This is chapter VII and the Appendix D (and table of contents) of the book describing CIA coup of 1953 in Iran, published recently by NYT. It is the uncensored version that was subsequently published by John Young at his web site: http://cryptome.org
The censored version of NYT is at:
Young, a few days back, found out that while loading the NYT version first the whole uncensored version gets loaded then immediately after the censored words get wiped out by some software, so he used a slow computer and loaded the text and stopped the loading right after the uncensored text was fully loaded but before the wiping out process had begun. Later, on finding out that others have also obtained the uncensored version and it's already out he decided to publish the uncensored version as well. So far he has republished only Chapter VII and the Appendix D of the book. The rest are coming out later.
I have removed some of the formatting to make the text more easily transmitable electronically. I also removed the the words "secret" from all pages but kept the original page numbering so the text can correctly refer to its other parts. Page numbers are at the bottom of pages. I also deleted NYT's editor's note that
pertained only to the censored version. As John Young indicates at his web site the missing names and words in NYT version are here included within square brackets
Remember that every word in this book has come out of CIA's own pharynx and therefore can be bull from begin to end. The correct version of what happened, general or in detail, remain our own and we should just see if this CIA blabber should throw some light on it or not. I'm not at all doubtfull about the possibility that they could have changed names in this report or especially switched the ones who did not cooperate with them with the ones who did, to get the double advantage of saving the ones who did help and endangering the status of those who did not, or at least create a confusion.
Note the mention of the city Nicosia on several occasions. I think Nicosia is their word for Tel Aviv or somewhere else in Israel. Also note that in page 16 of the appendix D even NYT's version, supposed to be censored, reveals the identity of Farzanegan two times by apparently forgetting to electronically wipe it off. So this matter was never handled seriously and care is due not to give too much weight to it.
CS Historical Paper
CLANDESTINE SERVICE HISTORY
OVERTHROW OF PREMIER MOSSADEQ OF IRAN
November 1952-August 1953
Date written : March 1954
Date publsihed: 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 acitivity were still fresh. In addition, it was felt advisable to stress certain conclusions reach after the operation had been completed and to embody some of 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
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HISTORIAN'S NOTE . . . . . . . . . . . . i
TABLE OF CONTENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . ii
SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii
I. PRELIMINARY STEPS . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
II. DRAFTING THE PLAN . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
III. CONSOLIDATING THE OPERATIONAL PLAN . . . 12
IV. THE DECISIONS ARE MADE: ACTIVITY BEGINS 16
V. MOUNTING PRESSURE AGAINST THE SHAH . . . 22
VI. THE FIRST TRY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
VII. APPARENT FAILURE . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 VIII. "THE SHAH IS VICTORIOUS" . . . . . . . . 65
IX. REPORT TO LONDON . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
X. WHAT WAS LEARNED IN THE OPERATION . . . . 85
A Initial Operation Plan for TPAJAX, as Cabled
from Nicosia to Headquarters on 1 June 1953
B "London" Draft of the TPAJAX Operational Plan
C Foreign Office Memorandum of 23 July 1953 from
British Ambassador Wakins to under Secretary
of State Smith
D Report on Military Planning Aspect of TPAJAX
E Military Critique - Lessons Learned from
TPAJAX re Military Planning Aspects of Coup
[Pages iii to 43 in preparation by John Young.]
VII. APPARENT FAILURE
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 with the 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 teh 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 son, 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 kept 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 whom 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 adn 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 exception 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, Headquarters 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. London 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 Shan." 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):
[Acting Minister of Court Abul Ghassem Amini
Colonel Novzari, Commander of 2nd Armored Brigade
_Colonel_Zand-Karimi_, Chief of Staff of 2nd Mountain
Commander Poulad Daj of the Police
_Colonel_Nematollah_Nasiri_, Commander of Imperial
_Lt._Colonel_Azamudeh_, Reg. CO 1st Mountain Brigade
Colonel Parvaresh, head of the Officers' Club
1st Lieutenant Niahi
Mr. Perron, Swiss subject
Colonel Hadi Karayi, Commander of Imperial Guards at
General Shaybani, retired
Rahim Hirad, Chief of Shah's private secretariat
_Soleiman_Behbudi_, Chief of Shah's household
_Lt._Colonel_Hamidi_, Asst. Director of Police visa section
Colonel Mansurpur, Squadron Leader (cavalry)
Colonel Rowhani, Chief of Staff of 3rd Mountain Brigade
1st Lieutenant Naraghi
1st Lieutenant Eskandari
1st Lieutenant Jafarbey
Mr. Mohammed Jehandari
1st Lieutenant Rauhani
Dr. Mozaffar Baqai]
Rumors circulated to the effect that the arrested officers were to be hanged on 20 August, and throughout the unit commands of the Tehran garrison, the police, and the gendarmerie, officers met to discuss the situation. Several of them resolved to risk all to attempt to rescue their friends.
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 scurrilous 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 to 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 watchword 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 Tudeh 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 whenever 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.
Report on Military Planning Aspect of TPAJAX
Military Aspects Operation TPAJAX
In early summer 1953 Carroll was assigned the task of planning military aspects of TPAJAX. Several
assumptions first had to be taken into account:
A. Operation would be joint operation with SIS.
B. Operation would rely heavily upon military
willingness to fight for Shah.
C. Armed forces in Iran under Mossadeq very strongly
led by pro-Mossadeq officers.
D. Operational assets within armed forces controlled
by SIS o CIA were not at the outset capable of
executing the military objectives of TPAJAX.
Planning tasks which had to be accomplished:
E. Detailed study of the leading military
personalities in Iran.
F. Detailed study of order of battle of the Iranian
Army with emphasis on the Tehran garrison.
G. Detailed military study of communications, supply
dumps, ammunition depots, command structure
Iranian armed forces, time and distance factors
within Tehran and throughout Iran, including road
and rail nets.
H. Detailed study military assets possessed by SIS.
I. Operational assets to be developed by CIA; almost
no military assets were then under CIA control.
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 possessed 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 infantry mountain brigades, and two armored brigades. In addition, four other military forces existed: the Gendarmerie, 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. It was 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 military 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 safehouse 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 and 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 by 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 and 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 brigades. 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 confirmed 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 Department 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:
1. Seizure and occupation of designated points.
2. Execution of arrest and detention lists.
3. Neutralization of pro-Mossadeq military forces
4. Neutralization of the city of Tehran.
5. Reinforcement of pro-Zahedi forces in Tehran by
forces outside of the city.
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 officers 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
were old and good friends of [Farzanegan]. These two officers reflected the fear of the Tudeh party that was becoming general 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 became 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 began 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 commanders. On 6, 7, and 8 August, Colonels [Akhavi, Zand-Karimi, Farzanegan], and Mr. Carroll carried on staff planning 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 exercized 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 Armored 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]
devising a system which would work in the event our first 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 complicated 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 planning 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 himself 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-Karimi] 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 spent more time going over the staff plan with Zahedi and General [Bamangelich], 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 receipt 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 [Nasiri] flew to Ramsar with the unsigned firmans on 13 August.