Shah To Swap Out Premiers?
National Security Council Briefing | Jan. 13, 1955

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project
| December 6, 2017     


Manouchehr Eghbal In April 1955, shortly after this NSC briefing was typed up, Premier Fazlollah Zahedi was sacked as predicted. Manouchehr Eghbal, a former physician who had held various cabinet posts, appeared to be waiting in the wings.

Zahedi was replaced by court minister Hossein Ala instead. Eghbal ended up being appointed two years later, and though he lasted over three years in office — an unusually long period for the time — he eventually resigned in disgrace amid controversy over corruption and election tampering.

“When he became prime minister in [April] 1957”, observed the CIA in 1972, “he disappointed many of his supporters by being a complete yes-man for the Shah. From a personal point of view, however, this was a wise decision; his subsequent career has been notably successful.” 1




NSC BRIEFING                          SECRET                          13 January 1955

SITUATION IN IRAN

I. Political situation generally stable; nevertheless,

II. Shah may appoint new prime minister in spring.

    A. Shah keeping tight grip on government even during US trip. Distrusts Zahedi, often saying would like to remove him. [Premier Fazlollah Zahedi]

    B. Zahedi has not won popular support due failure to push reforms; widespread corruption in his government.

III. Shah’s next premier possibly Manuchehr Eqbal [Manouchehr Eghbal]

    A. Senator Eqbal just “elected” chancellor of Tehran University--result of Shah’s direct intervention.

    B. Eqbal can thus catch public eye by anti-Communist campaign at Tudeh-infested university. [“Tudeh-infested”? Hardly.]

IV. Under Eqbal or any Shah-dominated prime minister, Iran would continue pro-West.

Document was declassified by the CIA on August 30, 2000.

1 Centers of Power in Iran, May 1972 CIA Intelligence Report

Situation In Iran | NSC Briefing, Jan. 13, 1955




Related links:

“The Shah Is Tired Of Being Treated Like A Schoolboy” (1966)

Gen. Zahedi Another Praiseworthy Retiring Premier | Buffalo Courier-Express (April 1955)

Iran’s Young Shah Casts Lots With The West | UPI, Oct. 12, 1955



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