing. It in true that the knowledge that there was direct US-UK collaboration on the project was kept to a more restricted number. It is, however, suggested that in the future when an operation of similar magnitude and sensitivity is contemplated a special security officer be brought into the operation at its inception and be given the responsibility for keeping track of exactly who knows what about the project.
Important for quasi-legal effort. To prepare for such effort deputies must be purchased.
Religious leaders should:
Bazzar contacts to be used to spread anti-government rumors and possibily close Bazzar as anti-government expression
Zahedi must expect violent reaction from Tudeh and be prepared to meet with superior violence.
The policy of both the US and UK governments requires replacement of mossadeq as the alternative to certain economic collapse in Iran and the eventual lose of the area to the Soviet orbit. Only through a planned and controlled replacement can the integrity and independence of the country be ensured,
General Zahedi is the only figure in Iran currently capable of heading a new government who could be relied upon to repress Soviet-Communist penetration and carry out basic reforms.
The plan which follows is comprised of three successive stages. The first two stages precede action of a military nature. They include the present preliminary support period and the mass propaganda campaign. (See paragraphs below.) These stages will be of real value to the mutual interests of US and UK even if final military action is not carried out in that they will make the position of Mossadeq increasingly vulnerable and unsteady.
The total estimated expenditure required to implement this plan will be the equivalent of $285,000 of which $147,500 will be provided by the US Service and $137,500 by the UK Service.
For a period of several months both the US field station and the British group (the Rashidian brothers) have been in close touch with Zahedi. The British group has supplied the equivalent of $50,000 (four to five million rials) for this support.
During this preliminary period beginning 1 June 1953, and for an estimated two months maximum thereafter, the United States will provide $35,000 and the United Kingdom the equivalent of $25,000. Initial payments under this allocation have already been made by the US field station.British funds will continue to be paid through present channels for purposes as directed by the UK or by the US field station on UK behalf.
US funds are to be distributed through direct US field station contacts for the specific purpose of extending and strengthening military and political contacts of Zahedi. Early in this period Zehedi will be made fully aware of this dual support and of the joint intention that it should lead to even more concrete support. During this period the impression will continue to be given in the circle f Zehedi's contacts that the Shah is supporting him by the provision of funds. The coordination of UK-US field station activity on the developing plan will be achieved through direct contact between US field personnel and the British group with the former acting on behalf of the United Kingdom by relaying instructions and acting as a secure communications link, to augment that already existing. Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that overt US policy will conform as closely as possible with the purpose of this plan.
This plan is based on the assumption that the cooperation of the Shah will be obtained. Such cooperation will give a military coup the test chance of success. However, it also envisages the game type of operation through the involuntary involvement of the Shah in this plan.
To play his role the Shah requires special preparation. By nature a creature of indecision, beset by formless doubts and fears, he must be induced to play his role, and this role must require a minimum of affirmative action and cover as brief a period as possible.
We consider Princess Ashraf his forceful and scheming twin sister, to be the person most likely to be able to induce the Shah to play his role. we are certain that Ashraf will eagerly' Cooperate to bring about the fall of Mossadeq. Therefore, Ashraf must be approached at her present location, briefed on the task and sent back to Iran, Contact will have to be maintained between Ashraf and the US field station. The role of the Shah is to be played in three Stages and Ashraf will be preparing him in advance for each successive stage. The first stage will be to convince the Shah that the United States and the United Kingdom have a joint aim in Iran, and at the same time to remove his pathological fear of the "hidden UK hand", the second stage will be to inform him in specific terms of what the Immediate future holds for him. The third stage will be to obtain specific items from him. These stages are detailed bllow:
With prior advice from Princess Ashraf,'the leader of the British group will visit the Shah to assure him that the United States and the United Kingdom have common aims towards Iran, and that both want to support him to the utmost in opposing Mossadeq. The leader of the British group will say that he is in a position to prove that the British are supporting the Shah and that he, the leader, is authorized to speak for the United Kingdom by stating that any key phrase Selected by the Shah out of several proposed will be given on successive dates in the Persian language broadcasts over the BBC
With advance warning from Princess Ashraf, General Scftwarzkopf (former head of the US Military Mission to the Iranian Gendirmerie) is introduced as the US special representative. This representative Is already well known to and admired by the Shah as a result of his successful tour of duty in Iran some years ago. His remarks to the Shah will comprise two parts, The first part covers the following points:
The second part will cover the following points:
This stage will be the sole responsibility of Princess Ashraf. immediately following the visits as described above and while the Shah is still under their effects Princess Ashraf will obtain his signature on three documents. The first of these documents will be dated, the second and the third undated. They will be:
These documents will then be taken out of the palace at once the first to be delivered to Zahedi and the other two to be held by the US station against time of need.
