August 21, 1953
Mossadegh Quits Teheran Hideout; Is Held for Trial
By KENNETT LOVE
EHERAN, Iran, Aug. 20--Former Premier Mohammed Mossadegh surrendered at 7 o'clock tonight to his successor, Maj. Gen. Fazollah Zahedi. He was accompanied by three of the top aides of his regime.
The surrender completed the Royalist victory won yesterday when pro-Shah mobs, joined by troops who defied their commanders, swept General Zahedi into power after nine hours of bloody street fighting. The victory cost an estimated 300 lives.
[The Shah departed from Rome by plane Friday to return to Teheran, ending a brief exile.]
Dr. Mossadegh surrendered just twenty-four hours after he had fled his fortified home, which fell to Royalist attackers at the end of a two-hour street tank duel.
Twelve hours before the surrender the Zahedi Government broadcast an order to the former Premier to present himself to the military governor or to the police within twenty-four hours. It was a reversal of roles. On Monday, Dr. Mossadegh broadcast an order to General Zahedi to surrender within twenty-four hours, and put a price of 100,000 rials (about $1,200) on his head.
Surrenders in Pajamas
An eyewitness to the surrender said the former Premier was wearing pajamas. The surrender took place in an emotion-charged scene in General Zahedi's office on the third floor of the Teheran Officers Club.
Dr. Mossadegh, who had eliminated all means of an orderly change in government and achieved dictatorial powers before his overthrow, telephoned General Zahedi at 6 P. M. offering to surrender. The general agreed and ordered the streets leading from Dr. Mossadegh's hideout in a private house in midtown Teheran to the Officers Club heavily guarded. Tanks patrolled the streets and machine guns were mounted on roofs along the route. The precautions were taken in accordance with Shah Mohammed Riza Pahlevi's strict orders to save his old foe from harm.
The three who surrendered with him were Safollah Moazami, former Minister of Posts and Telegraph; Dr. Ali Shayegan, Dr. Mossadegh's former spokesman in the Majlis (the lower house of Parliament) and a chief adviser, and Dr. Gholam Hussein Sadighi, former Minister of the Interior.
The deposed Premier was driven into the courtyard of the Officers Club and then helped from his automobile. He appeared tired and depressed. He emerged from the car, leaning heavily upon a yellow malacca cane. The soldiers on duty at the club saluted and he returned the salutes. Then he was helped to the elevator, which took him to the third floor.
General Zahedi showed the utmost respect to his former chief, who was near tears, eyewitnesses reported. After a twenty-minute session in General Zahedi's office, the former Premier and his aides were taken to comfortable rooms in the club.
In striking contrast to the manner of Dr. Mossadegh's radio broadcasts following the alleged Royalist "coup" of Saturday night, the Radio Teheran announcement of the arrests referred to the former Premier and his aides as "their excellencies."
The Shah had sent strict orders from Rome to protect the life of Dr. Mossadegh, according to a broadcast, and General Zahedi had authorized an announcement that the utmost care would be taken to protect him until his "fate was decided by the people."
There was no word as to the fate of Hossein Fatemi, the Foreign Minister and one of the extreme nationalists in the old government, who was reported both to have escaped and to have been "torn to pieces" by the mob that stormed and sacked his newspaper office.
Pro-Shah Rallies Continue
The day saw pro-Shah demonstrations continue to mushroom throughout the city. General Zahedi broadcast a personal appeal to the people to cease such activity on the ground the demonstrations could be used by the Tudeh (Communist) party and other extremist groups to form pro-Mossadegh units.
The demonstrations, led by trucks and buses loaded to the fenders and the roofs with cheering Shah's men, continued despite the plea and military orders banning the assembly of more than three persons. Virtually all shops remained closed, with their corrugated iron blinds locked down over the windows, as is customary during street turbulence. The Government had requested them to reopen today.
Brig. Gen. Nader Batmanghelitch, the new Chief of Staff, ordered the troops occupying the city to break up the demonstrations, but the soldiers did not molest any group carrying the Shah's portraits.
Many patrols stopped autos and ordered them to turn on their lights. Burning headlights yesterday became a signal the driver was for the Shah. Virtually all headlights were burning today.
Security orders issued included the closing of Iran's borders to auto travel. This evidently was an attempt to prevent fugitive members of Mossadegh's Cabinet from escaping.
General Zahedi continued to form his Government. Maj. Gen. Mohammed Ali Vosoogh was reported appointed Deputy Minister of National Defense and Hessam Dowlatabadi the Premier's assistant. Brig. Gen. Mohammed Daftari, a nephew of Dr. Mossadegh, became Chief of Police of the new Government yesterday. Brig. Gen. Dadstan was named Military Governor of Teheran.
Ali Heyat was sent to Shiraz, the capital of the southeast province of Fars, to replace Farma Farmayan as Governor General. Farmayan and Dr. Mossadegh are relatives and Fars is a stamping ground of the powerful and violently pro-Mossadegh Ghashghal tribe. It had been rumored Dr. Mossadegh was attempting to flee there.
A few signs of resistance remained. The chief of the extremist pro-Mossadegh Pan-Iranian party, Darioosh Foroohar, issued a manifesto ordering his followers to go underground and continue fighting. He himself was badly hurt yesterday when a solider hit him with his rifle-butt for shouting "Long live Mossadegh."
General Zahedi today broadcast to Iran's diplomatic missions abroad that Dr. Mossadegh's regime had offended formerly friendly foreign nations and that "We must compensate for the past." He requested all career men in the foreign service to remain at their posts.
Work went forward in cleaning up the wreckage caused by yesterday's fighting. At least nine buildings, including Dr. Mossadegh's home, were set afire by Royalist mobs in addition to assaults on Government centers. The office of the newspaper Bakhtar-e-Emruz, owned by Hossein Fatemi was burned to the ground, as were three other newspapers, including two Communist organs. A theatre and three pro-Mossadegh party headquarters also were burned.
Col. Nematollah Nasiri, commander of the Imperial Guard, who set off the chain of events Saturday night when he attempted to give Dr. Mossadegh the Shah's decree dismissing him, today was promoted to brigadier general. He had been arrested and charged with leading the "coup."