Donald N. Wilber and Operation Ajax.
A Detailed Account of the Overthrow of Mossadaq,
Prime Minister of Iran, and the Return
of the Young Shah to the Peacock Throne.
Donald N. Wilber was a principal in the CIA's overthrow of Iran's Prime Minister Mossadeq in 1953. He was also my friend, business partner, mentor on rugs and life, and something of a father figure. We often spent time together at various rug events around the world and had spent time in each others' homes. Don and Peg's house at 50 Wilson Rd. In Princeton, N. J. was thought to be a CIA asset. Svetlana (Stalin) Alliluyeva, Joseph Stalin's daughter, lived there for a while, courtesy of the Agency. Don made no secret of his CIA career nor of his role in Op AJAX.
While at a rug conference in the late 80s, I had retired to my hotel room at around 10:00 pm, opened a beer and was watching the news on TV. I heard a knock on the door. I asked who was there and the response was the unmistakeable sound of ice swirling in a cocktail shaker. It was Don in pajamas, bathrobe and slippers holding a Martini shaker. "I wasn't ready to go to bed and thought you might join me in a cocktail", he said. I quickly abandoned my beer, turned off the TV and heard Don's story of his journey across the Middle East in his woody Ford station wagon in the 1930s. That trip is mentioned in another article in this issue, but I got it nearly kilometer by kilometer, with such arcane detail as his observation of the Fordson ditch, or trail. Some years before Don's trip a Fordson tractor travelled a long distance in the desert cutting a straight ditch that would be an aid to aviators. It was all wonderful stuff.
We had one last martini, the ice having diluted the drinks a bit. I said, "I would like to hear about AJAX sometime." He said, "there is some detail I can't tell you, and a lot I have forgotten." Then he told me about the long memorandum he had written on AJAX for the Agency within a year after the event. I don't recall whether he said he was instructed to write this account or volunteered to do it. I think it would be well to tell of Don's attitude toward the Agency at the time of our conversation. He deeply resented the Agency's lack of support of the former Director, Richard Helms, who was under attack by a couple of governmental branches. He also bore resentment towards the Agency's shift from human intelligence (humint - people in the field) to more technical intelligence, spy satellites and the rest. He was most recently offended by the Agency's handling of the manuscript of his memoir, Adventures in the Middle East, Excursions and Incursions. On the grounds of revealing of tradecraft secrets, they were cutting long passages from the book. "Tradecraft!," Don would Harumph. "They thought I shouldn't tell of passing a message tucked into a book to an agent on the street. That's what they called ‘tradecraft'." Don was in high feather.
"Maybe you will get to read the paper sometime in the future," he offered. "I bet your paper is buried or burned or shredded, by now." I responded. "Oh, there are more than one copy about," Don said this with characteristic arched eyebrows. Don died in 1997. It was in 2000 that I heard his paper on AJAX had surfaced. Reference was made to it in a lengthy New York Times article, and the text of the paper was published on the Time's website. The text on the website had many redactions to protect the innocent and the guilty. A man named John Young was reading the text on the internet, using a slow, obsolete computer. He discovered that the names popped up a moment or so before the black-out bars covered them over. By hitting his "pause" button he could freeze the names. The Times says they have corrected the problem, but the cat was out of the bag and the full text of Don's paper is all over the internet, complete with many formerly redacted names, places, and organizations. Don would have loved all of this. In this iteration of Don's paper we have edited out what were once redacted names. We are sure these people are either all dead or retired to villas on the Riviera, but we don't want to bear responsibility for some one else's life or freedom. The names wouldn't mean anything to most readers, anyway.
A note on editing: We had edited Don's articles for 15 years and assisted in proof reading his last couple of books. The style of writing in the document below is very much Don's. We were surprised, however, at the number of typographical errors in it. Don's manuscripts that we have worked with were meticulous. In this piece letters in words were transposed, often the last letter of a word was dropped, and in a couple instances there were errors we have seen on optically scanned material; wire spelled wme, for example. It is possible that the material was scanned from a several generation photo copy. We have edited just for typos, not for content. We also have found the redactions to be erratic. At one point the Qashqa'i tribal lands are mentioned, then, later Qashqa'i was redacted, though from context, it was obvious that was the tribe referred to. Don was a great friend and champion of the Qashqa'i. The only time I saw him weep was when he learned an old friend, a great Qashqa'i Khan was executed. In this document, Don writes of himself in the third person.