Following the effort required of him to produce these documents the Shah may be in a period of elation for some time. Sooner or later he will begin to broad and to doubt, and at this time he must be removed from the capital to make some kind of tour. Preferably he would make a religious retreat to the Meshed shrine. He would remain at this shrine until after Zahedi obtains control and would return to the capital only to give his official approval to the new prime Minister.
Continuing contacts by US personnel and British agents with Zahedi or his representatives have helped to bring into increasingly clear focus the picture of his tentative plans and of those elements from which he expects support. This material and related intelligence reports have been used in the preparation ef later paragraphs which follow under the subtitle "Organization to mount Coup," with its supporting material in the annexes.
Following the phased contacts with the Shah as given above, both the United States and the United Kingdom will inform Zahedi directly that they have secured a firm commitment from the Shah on his behalf and that the time has come to nove to a detailed plan of action.
General Zahedi will be given the letter signed by the Shah calling on all loyal officers to cooperate with the bearer. He will be instructed to recruit, with the aid of this letter, military aides. Zahedi will also be shown the US-UK proposal for action entitled "Organization to overthrow Moseadeq." it will be discussed with Zahedi who will have the opportunity to amend or modify this proposal should this be necessary to meet his desires and capabilities. It will be pointed out to Zahedi that the plan provides for full US-UK coordinated covert support prior to the time of the coup. Every element of the potential Opposition to Mossadeq will be mustered so that on coup day it may be possible to overthrow the Mossadeq government by legal means. It will be pointed out to Zahedi that the future character and reputation of the successor government would be better if military action could be limited to assuring control of the city coincident with this legal success.
However, should the Shah fail to go along with the US representative or fail to produce the documents for General Zahedi, Zahedi would be informed that the United States and United Kingdom would be ready to go ahead without the Shah's active cooperation it Zahedi agrees. We would continue to make every effort to associate the Shah with the undertaking involuntarily and so hope to achieve the same result as if be had actively participated.
The material which follows under this heading is that which is to be presented to Zahedi by the US field station for the purpose of discussion and modification.
Under the headings which follow, elements of existing or potential strength are assigned their specific roles. This approach omits any consideration of the strength of the pro-Moassadeq forces.
This secretariat headed by an officer named by Zahedi but acceptable to the United States and United Kingdom will be composed of a very limited number of Cable senior officers. This secretariat will be in contact with the US field station which will hand over a preliminary stalff plan jointly prepared by the United States and the United Kingdom for securing Tehran. A sum equivalent to $75,000 will be required for the military secretariat to carry out its functions.
Its most urgent duty will be the selection of key officers in Tehran who can be counted upon or won over for action against the Mossadeq government. For security reasons, such officers will be informed of their own actual role at the latest possible date.
This secretariat will make a detailed examination of the US and the UK staff plan with special attention to every action to be carried out on coup day. Some of these actions will be immediate seizure of general staff headquarters, army radio station, Radio Tehran, the houses of Mosastdeq and his entourage, police and gandarmerie headquarters, post and telegraph offices, telephone exchange, the Majlis and its printing press, and the National Bank and its printing press. Arrests will include the key figures of the Mossadeq government, key army officers cooperating with Mossadeq, and selected newspaper editors.
Special attention will also be given to preparing measures to be taken against the Tudeh Party. Zahedi must expect a violent reaction from the Tudeh Party, and must be fully prepared to moot it with superior violence. There is no possibility of neutralizing the party until after the Mossadeq government has been replaced. However, there will be a breathing spell of several hours after the change of government before the deh Party will be able to got out on the streets In force. At the time of the coup at least loo party and front group leaders and journalists must be arrested, these names will come from a list of approximately 80 such leaders recently prepared by the United Kingdom, plus TIS station additions, plus Zahedi's own additions, Control of the Tehran streets will prevent the massiag of Tudeh or other mob elements. Mass distribution of black Pamphlets, notionally issued by the Central Committee of the Party, will be made with the purpose of confusing Tudeh members and of preventing them from assembling in an effective manner. It may be possible for the United States to supply by air in advance stocks of tear gas, indelible ink, or other materials suitable for the control of mobs. Local air force planes may drop warnings to the public to stay off the streets or take the consequences.
