Tragic Symbol
December 23, 1953 — Los Angeles Times

The Mossadegh Project | January 3, 2022                    


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

An editorial following the verdict of the trial of ex-Premier Mossadegh in The Los Angeles Times newspaper (California). After his release from prison in 1956, Mossadegh was condemned to lifetime house arrest.




Mossadegh’s Sentence for Treason

Still weeping, shouting and protesting the outrage of it all, Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh has been found guilty of treason and sentenced to three years solitary confinement by a military tribunal in Teheran.

The young Shah, who at the end of World War II permitted the old man to return from exile, intervened again to soften the sentence from the death penalty demanded by the prosecution. [Mohammad Reza Pahlavi] Politicians who fall from favor in Moslem lands are sometimes assassinated but seldom put to death and the outcome of the Mossadegh trial was not unexpected. [Mossadegh’s house arrest ended at the beginning of WWII following the occupation of Iran by allied forces and the abdication of Reza Shah]

Mossadegh in a way has provided a tragic symbol of the instability and irrationality of his ancient land, a patriot who made strange alliances in his rise to power but tumbled when events he had set in motion upset the delicate equilibrium of internal and external forces by which Iran exists.

The possibility of a rapprochement with Britain on the oil question seems a little closer under the new military regime, but this situation can change overnight as it did with the assassination) of Iran’s last military Premier, Gen. Razmara. [Ali Razmara] On the other hand, the new regime of Gen. Zahedi, [Fazlollah Zahedi] with the Shah as constitutional figurehead, is not likely to cotton to the Communists to the extent that Mossadegh was obliged to on occasion. [Oh! So the Shah is merely a figurehead?]

The Tudeh (Communist) troublemakers in Iran found Dr. Mossadegh useful but expendable. Whether any more support for his National Front movement remains latent in the population may be demonstrated in the new Majlis (Parliament) elections which the Shah has ordered. To western eyes Mossadegh has not made a very convincing martyr but his countrymen may see it differently, as they do most things.


SENTENCED TO HANG: Mossadegh’s Contrived Death Verdict
SENTENCED TO HANG: Mossadegh’s Media-Contrived Death Verdict

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Related links:

Mossadegh the Cookie Nibbler | St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 14, 1954

In Defense Of Mossadegh | Letter to Editor, Detroit Free Press (Dec. 11, 1953)

America’s Role in Iran | Letter to Los Angeles Times, March 16, 1980



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

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