CS Historical Paper No. 208
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HISTORIAN'S NOTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i
SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii
I. PRELIMINARY STEPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
II. DRAFTING THE PLAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
III. CONSOLIDATING THE OPERATIONAL PLAN . . . . . . . . . 12
IV. THE DECISIONS ARE MADE: ACTIVITY BEGINS . . . . . . 16
V. MOUNTING PRESSURE AGAINST THE SHAH . . . . . . . . . 22
VI. THE FIRST TRY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
VII. APPARENT FAILURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
VIII. "THE SHAH IS VICTORIOUS" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
IX. REPORT TO LONDON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
X. WHAT WAS LEARNED IN THE OPERATION . . . . . . . . . . 85
A Initial Operation Plan for TPAJAX, as Cabled from Nicosia to Headquarters on 1 June 1953
B "London" Draft of the TPAJAX Operational Plan
C Foreign Office Memorandum of 23 July 1953 from British Ambassador Wakins to under Secretary of State Smith
D Report on Military Planning Aspect of TPAJAX
E Military Critique - Lessons Learned from TPAJAX
re Military Planning Aspects of Coup d'Etat
Redactions in this section; shown by [ ].
The precise order of events of the night of 15 August 1953 has not yet been established in all detail. The early accounts of various participants differed widely enough to make it impossible to follow the slender thread of truth through the dark night. However, the main outline of this first try is clear, as are two basic facts connected with it. These facts are: that the plan was betrayed by the indiscretion of one of the Iranian Army officer participants--primarily because of the protracted delay--and that it still might have succeeded in spite of this advance warning had not most of the participants proved to be inept or lacking in decision at the critical juncture.
Not until the evening of 14 August were Tehran Station personnel informed that action had been postponed from that night until the next one. Station principal agent Colonel [[ ]] was no longer in touch with events and the station was unable to guide General [ ], [ ]'s Chief of Staff deisgnate--if, indeed, it was he who had assumed the main responsibility.
According to a statement by Mossadeq's Chief of Staff, General Tahi Riahi, he was informed of all the details of the "plot" at five in the afternoon of 15 August. But curiously enough--and according to his own account--he did not leave his house in Shimran, where National Frontists Zirakzadeh and Haqshenas were staying, until 2000 hours and then drove to staff headquarters in Tehran. Riahi did, however, order the commander of the 1st Armored Brigade to have the brigade ready at 2300 hours. At 2300 hours Riahi sent his deputy, General Kiani, to the Bagh-i-Shah, the army barracks on the western side of Tehran which included the barracks of the Imperial Guard. Kiani was arrested there by Colonel [ ] who had arrived at the Bagh-i-Shah sometime earlier with several officers who supported him.
In the meantime a number of truckloads of pro-Shah soldiers were making arrests. About 2330 hours they came to Riahi's house in Shimran and, finding him out, arrested Zirakzadeh and Haqshenas. Also about 2330 hours several officers and a considerable body of soldiers rushed into the home of Hoseyn Fatemi, Mossadeq's Foreign Minister, and took him away before he had a chance to put on his shoes. This meager haul of prisoners was driven to the guard house of the Imperial Palace (Saadabad) at Shimran.
Officers who were aware that Riahi had been alerted took no action, but others who were not, carried out their tasks.
Sometime before 2330 hours a limited attack had been made against the telepone system. Wires leading to the house of Fatemi and to the houses of others who were to be arrested were cut; the wires vetween GHQ (staff headquarters) and the Bagh-i-Shah were cut; and Colonel [ ] with a small armed force, occupied the telephone exchange in the Tehran bazaar.
When Riahi did not hear from General Kiani, who had gone to the Bagh-i-Shah, he (according to his own account) phoned Colonel Momtaz of the 2nd Mountain Brigade and Colonel Shahrokh of the 1st Armored Brigade and told them to take their forces to the Bagh-i-Shah. At or before this time he also alerted other officers, including Colonel Parsa of the 1st Mountain Brigade; Colonel Ashrafi, the Military Governor and Commanding Officer of the 3rd Mountain Brigade; and Colonel Novzari of the 2nd Armored Brigade. However, according to the accounts of [ ] men engaged in their operation, Momtaz and Shahrokh were arrested at the Bagh-i-Shah and held there with Kiani for some time.