This action will follow basically similar lines although it may be carried out relative to as many as three different situations. These three situations are:
Action to be taken with regard to Situation A will be as follows:
At the climax of Situation A, Zahedi will assume office as Chief of the Ceneral Staff by a limited military action against the Headquarters of the general staff. He will at once name the selected person as his deputy, and the arrests or Mossadeq and the others will be made at once. The Majlis will be called into session and the opposition will attempt to pass a vote of censure against Mossadeq, and will follow this with a vote of support for Zahedi. However, with or without the possession of a royal decree naming him as prime minister, Zabedi will take over the government and will execute the various requirements of coup day (see above). Once he has firmly established his control, he will have no trouble in obtaining the formal vote of support from the Majlis. Only then will the Shah return to Tehran.
Action to be taken with regard to Situations B and C will be as follows:
The only change in plan will be the necessary advancement of the timetable for coup day to the day of actual crisis and the necessity of putting all the military aspects of the coup machinery into operation at once,
The purpose will be to create, extend, and enhance public hostility and distrust and fear of Mossadeq and his government. A sum equivalent to $150,000 will be budgeted for this program. This will be a phased operation, with the phases as follows;
Phase 1. This is the current preliminary support stage wherein the receipt of US and UK funds permits Zahedi to win additional friends and to influence key people.
Phase 2. A massive propaganda campaign against Moseadeq and his government but with Mossadeq himself as the principal target. This will begin only a week or two before the climax of Situation A so as not to offer too much time for a sharp reaction by Mosgadeq and so that the impact will not be dispersed by being long drawn out.
Phase 3- This Is Situation A which is described in full in a following paragraph.
It is considered essential that Zahedi make an early choice of the man who will be his director of press and propaganda and who may be deputy prime minister as well. The US field station will obtain from Zahadi the name of the man he has in mind who must be acceptable to the United States and the United Kingdom. One or two weeks before the date set for Situation A, the intensive propaganda effort will begin. The details relative to the execution of this campaign will be the primary responsibility of the US field station.
Immediately after the change Of government, Zahedi's director of press and propaganda must be prepared to:
To prepare for the change of government, a number of the deputies will be approached and purchased. It is yet to be decided whether the purchases are to be made by the British group or directly by Zahedi himself who, as long as he enjoys the sanctuary of the Majlis building, is in an excellent position to achieve such in aim. Following the receipt from one or both of the above elements of a list of deputies with the amounts required for the purchase of each one, a special funding operation will be established within the framework of the joint authorization for the execution of this plan. The US field station will also employ various agents and contacts to support this operation.
Its basic aim will be to secure a majority plus one vote against Mossadeq as required In Situation A. At the present time it is estimated that at least 30 deputies are prepared to vote against Mossadeq if they think there is a good chance that they will be in a majority. It is to be noted that all Majlis elected members would not normally be present at any one session. However, it will also be necessary to attempt to ensure that a quorum can be maintained in the Majlis at the moment when the anti-Mossadeq vote is to be taken. The minimum quorum requirement is that two-thirds of the deputies present in Tehran must be in the Chamber before a vote can be taken. Thus an effort will be made to purchase additional deputies solely to have them remain In the Chamber to ensure the quorum and not for the more sensitive role of voting against Mossadeq.
It is to be noted that while these parties command only ineffectual street gangs, the British group can muster up to approximately 3,000 Street activists to be committed in Situation A.
These leaders include such assorted and some times inimical elements as the nonpolitical leaders [Blacked-Out] and [Blacked-Out] , as well as [ ] and [Blacked-Out] and his terrorist gang, During the period of intensive anti-Mossadeq publicity before coup day the leaders and their henchmen will:
These merchants are anti-Mossideq boaause the government harms them directly through the stag- nation of business, the cutting off of imports, the strenuous collection of taxes, and the general tightness of money,
In the period of intensive publicity pre- ceding Situation A, these merchants will be used to:
Au noted above, the military actiorl can result from Situations A, B, or C. However, the pre-coup activities of the organizntion as described above will be primarily for the purpose of creating Situation A which is described below.
