Mossadegh Urged As New Premier
April 28, 1951 — The Associated Press

The Mossadegh Project | April 28, 2012      


Leader of Oil Nationalization Move
Proposed As Successor to Ala

by Robert B. Hewett

AP (The Associated Press) Tehran, Iran, Apr. 28—(AP)— The lower house of parliament today asked Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi to appoint Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, 76, [correction: 69] the man who has led the move to nationalize Iran’s oil resources, as the country’s new premier.

The surprise move came in a heated campaign to take over the British-owned Anglo-Iranian oil company immediately—an action which forced the resignation of Premier Hussein Ala and his cabinet last night.

After endorsing Mossadegh, the Majlis (lower house) began debating the oil naturalization resolution drafted by the parliamentary oil commission Thursday night. It demands immediate government seizure of the vast petroleum riches in the country.

The Majlis then adjourned and was expected to vote on the issue this afternoon.

The Shah was reported furious at the latest Majlis action, which apparently was aimed at trying to force his hand in appointing strongly nationalistic Mossadegh as premier. Western diplomats also were deeply worried because they fear Mossadegh’s oil policies may bring chaos, opening the way to infiltration of influence by neighboring Russia and diverting one of the west's major sources of oil to the Russians.

The Majlis meeting was secret. Majlis President Reza Hekat was said to have left for the palace to inform the shah of the house’s recommendation. Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi is not legally bound to follow the recommendation.

One source said that of 99 deputies at the secret meeting, 79 voted for Dr. Mossadegh.

The corridors of the Parliament building buzzed with rumors as officials scurried in and out in the midst of the biggest Iranian government crisis in recent years.

There were unconfirmed reports that the shah might dissolve the Majlis in an attempt to install a stable government.

While the Majlis was in session, the shah summoned white-haired Seyed Zia Eddin Tabatabiae, 59, to the palace.

This gave rise to rumors that the shah was asking Seyed Zia exiled for almost 30 years after he led a coup d’etat in 1920, to become premier and seek to restore order to Iran, rocked by a month of strikes and rioting in the southern oil fields and the violent nationalization drive.

Seyed Zia is regarded by Western diplomats as pro-British and anti-Russian.

Meanwhile, Hussein Ala, who precipitated the government crisis when he and his cabinet resigned last night in a surprise move, remained in seclusion.

Related links:

U.S. Is Ready To Resume Arms Aid To Iran — April 25, 1952 (AP)

Mossadegh: No AgainNew York Times editorial, March 22, 1953

Days of Glory Appear at End For Mossadegh — August 5, 1954 (UPI)

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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