Developments In Iran
CIA Ponders Mossadegh's Mental Stability (1952)

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | August 14, 2019                               


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

The CIA discussed the evolving Iranian situation during two back-to-back meetings on July 29-30th, soon after the July 21st 30 Tir uprising which returned Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh as Prime Minister.

CIA Documents on Iran, Mossadegh, 1953 Coup



102. Minutes of Director of Central Intelligence Smith’s Meeting [Walter Bedell Smith]

Washington, July 29, 1952.

PRESENT

General Smith, Messrs. Dulles, Wisner, Becker, Hedden, Col. White, Mr. Long

[Director Walter Bedell Smith, Deputy Director for Plans Allen Dulles, Assistant Director for Policy Coordination, Directorate of Plans Frank Wisner, Deputy Director for Intelligence Loftus Becker, Special Assistant to the Director Stuart Hedden, Deputy Director for Administration Col. Lawrence Kermit White, Assistant to the Director Robert E. Long]

c. [Smith] Raised the problem of developments in Iran. He cited a memorandum prepared by Mr. Kermit Roosevelt on our efforts to operate in the Qashqai region of Southern Iran, and noted that we were encountering difficulties in getting under way in this area. The Director mentioned the cable from Amb. Henderson which reported recent conversations with Mossadeq and expressed the view that the Communist threat was considerably enhanced by Mossadeq’s present attitude and by the likelihood of a dramatic anti-western move and that the disturbed mental condition of Mossadeq makes the situation virtually unpredictable. [Loy Henderson’s July 28th meeting with Premier Mossadegh] Reference was also made to a detailed situation analysis by our station in Iran. [Analysis “not found” by the State Dept. Historian] The Director expressed the belief that, failing an attempt to get money from the West, Mossadeq would have no difficulty in getting what he sought from Russia. He stressed the importance of US-British collaboration on Iran as the key to our handling of the situation there. Mr. Dulles reported that the NSC [National Security Council] paper on Iran is awaiting a State Department contribution and undertook to discuss developments in Iran with Undersecretary Bruce at luncheon today. [Under Secretary of State David K.E. Bruce]

[Annotations by Arash Norouzi]

• Source: Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952–1954, Iran, 1951–1954 (2017)

“Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO/IMS Files, Job 81–01061R, Box 3, Folder 4, Quarterly Report April–June 1954. Top Secret” — State Dept. Office of the Historian.



104. Minutes of Director of Central Intelligence Smith’s Meeting [Walter Bedell Smith]

Washington, July 30, 1952.

PRESENT

General Smith, Messrs. Dulles, Wisner, Becker, Hedden, Col. White, Mr. Long

[Director Walter Bedell Smith, Deputy Director for Plans Allen Dulles, Assistant Director for Policy Coordination, Directorate of Plans Frank Wisner, Deputy Director for Intelligence Loftus Becker, Special Assistant to the Director Stuart Hedden, Deputy Director for Administration Col. Lawrence Kermit White, Assistant to the Director Robert E. Long]

c. [Smith] Referred to a memorandum prepared by DD/I [Loftus Becker] on the British attitude on the Iran situation, noting that our intelligence people feel that the British attitude is a bit too defeatist and that in fact there is some nationalism left in the National Front. [Memo “not found” by the State Dept. Historian, though it may be this Official Diary entry] Mr. Becker observed that in his view Mossadeq, far from being unbalanced, is “crazy like a fox”. The Director noted that Mossadeq and the National Front are the only anti-Communist forces left in Iran. In his view, given the lack of a strong military figure around whom a coup might be engineered, the only real chance for forestalling Communist moves lay in a change in dynasty, something which might be brought about by letting the stronger tribal leaders have a whack at the royal power.

[Annotations by Arash Norouzi]

• Source: Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952–1954, Iran, 1951–1954 (2017)

“Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Director of Intelligence, Job 80B01676R, Box 23, Folder 10, Minutes of Deputies’ Meetings. Top Secret; Security Information. Drafted by Long” — State Dept. Office of the Historian.




Ayatollah Kashani’s Threat to Mossadegh | CIA, Sept. 1952
The assassination of Iranian Premier Ali Razmara — March 1951

Search MohammadMossadegh.com



Related links:

CIA: Mossadegh “Crazy Like A Fox”, Willing To Deal With U.S. | July 30, 1952

Political Prospects In Iran | CIA Report, July 29, 1953

Loy Henderson’s “Depressing” 2½-Hour Talk With Mossadegh | July 28, 1952



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

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