Government sources differ in their accounts as to what happened when Colonel [ ] tried to deliver to Mossadeq the Shah's firman dismissing him. According to General Riahi, Colonel Momtaz was on his way to the Bagh-i-Shah when he ran into Colonel [ ] in the street and there- upon arrested him. According to the official communique of the Mossadeq government, [ ] showed up before Mossadeq's house at 0100 hours on 16 August with four trucks full of soldiers, two jeeps, and an armored car. He claimed that he had a letter to deliver to Mossadeq, but was at once arrested by the guards at the house of the Prime Minister.
[ ] [in clear] had still another version, claiming that  was arrested at 2350 hours at Mossadeq's house. After his arrest, [ ] is alleged to have said that a delay of two minutes in the arrival at Mossadeq's house of Lt. Colonel [ ] with two truckloads of soldiers caused the plan to fail.
It does seem fairly certain that Riahi had been able before midnight to get detachments of soldiers to the strategic points most likely to be attacked. Just what incident or what reaction on the part of Riahi and others loyal to Mossadeq caused the pro-[ ] officers to falter in their duties is not clearly known. It is known, however, that [ ]'s Chief of Staff, General [ ], lost heart and went into hiding. This undoubtedly did much to lower morale at the crucial time, as did the rapidly circu- lated word of [ ] arrest. Colonel [[ ]] went to the Chief of Staff's office at 0100 hours on the 16th to meet [ ] and it is known that General [ ] did approach the GHQ with the intention of taking it over but was frightened off when he saw tanks and troops in readiness. He then rushed to [ ] and told him to flee, but [ ] only laughed at him. Even(tually) the trucks with the prisoners had come down from Saadabad to the GHQ but, find- ing it in hostile hands, retreated to Sasdabad. Those in charge of the trucks released the prisoners at dawn.
[ ] waited in vain for an escort to come and conduct him to the Officers' Club. By about 0230 hours those Persians who were still willing to carry out the operation were con- vinced that the cause was lost, as they saw strengthened detachments, more troops moving into the city, and vehicles being stopped for questioning. [[ ]] and General [ ] themselves, toured the town about 0230 hours; then presumably separated, since [ ] was soon picked up, while [[ ]] found sanctuary in (CIA) station hands. At the Embassy the station personnel had spent a nerve-racking period of hours. The army radio-equipped jeep called for in the plan failed to arrive at the compound, and there was no way of knowing what was happening in the city.
VII. APPARENT FAILURE
At 0545 hours on the morning of 16 August 1953, Radio Tehran came on the air with a special government communique covering the so-called abortive coup of the night just ending, and by 0600 hours Mossadeq was meeting with his cabinet to receive reports on the situation and to take steps to strengthen the security forces at government buildings and other vital points. Again at 0730 hours the communique was broadcast.
Station personnel had passed an anxious, sleepless night in their offices. From the fact that certain actions provided for in the military plan failed to materialize-- no jeep with radio arrived at the compound, and the telephone system continued to function--it was obvious that something--or everything--had gone wrong. At 0500 hours, as soon as the curfew was lifted, Carroll toured the town and reported there was a concentration of tanks and troops around Mossadeq's house, and other security forces on the move. Then Colonel [[ ]] called the office to say that things had gone badly, and he, himself, was on the run toward the Embassy in search of refuge. At 0600 hours he appeared, gave a summary of the situation, which was like that of the government communique, and was rushed into hiding. The station was now suddenly faced with the task of rescuing the operation from total failure, and decisions of far-reaching effect were quickly taken. The first need was to establish contact with [ ], son of General [ ]. At 0800 hours he sent word to the station of his whereabouts, and Roosevelt drove up to Shimran--the summer resort section north of Tehran--to hear that [ ] and his father felt that there was still hope in the situation. It was immediately decided that a strong effort must be made to convince the Iranian public that [ ] was the legal head of the government and that Mossadeq was the usurper who had staged a coup. (It should be noted that all action taken from this time on corresponded to the basic estimate of the operational plan that the army would respond to the Shah if they were forced to a choice between the ruler and Mossadeq.) This action was initiated by employing station communications facilities to relay a message to the New York Associated Press (AP) office stating that: "Unofficial reports are current to the effect that leaders of the plot are armed with two decrees of the Shah, one dismissing Mossadeq and the other appointing General [ ] to replace him." In order to get an authoritative statement that could be distributed for local consumption, the station planned to send General McClure, head of the American Military Mission, to see the Shah and ask him whether the alleged firmans were valid. Later in the day it was learned that the Shah had fled.