The preceding material represents a Western-type plan offered for execution by Orientals. However, it was drafted by authors with an intensive knowledge of the country and its people who endeavored to examine and evaluate all the details from the Iranian point of View. given the recognized incapacity of Iranians to plan or act in a thoroughly logical manner, we would never expect such a plan to be restudied and executed in the local atmosphere like a Western staff operation.
However, we feel that the plan is broad enough and sufficiently comprehonsive to offer a reasonable chance of success even if not carried out 100 percent.
Security among all local elements involved is a serious weakness inherent in the Persian character. We must be aware of the fact that security breaches might lead to repressive measures by Mossadeq.
No precedent for this proposed operation exists in Iran in recent years. The Reza Shah coup was of an entirely different nature. Recent coups in other Near Eastern countries were far easier to carry out since they were not complicated by a large pro-Communist opposition or hampered by the presence of a head of government having powerful popular following.
Prior to an estimate of the chances of success, the following points in connection with the general concept of the coup are vital:
Conclusion: Subject to the Shah's support, Zahedi's acceptance of the basic features of this plan, our approval of his modifications, and to our feeling certain that he will act according to an established timetable, the authors of this plan believe that the coup will succeed.
These proposed annexes are not included in this draft as they must be cased upon a great mass of intelligence and information which is still being specifically collected for this purpose.
Annexes would include very detailed listing of all support available or probably available to Zahedi such as names and poition of Army officers backing him, critical examination of the position of the Mahlis deputies, appraisal of size and cohesion of religious leaders supporting Zahedi, the proposed cabinet of Zahedi, etc.
"Her Majesty's Government have noted the State Department's views as got out in a report on the conversation between Mr. Byroade and Mr. Bealey on 7 July, and have much sympathy for them.
"The overriding consideration is that the whole question of compensation must be left to the impartial arbitration of an international tribunal. Furthermore the terms of any future arrangements must be such as not to appear to provide a reward for the tearing up of contracutal obligations or to disturb the pattern of world oil prices. Subject to this Her Majesty's Goverment are prepared to go to the utmost to help... with the problem of presenting an agreement to the public' locally. They are also convinced that the Company, who have not been consulted, will adopt a generous attitude as regards methods and duration of paymentss as regards any compensation awarded to them.
"The answers therefore to the specific questions raised in the report from Washington Embasay are as follows:
"(a) The United Kingdomm can do without this oil, although it would be an advantage to have it flowing into its traditional markets [the UK] once more. Her Majesty's Governuent are, however, anxious to dispose of the dispute which poisons their relations with the country concerned and is a disturbing element in the area as a hole. They would therefore 'be ready to cooperate' w ith a new government in trying to reach an agreement, provided that the principles referred to in paragraph 2 above are safeguarded.
"(b) Her Majesty's Government take the wording of the Plan to mean that the initiative would be left to the future Prime Minister both as to the priority of an oil agreement in relation to his general programme and as to the nature of it. They hope he would agree to look at the February proposals, and they would of course help him in regard to the presentation of the agreement. If he had any alternative proposals, Her Majesty's Goverment would consider them with equal sympathy, subject always to the principles mentioned above being safeguarded."
In early summer 1953 Carroll was assigned the task of planning military aspects of TPAJAX. Several assumptions first had to be taken into account:
Planning tasks which had to be accomplished:
George Carroll in Washington began a staff study preliminary to drafting a military plan. Persons who were particularly helpful in the preparation of this study were Jerome F. Begert, Willima Fowlkes, Jr., Eugene E. Cilsdorf, Elizabeth E. McNeill, Betty J. Caldwell, and Arthur W. Dubois. This group constituted a branch task force.
Throughout the summer cables were exchanged with the Tehran Station in an effort to procure the latest information on the order of battle of Iranian armed forces. The Iranian desk, G-2, Pentagon, was queried in an effort to obtain whatever information they could get which might help accomplish the above tasks. Information available in G-2 was almost non-existent. Biographical information on leading Army figures was extremely scanty. G-2 did not possess a tactical map showing the military situation in the city of Tehran. It must also be admitted that CIA too was unprepared for this type of operational plan and a heavy burden had to be laid upon the field at a time when the Tehran Station was already occupied with the opening phases of TPAJAX.
