PROSPECTS FOR SURVIVAL OF MOSSADEQ REGIME IN IRAN

Created: 10/14/1952

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StCUfOir INfOHWAItON

FOR THE PRESIDENT OP THE UNITED STATES

SPECIAL ESTIMATE

PROSPECT'S FOR SURVIVAL OF MOSSADEQ REGIME IN IRAN

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

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PROSPECTS FOR SURVIVAL OF MOSSADEQ REGIME IN IRAN'

CONCLUSIONS

On the basis of available evidence vc believe that the Mossadeq Oovemment can survive at least for the next six months unless Ill-health or deathMossadeq from the Iranianscene.

f Kashanl should come to power, the most probable result would be thedeterioration of Iran, possibly leading to the eventual assumption of power by the Tudeh.

Oil Issue

s. An early settlement of the oil dispute with the UK is unlikely Political forces which Mossadeq himself encouraged tn the past now require him to insist upon greater concessions than the British have given any indication of findcceptable. On the other hand. Mos-sadeq's prestige would be greatly enhanced if he succeeded In effecting the sale of oil despite the British boycott.

Tht Economic S'luolion

he loss of oil revenues has not seriously damaged the Iranian economy, primarilyof an excellent harvest, although there have been some prke increases, curtailment of urban business activities, and reduction ofHowever, the financial position of the government has been seriously affected.the government restores revenues from the sale of oil, substantial budgetary cuts and' or extensive Internal borrowing and further currency expansion are inevitable.

Foctori of Political Power

. Recent events have producedchanges ln the traditional factors ofpower in Iran.ractical matter, the Shah has almost completely lost his capability fcr Independent action, butseful tool for Mossadeq. should need arise. Thedominant landowning class has also lost political initiative. The Armed Forces, If given effective direction, are probably capable of coping with any type of domesticpresently foreseeable We do not believe that their effectiveness has beenreduced by Mossadeq's changes In the high command Mossadeq's popular prestige makes him still the dominant political force in Iran.

ajor threat to Mossadeq's continued control over the heterogeneous NaUonal Front arises from the activities of Mullah Kashanl. ambitious Moslem leader.xtreme Intransigrance on the oil Issue and hisdemands for the termlnaUon of all foreign Interference In Iran severely limit Mossadeq's freedom of action He hasseparated many National Frontfrom Mossadeq. Although Kashanl has expressed optimism publicly with respect

to his ability to control Tudeh. he Ls basically opposed to their suns, probably can neigh With shrewdness and accuracy the potential value and danger lo him of Tudeh support, and is not likely under piesent conditions to seek their help

e. While the Tudeh Party has become stronger In recent months, it Is almostIncapable by Itself of overthrowing the government by force or subversion at present Although Ihe Tudeh Party hasignificant degree of favorableopinion, and has the cooperation of the USSR, it sllllegal status and the power In the Majlis and control of the key Cabinet positions which would be necessary to take over the government by constitutional means. The Tudeh Parly will, however,support Kashanl In the belief that if Kashani were tn power Its opportunities for taking over the country would be Improved.

Likelihood ol on Attempt to Overthrow Mosiodeq

B. Since Mossadeq's return to power In2 there have been continuous reports of plots to overthrow him Kashanl and Army officers are frequently mentioned as leaders, but the repoi ts conflict on matters of essential detail. It docs not seem likely that Kashani will seek to replace Mossadeq so long as no clear issues of disagreement arise between them, so long as his influence on Mossadeq remains strong, and so long as Mossadeq Is willing to assume responsibility. So farilitary coup Is concerned, we have no evl-tience to Indicate that any group of officers has the capability which the initiationuccessful coup would require.

Proboble Outcome of on Attempt to Overthrow Moitodtq

n the event that an attempt Is made to overthrow Mossadeq, the following means are available:

o. Violent Means:

L Militaryilitary coup against Mossadeq Is not likely lo succeed becausehas had the opportunity to eliminate elements in the Army hostile to him, and none of the Army personnel reported as currently being Involved in plots against Mossadeq are believed to have the prestige or Influence lo obtain the necessary support from the Army.

ii. Mobontest in the streets between the forces supporting Mossadeq and Kashanl would be bitter and destructive. Thef forces would depend In large part on the specific issues involved at the time the rioting broke out If there shouldrea'< now between Mossadeq and Kashanl, wethat Mossadeq could rally greater forces than Kashanl. The lineup would probably be as follows:

Mossadeq: the bulk of theFront rank and file in the cities; Dr. Baghal's Iranian Workers' Party with their organised street-fighting forces; the Somka (Fascist) Party, provided the TudehKashanl; the Pan Iranian Party; and the Army and part of the Police Force,they were given specific and direct nrders.

Kashani: his followers In theFront; the Bazaar mobs and the bands organized by his son; the Fedayan terrorist organization of Moslemthe Tudeh and Its various subsidiaries; and possibly some support from the tribes if the Army sided with Mossadeq.

Hi. Assassination: Assassination of Mos* sadeq would probably result in the accession to power of Kashanl. (Note: Kashanl would probably also come to power if Mossadeq should retire oratural death)

b. Constitutional means: An attempt may be made to overthrow Mossadeq after the Majlis reconvenesctober. It appears unlikely that Kashanl could persuade the Majlis lo vote to oust Mossadeq in view of the absence of any issue which could serveasis for attacking Mossadeq. theat Mossadeq's disposal for controlling the deliberations of the Majlis and Mossadeq's record as champion of nationalist aspirations. Moreover. Mossadeq in opposition wouldmuch of the strength which enabled him to regain power Innd his, return to office would not be unlikely.

Consequences ol the Assumption of Power by Kasha ni

8 If Kashanl were to come to poaer. thr con sequences would depend upon theof the take-over and upon the group or groups supporting him at that time. Kashanl might come to power by:

ote of the Majlis unseating Mossadeq.

t> Assuming control over another Nations! Front regime If Mossadeq were removed from the political scene

eal with the Tudeh Party by which Tudeh was given representation In the gov-eminent.

oalition wilh various disgruntled Army leadersonservative elements.

If Kashsm should come to power, thenet result In Iran wouldituation worse for Western Interests than the current one. The regime would be more difficult than the present one to deal with on the oil dispute and more resistant to all Western Influence The effectiveness of the government and the security forces would decline, as would the economic situation. There Is no assurance that the regime would not be overthrown by Mossadeq. by internal dissension, or by acoup, with trend changes w* cannot presently predict. However, the probable ultimate consequenceashanl regime would be the progressive genera) deUrtoration of Iran possibly leading to the eventual assumption of power by the Tudeh.

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