By 0930 hours the city was calm, with shops opening and people going about their normal business. However, tanks, extra soldiers, and police were stationed at key points, including the royal palaces which were sealed off from outside contact. Rumors began to circulate. The one that gained early attention was to the effect that the alleged coup had been inspired by the government in order to give Mossadeq an excuse to move against the Shah. At about this time Roosevelt sent General McClure to see General Riahi, Chief of Staff, to ask whether the US Military Mission was still accredited to Mossadeq or someone else, as the Embassy had heard that an imperial firman had been issued naming [ ] as Prime Minister. Riahi denied that the firman had been "authentically signed" and stated that: "Iran and its people are more important than the Shah or any particular government," and that the army was "of the people and would support the people." It was not until a number of hours later that McClure reported to Roosevelt on this meeting, and from the time of the meeting on, McClure seemed disposed to go along with Riahi in the hope that Riahi himself might eventually try to overthrow Mossadeq.
It was now well into the morning, after the papers had been out for some time. Shojat, the substitute for the principal Tudeh paper, Besuye Ayandeh, had been predicting a coup since 13 August. It now stated that the plans for the alleged coup had been made after a meeting between the Shah and General Shwarzkopf on 9 August, but that Mossadeq had been tipped off on the 14th. It should be noted that the Tudeh appeared to be at least as well posted on the coup plans as the government--how is not known. The station principal agent team of [ ] working on their own and with singular shrewdness, had put out a special broadsheet that documented the current rumor but twisted it to read that the alleged coup was arranged to force out the Shah. The morning issue of Mellat-i-Ma told this same story, while a first mention of the firman naming [ ] was given on an inner page of the large circulation daily Keyhan.
At 1000 hours another communique added a few details to the earlier one. By this time the Tudeh party members, organized in small groups, were making speeches in many parts of the city, while smaller groups of pro-Mossadeq nationalists were also out in the streets. Then a fresh rumor made the rounds: that a plot had existed but that, when it had failed to materialize, Mossadeq had staged a fake coup. At 1100 hours two correspondents of the New York Times were taken to Shimran, by station arrangement, to see [ ]. Instead, they saw his son, [ ], who showed them the original of the imperial firman naming [ ] as Prime Minister and gave them photostatic copies. These photostats had been made by Iranian participants in the plan. Following this meeting the station took charge of the firman, had its own photostats made, and kept the original locked up in the station safe until final victory.
At noon Radio Tehran put out a very brief statement signed by Dr. Mohammed Mossadeq (without his title of Prime Minister being used) stating that: "According to the will of the people, expressed by referendum, the 17th Majlis is dissolved. Elections for the 18th session will be held soon." It was this statement, together with the following violently anti- Shah remarks of Fatemi and the undisguised and freely-preached republican propaganda of the Tudeh Party, that was instrumental in persuading the general public that Mossadeq was on the verge of eliminating the monarchy.
At 1400 hours Minister of Foreign Affairs Fatemi held a press conference. He stated that for some time past the government had received reports from several sources to the effect that the Imperial Guards were planning a coup and, hence, measures were taken to counteract any such coup. He then went on to review the incidents of the coup, as already stated by the government communiques. In reply to a question, he said that Abul Ghassem Amini, Acting Minister of Court, had been arrested since it could not be considered that the court was not a part of the conspriacy. He added that his own views would be found in his editorial in Bakhtar Emruz: this editorial, as printed and as read in full, over Radio Tehran at 1730 hours, was a savage, lengthy, malicious attack upon the Shah and upon Reza Shah--a man for who the general public still feels a large measure of respect and awe. It may be said that this editorial did a great deal to arouse public resentment against the government of Mossadeq.