The primary difficulty in staff planning at this time was the fact that neither the field nor headquarters pos- sessed detailed information on military figures in Iran. CIA had heretofore never placed particular emphasis on that type of operational reporting, and we learned as the days went by how extremely important, indeed vital, that type of reporting is.
Throughout the month of June, the branch task force gradually was supplied information from the field which made it possible to begin thinking about the use of the forces within the Tehran garrison. The field reported that Tehran was garrisoned by five brigades, three infan- try mountain brigades, and two armored brigades. In addition, four other military forces existed: the Gen- darmerie, the police, the armed customs guard, and the forces under the military governor. It was also learned that the young Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Taghi Riahi, and his staff had been drawn primarily from members of the pro-Mossadeq Iran Party. It had to be assumed that the chief of staff and officers within all sections of his staff were under control of Mossadeq. I has also to be assumed that at least three out of five of the brigade commanders in Tehran were completely under General Riahi's control. Those assumptions proved to be correct. SIS reported that Colonel [Ashrafi, military governor of Tehran and commanding officer of the Third Mountain Brigade,] could be relied upon; this later turned out to be incorrect but for staff planning purposes in June it had to be assumed correct. It was disappointing to learn that Major General Zahedi, Prime Minister designate under TPAJAX, possessed almost no military assets. General Zahedi, therefore, could not be relied upon to execute his own staff plan.
In the early part of July, the branch task force was able to draw up a plan designed to neutralize the Tehran garrison and to isolate all other brigades in Iran. It appeared at that time that only a very small force could be relied upon by CIA, primarily the Thrid Mountain Brigade in Tehran. Therefore, our first staff plan was based upon the use of the Third Mountain Brigade for the capture and arrest of the officers assigned to the Chief of Staff, as well as the arrest and neutralization of all other forces in the city of Tehran.
Because of the fact that CIA did not possess any mili- tary assets capable at that time of helping TPAJAX, it was suggested that Station agent Colonel [Aban Farzanegan] be given special training. [Farzanegan] was trained in a safe- house in Washington with the assistance of instructors from the training division. [Farzanegan] had no idea what lay before him. He had never previously participated in any military action, although he had been superbly trained [in] [logistics in the Command and General Staff School at Ft.] [Leavenworth. Further, he had been assistant military] [attache for Iran in Washington for several years, and] before that had been the [Iranian liaison officer to the [United States Military Assistance Advisory Group in Tehran.] [He, therefore, had a good grasp of American army methods.] [He was a Signal Corps officer by profession.] Because of the extreme sensitivity of TPAJAX, [Farzanegan] was given the lie detector test. In early July, [Farzanegan] was directed to go to Tehran and to renew all of his old contacts within the Iranian Army.
In June, Carroll was assigned TDY to Cyprus to work with Donald Wilber, NEA Planning Officer, and SIS. Carroll concentrated on military planning aspects with SIS, and ascertained the extent to which SIS could control Iran military assets. Headquarters was extremely concerned because the plan assumed that the Shah would sign a firman dismissing Mossadeq without being certain that his Army officers and men were well organized enough to force Mossadeq from office in the event Mossadeq did not obey the firman, since CIA and SIS did not possess military assets capable of being organized into an effective fighting force and it was feared that the development of new military assets adn their organization into a fighting force could not be accomplished in time.
SIS in Cyprus stated that it did have several important friends among the military, but the only officer among their friends then in a position to be of assistance to us was Colonel [Ashrafi.] SIS agreed that our preliminary military plan must be based on the assumption that Colonel [Ashrafi] would cooperate. Military Planner Carroll doubted whether one brigade out of five would be sufficient to overthrow Mossadeq and stated frankly that our military plan must be viewed as extremely tentative; he also stated that he hoped upon arrival in Tehran to find other assets in addition to Colonel [Ashrafi.] From the military point of view the discussions in Cyprus were extremely disappointing because they made it clear that we wanted to accomplish much but had very little with which to accomplish it. It also made it clear that Carroll and Colonel [Farzanegan] should arrive in Tehran as soon as possible where the military plan would be necessity have to be completed.
On 15 July Carroll left for London where SIS studied the military plan for two days and approved it with little comment. They agreed that, if TPAJAX were to succeed, CIA must start from scratch adn work quickly to find powerful friends among Iranian Army troop commanders. In London, Carroll with Major Keen and two other British Army officers on duty with SIS, went over two military plans which had been drawn by the branch task force.
