IV. THE DECISIONS ARE MADE: ACTIVITY BEGINS, OVERTHROW OF PREMIER MOSSADEQ OF IRAN (CIA Secret Report)

November 1952-August 1953
IV.  THE DECISIONS ARE MADE:  ACTIVITY BEGINS

 

There were no redactions in this section.
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IV.  THE DECISIONS ARE MADE:  ACTIVITY BEGINS


     Since the meetings at Beirut and London had taken

such a relatively short time, there was not too much that

Headquarters could do in the interval from the time of

Roosevelt's departure until his return.  Progress had,

however, been made in setting up a specific and close

liaison with the State Department.  The fact that an oper-

ational plan was being prepared was already known to a very

restricted number of individuals in the State Department,*

and it should be noted that the security there seems to

have been excellent up to the time of the event.

     The Greece-Turkey-Iran (GTI) office of the Department

of State presented its informed opinion in two papers:  one

was a top secret paper of 6 June 1953 entitled, "Proposal

to Bring about a Change of Government in Iran" and the

other a top secret undated GTI memorandum on the subject,

"Measues which the United States Government might take

in support of a successor government to Mossadeq."

_______________________

*
 Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles
 Under Secretary of State, General Walter Bedell Smith
 Deputy Under Secretary of State, Harrison Freeman Matthews
 Assistant Secretary of State/NEA, Mr. Henry A. Byroade
 Deputy Assistant Secretary of State/NEA, mr. John Durnford
     Jernagan
 Liaison, Mr. James Lampton Berry


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     It was not the task of officers of the State Department

to obtain high level decisions on the plan.  However, the

State Department did assert that, prior to acceptance of

the plan, assurance must be forthcoming from the British

that they would be flexible in their approach to the govern-

ment that succeeded Mossadeq as far as the oil question was

concerned.

     Mr. Leslie Herbert Mitchell, UK Embassy officer (SIS

representative) charged with liaison with the Agency, con-

cerned himself with this point and did expedite the required

assurances from the British Government.  These assurances

took the form of a foreign office memorandum presented by

British Ambassador to the United Staes, Roger Mellor Makins,

to Under Secretary of State Smith on 23 July 1953.  (Copy

attached as Appendix C.)  Also the Department of State wanted

to satisfy itself that an adequate amount of interim economic

aid would be forthcoming to the successor government before

it would finally approve decisive action.

     During this same period discussions between Agency

officers and Ambassador Henderson (in Washington, having

arrived on consultation 3 June) began 8 June.  (This is

recorded in a memorandum of conversation contained in

TPAJAX files.)  The Ambassador appeared to backtrack some-

what from his earlier opinion that the premise of the plan


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that the Shah would cooperate was fallacious, and that

the Shah would not issue a firman naming Zahedi unless

in response to a vote of inclination by the Majlis.  The

Ambassador, who was always thoroughly cooperative, was

absorbed in a search for constructive suggestions and

willingly agreed to delay his return to Tehran by arrang-

ing a prolonged visit in Europe.  From the standpoint of

the plan it was not considered advisable to have the

Ambassador in Tehran when the final operation was under-

taken.  In addition, his continued absence was thought to

be an importan factor in the war of nerves which was to

be conducted against Mossadeq.

     The following approvals of the operational plan were

obtained on the dates indicated:

          Director CIA             - 11 July 1953
          Director SIS             -  1 July 1953
          Foreign Secretary        -  1 July 1953
          Secretary of State       - 11 July 1953
          Prime Minister           -  1 July 1953
          President                - 11 July 1953

     Pending final approval or disapproval of the opera-

tional plan, the station was carrying forward activities

already authroized toward the achievement of the goal.

In addition to the general authorization of April enabling

the Tehran Station to spend up to $1,000,000 in covert

activity in support of Zahedi, the station on 20 May was


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specifically authorized to spend one million rials a week

(rate of 90 rials to the US dollar) in purchasing the

cooperation of members of the Iranian Majlis.

     On or about the end of June the station had established

direct contact with the Rashidian brothers and was prepared

to instruct them as their role and those of their con-

tacts in the development of the operation.

     At Headquarters two groups were organized within the

NE/4 Branch on 22 June in support of Tehran Station opera-

tional preparations.  One group, headed by Carroll who had

returned from Nicosia in mid-June, was to make an exhaustive

study of the military aspects of the overthrow operation.

(Carrol's final report on the military aspect of TPAJAX

planning is attached as Appendix D.)  The intent was to

present Zahedi and his chosen military secretariat with a

concrete plan for their modification or improvement.  It

was felt that every effort should be made to bring the

rather long-winded and often illogical Persians into a

position where each one knew exactly what specific action

was required of him.  The soundness of this feeling was

demonstrated when the failure of the Persians to maintain

security resulted in the initial breakdown.  The other

group, headed by Wilber, assumed responsibility for the

psychological warfare phases of the plan.  Overall direction


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of these groups and of relations with the field station

were in the hands of Mr. John Henry Waller, head of NE/4

Branch.

     Carroll left for Tehran in mid-July.  He stopped over

at London to discuss his military plan with SIS Officer

Norman Darbyshire and finally reached Tehran on 21 July.

Wilber's group sent guidance cables and dispatches to the

station, all intended to flesh up the skeleton of psycho-

logical operations as presented in the plan itself.  In

the meantime a considerable number of anti-Mossadeq articles

were written or outlined by the group while the CIA Art

Group was given constant guidance in its preparation of a

large number of anti-Mossadeq cartoons and broadsheets.  In

addition, these artists did an effective drawing for a wall

poster showing Zahedi being presented to the Iranian people

by the Shah.  Written and illustrative material piled up

rapidly, and on 19 July a special courier took it all to

Tehran.  On 22 July the station began to distribute the

material to several agents.  What happened to this mate-

rial will be described in later pages.

     By the time that the go-ahead had been received from

all parties involved, the NEA Division had picked out

qualified individuals for special assignments connected

with the project:  Mr. Roosevelt, Chief, NEA, was to be


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field commander in Tehran; John H. Leavitt, NEA/CPP, was

to go to Nicosia to be in contact and liaison with the SIS

station and to maintain the three-way wireless contact estab-

lished earlier; while Colonel Stephen Johnson Meads drew

the job of representing the Agency in meetings in Paris with

Princess Ashraf, energetic twin sister of the Shah.  Mr.

Joseph C. Goodwin, Chief of Station in Tehran, was to act

for purposes of TPAJAX as chief of staff to the field com-

mander, Mr. Roosevelt.  Mr. George Carroll, Chief FI Tehran,

was given the military planning responsibility first in

Washington, then in Tehran.  Dr. Donald Wilber was charged

throughout the operation with the propaganda aspects of the

plan and worked closely with the CIA Art Group in the prepa-

ration of propaganda material.  Mr. John Waller, just having

returned from service as Chief FI, Tehran, was charged with

the Headquarters support responsibilities during TPAJAX and

maintained the required liaison with the Departments of

State and Defense.  Although not present in Tehran for the

final implementation of TPAJAX, Mr. Roger Goiran, previous

Chief of Station Tehran, directed the early stages and

preliminaries of the operation in Tehran.  It should be here

noted that Mr. Goiran, more than any other officer, was

responsible for having developed, over a five-year period,

station assets which proved valuable and necessary to the

operation.


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