October 11, 1954
Iran Dooms Aide of Mossadegh for Role in Revolt Against Shah
By KENNETT LOVE
EHERAN, Iran, Oct. 10 -- Dr. Hossein Fatemi, once one of the most powerful men in Iran as former Premier Mohammed Mossadegh's Foreign Minister, was condemned to death today for rebellion against the monarchy.
Two other former associates of the imprisoned Dr. Mossadegh, who were tried with the 37-year-old Dr. Fatemi by a secret court-martial, were sentenced to life imprisonment. They are Dr. Ali Shayegan, 54, former parliamentary spokesman for Dr. Mossadegh and one of his most influential advisers, and Ahmad Razavi, 49, former Deputy Speaker in the Majlis (lower house of Parliament) and a leader of Dr. Mossadegh's National Front.
The burden of the Government's accusations against the three men concerned their roles in four turbulent days that ended Aug. 19, 1953, with the overthrow of the Mossadegh Government in a Royalist uprising.
The period began at midnight Aug. 15, when the palace guard arrested Dr. Fatemi and others and attempted to deliver to Dr. Mossadegh the royal decree dismissing him. The Premier's forces seized the palace guardsmen, released Dr. Fatemi and described the incident as an attempted coup.
Shah Mohammed Riza Pahlovi left the country by air the following day, to return after Dr. Mossadegh had been overthrown. Dr. Fatemi took the lead in launching unbridled attacks on the Shah and the court in speeches and in his newspapers Bakhtar Emruz, which was regarded as an organ of the Mossadegh Government. He described the court as a "brothel" and called the Shah a traitor and a fugitive.
Dr. Fatemi, who went into hiding when the Royalist uprising placed Maj. Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi in the Premiership, was arrested March 13. Shortly after the arrest he nearly was killed when a mob rushed his police guards and stabbed him and beat him with nail-spiked clubs.
The three men sentenced today, all of whom have said they would appeal, were tried under Article 317 of the Army Criminal Code. The Government prosecutor said the code applied because the offenses were committed while Teheran was under martial law.
The article says: "Whoever commits an offense the purpose of which is to disrupt the Government, break the succession of the monarchy or incite the people to rebellion against the monarchy will be condemned to death."
Brig. Gen. Hossein Azmoudeh, the army prosecutor, said tonight that Dr. Fatemi had admitted all the offenses charged and had told the court he repented. He was reported to have asked clemency. Dr. Shayegan and Razavi were said to have maintained that their arrests were illegal because they were members of Parliament and had immunity.
Dr. Fatemi and Dr. Shayegan are regarded as having exercised an almost sinister degree of influence over Dr. Mossadegh, reinforced by the fact that the former Premier preferred to remain in bed and thus was out of direct contact with events. Dr. Mossadegh also has been convicted of rebellion and is appealing his three-year sentence.