Both of our military plans used the same arrest lists for military and civilian persons in Tehran. These lists were compiled as a result of a long study of pro-Mossadeq Iranians, and later proved to be at least 90 percent correct. The British approved the arrest lists after their CE expert and their biographical section studied them. A third arrest list, the Tudeh Arrest List, was studied very carefully by SIS Tudeh Party experts and was approved without addition. It would seem that our appraisal of Iranians must have been based upon approximately the same information.
While these arrest lists were farmed out to SIS experts Carroll sat down to study the two military plans with Major Keen and with the British major. The first plan was based upon the assumption that [Colonel Ashrafi] was a controlled British agent [and that his Third Mountain Brigade would] [follow his commands.] After a detailed examination of the Target List for Neutralization In the City of Tehran (machine gun factory, Ministry of Post and Telegraph, Office of the Chief of Staff, etc.), SIS stated that the targets we had listed for neutralization were the correct ones and that we had assigned duties for components of the Third Mountain Brigade about as well as any other way they might suggest.
We next turned to an examination of our second military plan based upon the assumption that Carroll might be able to develop assets in Tehran capable of controlling three bridgades. We all agreed that it would be extremely hazardous to base all of our hopes upon one brigade out of the five in Tehran and that, if possible, we should attempt to develop additional forces. SIS approved this plan and they then passed both plans up to a brigadier who returned them next day without comment.
During these discussions a cable arrived in London via Cryprus from Tehran in which Tehran Station reported General Zahedi's "military assets." This message con- firmed all of our fears. For some time the Station had been attempting to persuade General Zahedi to list his military assets and to indicate how he hope to use them. At last General Zahedi reported. He claimed none of the five brigades in Tehran. His military plan assumed that he might be able to use the Imperial Guard, some troops from the Department of Army Transport, components from the De- partment of Police, and components of the Armed Customs Guard. He also hoped that Colonel [Timur Bakhtiar] might be able to bring troops to Tehran from [Kermanshah.] SIS asked Carroll to write for them an appreciation of Zahedi's plan. In that appraisal it was stated that he did not believe the Shah would sign a firman dismissing Mossadeq until Zahedi could indicate to him how Chief of Staff Riahi's control over the Tehran garrison could be broken; further, he felt that if TPAJAX were to succeed military assests must be developed within the five brigades in Tehran.
SIS agreed in London that military tasks should take the following priority:
These priorities were laid down because it was desired that communications be knocked out as soon as possible in order to prevent pro-Mossadeq forces and personnel from communicating with each other.
Carroll left London on the first available aricraft following these conferences, arrived in Tehran on 21 July, and got in touch with [Farzanegan.]
Sifting through [Farzanegan's] operational contact reports covering all of his important conversations in Tehran [after his arrival from the United States], two offi- cers were noted as being of especial promise. These were contact reports of conversations with Major General [Nadr [Batmangelich] and with Colonel [Hassan Akhavi] , both of whom reflected the fear of the Tudeh party that was becoming gen- eral after the Tudeh showing of 21 July. Goiran, Goodwin, and Carroll agreed that it was imperative that Carroll meet as soon as possible with an officer appointed by Zahedi to work on our military scheme. Zahedi never did designate a military secretariat, and it was necessary for us to develop our own.
Because of General Zahedi's manifestly weak position among the military then on active duty, and because it be- came apparent that it would be necessary for CIA to seize the initiative and to furnish him with a military plan and military forces, the development of Colonel [Akhavi] was stepped up. [Farzanegan] was directed to determine what assets Colonel [Akhavi] might be able to lead us to. Colonel [Akhavi] first offered a "Plan A" which called for a military coup d'etat without explaining how it was to be accomplished. Then [Farzanegan] was pressed to persuade Colonel [Akhavi] to be more realistic, and on 30 July he received from Colonel [Akhavi] a plan which was more specific but still pitifully inadequate. Colonel [Akhavi] said he would execute arrests and target lists, neutralize military installations and non-cooperating forces within two hours; this was nonsense. The most important thing Colonel [Akhavi] reported was that he was in touch with three young colonels who might possess important strength within the Tehran garrison. Colonel [Akhavi] also told [Farzanegan] that General [Batmangelich] lacked courage but would stiffen his back should the Shah appoint him Chief of Staff. Colonel [Akhavi] did not mention General Zahedi and did not seem to be in touch with him. [Farzanegan] told Colonel Akhavi that he could put Colonel [Akhavi] in touch with one or two Americans whom he had met in the United States.
