CIA: Mossadegh “Crazy Like A Fox”
Smith Agrees Premier Willing To Deal With U.S.

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | May 8, 2017                               


CIA Documents on Iran, Mossadegh, 1953 Coup | 1951-1954

This journal by an unnamed author is excerpted from the beginning of a 3-page, 14 point CIA document covering a range of dull foreign policy and internal matters.

The Iran notes are of interest, however, for, coming days after the 30 Tir pro-Mossadegh uprising in Tehran, they portray a far less negative impression of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh — whom they apparently perceived as both rational and in control. This despite the fact that the agency had already been pinning its hopes on a royalist military coup of some sort. Thanks to their critical planning and assistance, the CIA helped achieve this outcome a year later.


CIA Documents on Iran, Mossadegh, 1953 Coup



Official Diary

Wednesday, 30 July 1952


1. At the Deputies’ meeting expressed to the Director [Walter Bedell Smith] that after study of the cables from Iran I had concluded that Mossadeq was “crazy like a fox.” I disagree with reports indicating that there was any real possibility of settling the situation through action by the Shah or a military coup at this time. It seemed to me that the National Front was the only organization capable of controlling the situation in Iran and even in his most recent statements Mossadeq had indicated a willingness to deal directly with the U.S. The Director indicated that he was in agreement with these views, but we concluded generally that they had been covered in the various O/NE memoranda which we had disseminated. I later expressed the same views to Sherman Kent [pioneering CIA official, former O.S.S. and Yale history professor] and left it to his discretion as to whether or not O/NE could profitably make a further contribution in this situation. [ONE = Office of National Estimates]

[Annotations by Arash Norouzi]

• Date: July 30, 1952. Declassified by the Central Intelligence Agency on September 12, 2000.


TOP SECRET CIA Document, four months after 1953 coup in Iran




Richard Stokes’ Second Thoughts on Iranian Oil (1951 Letter)
Richard Stokes' Letter to Clement Attlee, Aga Khan Concurs (1951)

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Related links:

Highlights of the Mossadeq Trial | CIA Memo (Nov. 1953)

Hopes Wrecked In Persia | The Advocate, July 24, 1952

Iran Can’t Afford Luxury of Hostility | Jan. 29, 1952 editorial



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

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