Patriot of Persia: Muhammad Mossadegh and a Tragic Anglo-American Coup

Patriot of Persia: Muhammad Mossadegh and a Tragic Anglo-American Coup

Christopher de Bellaigue

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 0061844713

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Economist’s Tehran correspondent Christopher de Bellaigue brings to light the never-before-told full story of one of the great anti-colonial heroes of the twentieth century: Muhammad Mossadegh, the great Iranian leader whose untimely demise resulted in the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and a man who has been demonized, ridiculed, and misunderstood in the West while remaining an icon and an inspiration across the Middle East. Patriot of Persia, the first biography exploring his life and impact, opens a crucial new window into Mossadegh—whose role in the evolution of Iran’s political climate cannot be overemphasized—providing a resource that will prove equally invaluable to academics, newshounds, and activists as they struggle to understand Mideast politics, Iran, Ahmadinejad, and the future of the region—and the world.

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PATRIOT OF PERSIA Muhammad Mossadegh and a Tragic Anglo-American Coup CHRISTOPHER DE BELLAIGUE Epigraph Author’s note Persia is the old European name for Iran. Iran is an even older, indigenous name. In the 1930s Reza Shah told foreigners to stop using the name Persia, but some ignored him. Later on his son Muhammad-Reza Shah revoked the ban. It is now customary for Iranians and foreigners alike to refer to the country as Iran, although some Iranians living outside the country

Karakas: Naft va Siyasat da Iran, Nashr-e Tarikh-e Iran, 1994 Farmanfarmaian, Manucher and Roxane, Blood and Oil: Memoirs of a Persian Prince, Random House, 1997 Fateh, Mustafa, Panjah Sal-e Naft-e Iran, Payam, 1979 Ferrier, R.W., History of the British Petroleum Company (Vol. 1): The Developing Years, 1901–1932, Cambridge University Press, 1982 Feuvrier, Dr, Trois ans à la cour de Perse, F. Juven (no date) Ford, Alan W., The Anglo-Iranian Oil Dispute of 1951–52: A Study of the Role of Law

attempt to block renegotiated agreement with AIOC, 133; protests against 1949 rigged elections, 135–41; sets up National Front, 139; placed under house arrest after Hazhir’s assassination, 140; coalition with Kashani, 141–2; political concerns, 144; disrupts Razmara’s premiership, 146–7, 148–9; calls for oil nationalisation, 150–1; and Razmara’s assassination, 151–3; becomes PM, 156–7; British reaction, 159–62; and takeover of AIOC facilities, 164–5; reaction to world embargo on Iranian oil,

royalty of thirty shillings a ton, nearly double the amount Iran stood to earn under the supplemental agreement. By now, Sir William Fraser had grumpily endorsed advances of almost £30m and no longer excluded discussion of the 50:50 principle. But his concessions came too late. By October 1950, when the nationalists launched impeachment proceedings against Razmara, few public figures in Iran referred to the AIOC without attaching an acid epithet – ‘usurping’ was one, ‘marauding’ another – while

when haste was required, and receiving a delegation of nationalist deputies. The Shah had only reluctantly acquiesced to Qavam’s premiership and would not spend political capital helping him to a position from which he could challenge the throne. Events leaped forward, with Kashani as the spur. On July 19 the ayatollah declared a jihad against Qavam’s government, by whose pernicious agency ‘the foreigners are resolved to take an axe to religion and freedom and independence’. Tehran was filling

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