At this time the Shah also indicated that he did not have control of important military assets.
Carroll met [Akhavi] and [Farzanegan] on 2 and 3 August and begam [sic] staff planning. Colonel [Akhavi] was full of desire to do something, but had no idea of how to go about it. He said that he had friends who could control the Second and Third Mountain Brigades but did not trust either Colonel [Ashrafi] , Commanding Officer of the Third Mountain Brigade [and an alleged SIS asset] , or Colonel Momtaz, Commanding Officer of the Second Mountain Brigade. Colonel [Akhavi] reported that General [Batmangelich] had told him the day before that if the Shah acted he was ready to perform any service whatsoever and to die for the Shah if necessary. After these early meetings with Colonel [Akhavi] , it became apparent that he, himself, was not in a position to command anything and was only hoping that he might persuade his friends to do so.
Carroll then met directly with Colonel [Akhavi] and his friend. The latter turned out to be Colonel [Zand-Karimi], [Colonel Komtaz's deputy]. Colonel [Zand-Karimi] reported a long list of assets within the Tehran garrison, principally among deputy commanders of brigades and regimental com- manders. On 6, 7, and 8 August, Colonels [Akhavi, Zand- Karimi, Farzanegan], and Mr. Carroll carried on staff plan- ning based upon the units commanded by friends whom [Zand- Karimi] claimed. Colonel [Zand-Karimi] stated that his primary friends were [Colonel Hamidi], of the Tehran police; [Colonel] [Ordubadi] , of the Tehran Gendarmerie District; and [Colonel] [Mansurpur, Commanding Officer Iranian Cavalry]. He felt certain that ultimate victory would be ours through these friends, and through his friends who were regimental and battalion commanders, among these were important unit commanders in the Tehran garrison: [Colonel Rohani, Deputy] [Commander of the Third Mountain Brigade; Lt. Colonel Khosro-] [Panah, Commanding Officer of the Second Mountain Brigade] [Infantry Regiment; Lt. Colonel Yusefi, who was soon to be named Commanding Officer of the Third Mountain Brigade's Infantry Regiment.] Through these officers Colonel [Zand- [Karimi] was in touch with every infantry battalion commander in Tehran and with most of the company commanders; however, those officers had not been formed into an organization and were not ready to overthrow Chief of Staff General Riahi's firm control of the Terhran garrison which he ex- ercized through the Brigade Commanders in Tehran. For instance, if we were to succeed we must arrest Colonel Sharokh, Commanding Officer First Armored Brigade; Colonel Parsa, Commanding Officer First Mountain Brigade; and probably Colonel Ashrafi, Military Governor and Commanding Officer of the Third Mountain Brigade. Colonel Novzari, Commanding Officer of the Second Armore Brigade would probably remain neutral but we felt it imperative that his deputy, Lt. Colonel Bahrami, be arrested.
It therefore became clear from the military point of view that success might depend upon whether or not General Riahi succeeded in arresting our friends before we arrested his, and that the test of strength would very largely rest upon the amount of security we were able to maintain while attempting to knit all of our friends into a functioning team.
It also was clear that we had to devise a scheme capable of carrying our operations in the event our first platoon of young officers was arrested. Carroll therefore worked for two nights with Colonels [Farzanegan and Zand-Karimi] team was arrested. The danger signal we adopted to alert battalion and company commanders to take independent action was the arrest of Colonel [Zand-Karimi] and of his closest friends. The weakness in our plan lay in the fact that the station would not be in a position to contact battalion and company commanders but would have to depend upon Colonel [Zand-Karimi] to do the job. While discussing this subject, Colonel [Zand-Karimi] stated that he would be able to contact lower unit commanders within 48 hours after receipt of the Shah's firman.
The hesitation of the Shah in signing the firman worked to our advantage for it gave us several more important days in which to discuss with Colonel [Zand-Karimi] the development of our final staff plans which was based upon the use of the units which his friends commanded. This problem was compli- cated by the fact that Colonel [Akhavi] became violently ill and was later forced to retire to his bed. As the climax approached, tension increased and it is not inconceivable that tension caused by fear had something to do with Colonel [Akhavi's] illness. Colonel [Akhavi] did remain on his feet long enough to speak to the Shah on 9 August in an interview which later proved vital to the success of the military phase of TPAJAX. Until Colonel [Akhavi] saw the Shah, he was not certain that our friends in the Tehran garrison would act without the Shah's approval. However, after talking with the Shah, Colonel [Akhavi] was able to tell Colonel [Zand- Karimi] that the Shah did desire military support in the event he should decide to sign the firman.
