49th Death Anniversary of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
5th March (Esfand 14/15) is Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh's death annivesary, who is considered a national hero of Iran by many for his efforts in nationalizing the country's oil industry.
Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh (19 May 1882 – 5 March 1967) was a lawyer, professor, author, Governor, Parliament member, Finance Minister, Defense Minister, and democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran.
Mossadegh fought both internal corruption and British colonialism, enacted social reforms and nationalized the Iranian oil industry.
In 1953, he was overthrown by a British-American coup, arrested and tried as a traitor in military tribunal court. It was the CIA's first successful dismantling of a foreign government.
"There is no better way to govern Iran than democracy and social justice!" - Mohammad Mossadegh
Mohammad Mosaddegh died on March 5, 1967 at the age of 84.
For over a century, the people of Iran have struggled to achieve freedom and self-determination. From the foreign transgressions of Russia, Britain and America, to the despotic rulers whom they supported, Iran has long been treated as a chess board of the great world powers.
In the dawn of the 20th century, Iran's Constitutional Revolution achieved a system of constitional monarchy akin to the European monarchies of England and Belgium. However, their gains were trampled by subsequent Qajar dynasty kings and the British supported Reza Shah, the founder of Pahlavi dynasty. After the abdication of Reza Shah in 1941 at the behest of Russia and Britain, and placement of his son, Mohammad Reza, to the throne, a degree of the constitutional rule was restored mainly with the efforts of many progressive political activists led by the nationalistMohammad Mossadegh.
In 1951, Mossadegh was overwhelmingly elected by deputies of the Majles [Iranian parliament] as Prime Minister. To pursue the goals of independence, democracy and improving the lot of his people, Mossadegh nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP - British Petroleum), thus putting an end to outright looting of the country's main natural resource by the British.
This action led to a confrontation with the British colonial power and duplicitous American government. Together, they plotted to remove Mossadegh by any means possible-including cold blooded murder.
On August 19, 1953 a CIA plan, OPERATION AJAX, was put into operation, thus savagely eliminating Mossadegh's government, the most democratic and popular government in Iranian history.
On 19 December 1953, defending himself against the treason charge, he said:
“ Yes, my sin — my greater sin and even my greatest sin is that I nationalized Iran's oil industry and discarded the system of political and economic exploitation by the world's greatest empire. This at the cost to myself, my family; and at the risk of losing my life, my honor and my property. With God's blessing and the will of the people, I fought this savage and dreadful system of international espionage and colonialism .... I am well aware that my fate must serve as an example in the future throughout the Middle East in breaking the chains of slavery and servitude to colonial interests.”
On 21 December 1953, he was sentenced to death but his sentence was later commuted to three years' solitary confinement in a military prison. He was kept under house arrest at his Ahmadabad residence, until his death, on 5 March 1967.
"It's a sad story that really began in the 1950's..."
- President Bill Clinton
"Why did we, our government, help overthrow Mossadegh in 1953? It had to do with oil. So our foreign policy is designed to protect our oil interests."
- Congressman Ron Paul
"Lord knows what we'd do without Iranian oil."
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower
"In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government."
- President Barack Obama
"[T]hat was a disruption of what could have and should've been a natural development of democracy with Iran..."
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
"Iran had a democratic government which was overthrown because of oil."
- Congressman Dennis Kucinich
"Iran is a clear example of the West trumping basic democratic and human values to address its short-term political and economic goals."
- Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
"That's ancient history..."
- President Jimmy Carter
*Links for Further Reading:
*Iran's 1953 Coup d'Etat: 62 Years Later: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran-s-1953-Coup-d-Etat-60-Years-Later.htm
*August 19th, 1953 Coup: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/New_Contemporary_History_August_19th_1953_Coup.htm
*CIA Confirms Role in 1953 Iran Coup: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/CIA-Confirms-Role-in-1953-Iran-Coup.htm
*30 Tir Uprising: Mossadegh or Death: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/30-Tir-Uprising-Mossadegh-or-Death-.htm