Khadijeh Mossadegh: A Collateral Tragedy
The fate of Mossadegh's youngest daughter خدیجه مصدق

The Mossadegh Project                 

daughter Khadijeh Mossadegh خدیجه مصدق In July 1940, during the reign of Reza Shah, Khadijeh, the teenage daughter of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, was riding bicycles with her nephew* in front of her house, when suddenly, government security forces appeared. In full view, they ransacked the home and, bound by rope, dragged her father to jail, where he was later transferred to the infamous prison in Birjand.

daughter Khadijeh Mossadegh خدیجه مصدق Mossadegh's youngest and most vulnerable child, Khadijeh was distraught after witnessing this cruel treatment of her father, to whom she had tremendous attachment. This profound trauma, and her fear of losing her father caused Khadijeh to enter a trance-like state of depression.

daughter Khadijeh Mossadegh خدیجه مصدق In 1947, after various unsuccessful treatments including insulin therapy and electric shock therapy, Khadijeh was sent to Switzerland for further care. She was admitted to Prefargier Psychiatric Hospital where she began to improve, and developed a close relationship with her private nurse, Mademoiselle Baum. After some period, a decision was made for her to undergo lobotomy, a (now discredited) form of radical brain surgery, which her brother Dr. Gholam-Hossein, also recommended.

After the procedure in the city of Berne, Khadijeh was returned to Prefargier and the care of her private nurse. Yet she wasn't the same. She became quiet and spoke very little. Constantly restless, she experienced severe memory loss. Otherwise, she was well cared for and all her expenses were paid from rental funds from two buildings that her father had purchased specifically for this purpose. At the time, she even managed to write short letters to her parents in Farsi. Her nephew Abdol-Majid Bayat Mossadegh, who lived in Switzerland, visited her regularly and she enjoyed the chocolate that he would bring to her.

The 1979 Iranian revolution and the subsequent Iran-Iraq war caused a significant decline in the Iranian economy and the revenue from the two rental buildings decreased, effecting the regular payments of her bills. Around this time, nurse Baum also passed away and Khadijeh lost her main companion.

After the passing of his parents, Abdol-Majid sold their home in Tehran and with the acquired funds; paid all the outstanding hospital bills. It was only due to his loyalty and generosity that Khadijeh’s hospital bills were paid for the rest of her life.

Mossadegh considered his daughter's fate the cruelest punishment that could have ever been inflicted on him.

Khadijeh Mossadegh, born in December 1923, remained hospitalized until her death in 2003 at age 80.

* Mossadegh's grandson, Abdol-Majid Bayat (eldest son of Zia-Ashraf), also a schoolmate of Khadijeh's

Portions of this article have been supplemented from a letter dated April 18, 2012 by Abdol-Majid Bayat Mossadegh, which mainly addresses the medical and financial matters related to Khadijeh’ s stay in Prefargier Hospital.

Related links:

Mossadegh's Handwritten Will from 1965

Mossadegh's wife of 64 years, Zia al-Saltaneh

Mossadegh's Final Hours as Prime Minister (interview)

MOSSADEGH t-shirts - "If I sit silently, I have sinned"

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