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.
















the Creation, Hamish Hamilton, 1970 Afrasiyabi, Bahram, Khaterat va Mobarezat-e Doktor Hossein Fatemi, Entesharat-e Sokhan, 1987 Afshar, Iraj (ed.) Taqrirat-e Mossadegh dar Zendan, compiled by Jalil Buzorgmehr, Entesharat-e Farhang-e Iranzamin, 1980 — and Salour, Massoud (eds), Rooznameh-ye Khaterat-e Ayn al-Saltaneh, Entesharat-e Ferdowsi, 2001 — (ed.) Mossadegh va Masael-e Huquq va Siyasat, Entesharat-e Sokhan, 2003 — Zendegi-ye Tufani: Khaterat-e Seyyed Hassan Taqizadeh, Elmi, 2003

the mercy of distant suppliers. ‘To commit the Navy irrevocably to oil’, as Churchill put it, ‘was indeed to “take arms against a sea of troubles”.’ And yet, if that could be achieved, the navy would gain a new potency. ‘Mastery itself was the prize of the venture.’1 Once Churchill had taken his decision, it was vital to ensure that the Royal Navy would have as dependable a supply of oil as possible. If Anglo-Persian was to be swallowed up, why should the British government not do the

was his cousin) to consult him on whether he should attend the decisive session. Mossadegh compared a parliamentary deputy to a gunner who is paid on the understanding that he will fire his cannon if the country comes under threat. In the same way, Mossadegh continued, the deputy is expected to defend the constitution. His resolve stiffened, Mostowfi joined Mossadegh at the parliament building. Inside the chamber the usual spectators were conspicuous by their absence. Their places had been taken

would not go. The policemen kicked him and the old man shouted, ‘Whatever the government wants to do to me, it should do it right here!’ He hurled himself onto the ground and the policemen dragged him towards the car. Mossadegh gripped onto the wheels of the car, but they prised his hands off the tyres and shoved him in with a cop on either side. Crouching behind the hedge across the road, Mossadegh’s family watched, stupefied and appalled. He tried to commit suicide as he was driven east,

the previous night, but his resolve stiffened when the chief of police threatened violence if he went ahead. ‘We will endure whatever befalls us,’ Mossadegh replied. Several thousand people thronged the area around 109 Palace Street when Mossadegh came out to march the few hundred yards to the palace gates. Kashani’s supporters yelled religious slogans but Mossadegh ordered them to stop. ‘Silence is our slogan!’ he announced through a megaphone. In this way he was able to camouflage the

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