Colonel [Akhavi] was asked by the Shah whether or not the Army would back a firman dismissing Mossadeq. Colonel [Akhavi] told the Shah that he had been meeting with Carroll and that a reasonable staff plan was being prepared, one that assured victory if it were carried out properly. The Shah then asked [Akhavi] for the names of the officers who would cooperate, and Colonel [Akhavi] reported the same names which we had earlier submitted to the Shah through Asadollah Rashidian. He asked [Akhavi] to meet General Zahedi.
In reporting the substance of his audience with the Shah, Colonel [Akhavi] asked the station if the United States would support General Zahedi. He was told that it would. Colonel [Zand-Karimi] also accepted General Zahedi. Both officers stated that they had not been in touch with General Zahedi for several months but believed him to be a very good leader.
During the nights of 11, 12 and 13 August, staff plan- ning continued based upon the use of forty line commanders within the Tehran garrison. Colonel [Akhavi] met General Zahedi who agreed that General [Batmangelich] might be chief of staff. General [Batmangelich] expressed the desire to meet Carroll and to discuss plans with him, Farzanegan [in clear] , Colonel [Akhavi] , and Colonel [Zand-Karimi]. This meeting was postponed until we felt our staff plan was complete enough for General [Batmangelich] to act upon it.
On 11 August Zahedi asked [Akhavi] to have [Farzanegan] come to see him. General Zahedi and [Farzanegan] talked for three hours. [Farzanegan] reported that General Zahedi was extremely appreciative of American assistance and asked [Farzanegan] to act as liaison officer between him- self and the Americans for military purposes; he also asked him to become his officer in charge of the Military Bureau which had been meeting with Carroll during the last week.
On 12 August Farzanegan [in clear] took General [Batmangelich] to see Zahedi, and General [Bamangelich] pledged General Zahedi all assistance. [Farzanegan] also took Colonel [Zand-Karmini] to see Zahedi and the latter reported to General Zahedi progress of military staff planning. In retrospect it would appear that under more favorable conditions we should have spen more time going over the staff plan with Zahedi and General [Batmangelich] , for it was at this moment that the military phase of TPAJAX passed into Zahedi's hands, although Zahedi did not know any of the young officers involved and General [Batmangelich] knew only a few of them.
During the afternoon of 15 August, Carroll met with General [Batmangelich] and the Military Secretariat composed of [Farzanegan,] Colonel [Akhavi,] and Colonel [Zand-Karimi]. The firmans were expected momentarily and much of the conversation revolved around the question of how long it would take Colonel [Zand-Karimi] to contact our friendly forty line commanders. After a long discussion everyone agreed action should commence within 48 hours of the re- ceipt of the firmans. It was also agreed that Colonel [Namiri, Commanding Officer of the Imperial Guard], would deliver the firmans to Mossadeq after he had sent the station a radio set attuned to Colonel [Zand-Karimi's] command net. Colonel [Namiri] flew to Ramsar with the unsigned firmans on 13 August.
On the other hand, a true leader the Army is worth his weight in gold for he truly will count for far more in Iran than In other countries where valor is traditional.
Without stating reasons, our Assessment of his usefulness was positive in these fields:
1. Head of State to dismiss hostile government, 2. Commander-in-Chief as rallying symbol.
Our assessment was negative in these fields:
1. Commander-in-Chief as planner and participant in military action.
a. He had been out of the Army for several years and did not know young junior officers.
b. He was identified in some quarters as venal. His capacity for leading a coup d'etat was unknown; he had never distinguished himself as a staff officer, but primarily as a commander.
c. Most of his friends were drawn from among the civilian population-few were Army officers.
At two critical moments, Chief of Staff General Riahi assembled all officers in the Tehran gurrison and made emotional appeals to their patriotism, equated by him with support for Mossadeq. Lista of officers' license plates on vehicles were called for by General Riahi, and in some cases officers were followed. Also, spot telephone checks were made to officers' homes in an attempt to learn which officers were ending their evenings away from their homes.