[lit-ideas] Re: Aren't you delighted you no longer have a Hitler problem?

  • From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 15:54:06 -0400

Eric, I think I assumed that when you said

> > Just as we know that the CIA installed the Shah of
> > Iran. But
> > what few realize is that prior to that, the Soviets
> > controlled Iran

that was what you meant.  There wasn't a coup (I
believe), there was a forced abdication of Reza Shah
and an installation of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (his
son),   in 1941 (I thought, that is the date I have)
following an invasion of Iran by Britain and the
Soviet Union.

Mossadegh wasn't closely allied to the Iranian Communist Party but hadn't acted decisively against them.

Actually Mossadegh relied on the Tudeh Party for political support. This made him--though a nationalist--susceptible to covert Soviet influence, and vulnerable to exaggerated British claims that he was a Soviet proxy.

As noted below, "The most accurate term for the forceful ousting of Prime Minister Mossadegh would be counter coup, as technically speaking, Mossadegh himself had staged a coup by refusing to resign and by assuming totalitarian powers, to preserve his position."



The communist Tudeh Party was especially active in organizing industrial workers. Like many other political parties of the left and center, it called for economic and social reform.

Eventually, collusion between the Tudeh and the Soviet Union brought further disintegration to Iran. In September 1944, while American companies were negotiating for oil concessions in Iran, the Soviets requested an oil concession in the five northern provinces. In December, however, the Majlis passed a law forbidding the government to discuss oil concessions before the end of the war. This led to fierce Soviet propaganda attacks on the government and agitation by the Tudeh in favor of a Soviet oil concession. In December 1945, the Azarbaijan Democratic Party, which had close links with the Tudeh and was led by Jafar Pishevari, announced the establishment of an autonomous republic. In a similar move, activists in neighboring Kordestan established the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad. Both autonomous republics enjoyed the support of the Soviets, and Soviet troops remaining in Khorasan, Gorgan, Mazandaran, and Gilan. Other Soviet troops prevented government forces from entering Azarbaijan and Kordestan.


"Coup" controversy

There is disagreement among scholars and political analysts as to whether it is correct to call the 1953 plot a coup. The term is commonly used in media and popular culture, though technically the overthrow of Mossadegh was neither purely military in nature nor did it lead to a change in the form of government or the constitution in the country. Technically, in fact, it led to the preservation of the constitution, which Mossadegh had been repeatedly neglecting during his term in office.

On April 28, 1951, Mossadegh, on the Shah's suggestion, had been named as prime minister of Iran by a vote of 79-12 by the democratically elected legislative Iranian body known as the Majlis and that the parliament's vote had been accepted by the Shah as legitimate at that time. However, In August of 1953 Mossadegh attempted to convince the Shah to leave the country. The Shah refused, and using his constitutional authority formally dismissed the Prime Minister.

Mossadegh refused to leave, however, and when it became apparent that he was going to fight, the Shah, as a precautionary measure foreseen by the British/American plan, flew to Baghdad and on from there to Rome, Italy. Once again, massive protests broke out across the nation. Anti- and pro-monarchy protestors violently clashed in the streets, leaving almost 300 dead. The military intervened as the pro-Shah tank regiments stormed the capital and bombarded the prime minister's official residence. Mossadegh surrendered, and was arrested on August 19, 1953. Mossadegh was tried for treason, and sentenced to three years in prison.

Thus the overthrow of Mossadegh, having been constitutional and essentially gradual, as well as in reaction to his clinging to power, does not fit the definition of a mere "coup", as for example used by Wikipedia: "the sudden overthrow of a government through unconstitutional means by a part of the state establishment that mostly replaces just the top power figures (which) may or may not be violent in nature." The most accurate term for the forceful ousting of Prime Minister Mossadegh would be counter coup, as technically speaking, Mossadegh himself had staged a coup by refusing to resign and by assuming totalitarian powers, to preserve his position.


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