During the afternoon the station was at work preparing a public statement from General [ ] which was prepared with the direct advice of [ ], the [ ] brothers, and Colonel [[ ].] When it was ready the agents were unable to find a press in town which was not watched by the government. Therefore, one of the [ ]s did ten copies on a Persian typewriter. These were rushed to General [ ] for his signature and then given out to the foreign correspondents, to local pressmen and to two key army officers. By the time they were distributed, it was too late to catch the press for the morning of the 17th. However, station agents, [ ] although not in touch with the station, the [ ]s, or [[ ],] went ahead on their own. They composed a fabricated interview with [ ] and had it printed on the 17th, along with a copy of the firman. In this instance, as in a number of others, the high-level agents of the station demonstrated a most satisfying ability to go ahead on their own and do just the right thing. During the day the station was securing the persons of key individuals and sending them to safety. Some were concealed in the house of a station clerk in the Embassy compound and some in the houses of US personnel of the station outside the compound. Thus, [ ] was in station hands from the morning of the 16th on, General [ ] from the morning of the 17th on, the [ ] brothers from the 16th on with the exception of a venture out on the 18th, Colonel [[ ]] from the morning of the 16th on, and General [ ] from the morning of the 16th. These people had to be concealed by the station, both in order to secure them from arrest and also to have them in places to which Americans could logically and easily go.
That evening about 1930 hours crowds massed in the Majlis Square to hear speeches, and the proceedings were rebroadcast over Radio Tehran. The speakers included pro Mossadeq ex-Majlis deputies Mosavi, Dr. Szyyid, Ali Shayegan, Engineer Zirakzadeh, Engineer Razavi, and Foreign Minister Fatemi. All the speakers attacked the Shah and demanded that he abdicate. During the course of these speeches, the public was informed for the first time that the Shah had fled to Baghdad. The station had learned several hours earlier that the Shah had left. By 1600 hours the two principal US Embassy political officers had given up hope, while Roosevelt was insisting there was still a "slight remaining chance of success" if the Shah would use the Baghadad radio and if [ ] took an aggressive stand. Additional station messages to Headquarters contained the texts of the type of statements the Shah could make over Baghdad radio.
Allowing for the seven hour difference in time, Headquarters received the first message from the station on the non-success of the coup at 0130 hours on the 16th, and a few hours thereafter was working on the station's request to get the Shah to broadcast from Baghdad. As the working day ended, they had to report to the station that the State Department was firmly opposed to any American effort to contact the Shah and suggested the British do it. At Nicosia they responded enthusiastically to the station's suggestion, and the SIS attempted to get permission from London to have Leavitt and Darbyshire flown to Baghdad by RAF jet fighter early in the morning of the 17th, for the purpose of exerting pressure on the Shah. London refused permission.
As the station personnel entered on another day after a second sleepless night, some real encouragement came from word that, in breaking up Tudeh groups late the night before, the soldiers had beaten them with rifle butts and made them shout, "Long live the Shah." The station continued to feel that the "project was not quite dead" since General [ ] General [ ], the [ ] brothers, and Colonel [[ ]] were still determined to press action.
Now, on the morning of 17 August, the press was again on the streets. Niruye Sevum stated that Schwarzkopf engineered the plot with the Shah and that "simple-minded Americans thought the Shah was a trump card." Dad and Shahed both blamed the so-called coup on the government, and Keyhan carried the text of an alleged Radio London statement quoting [ ] to the effect that he had a firman from the Shah and that the Shah had left because his life was threatened. Throughout the morning Iranians with good radios were able to get word from foreign stations of statements that the Shah had made in Baghdad. He said: "What has taken place in Iran cannot be considered a coup d'etat in the real sense." The Shad said he had issued his orders for the dismissal of Dr. Mossadeq under the prerogatives given to him by the constitution, and had appointed General [ ] in his place. He went on to say that he had not abdicated and that he was confident of the loyalty of the Iranian people to him. This line was what the station had in mind, if less strong than desired; and the Baghdad papers hinted that painful, bloody events were still to come in Iran. The station suggested that Imam Khalasi, religious divine at Baghdad, and the Agha Khan be enlisted to give the Shah moral backing, while Headquarters, on State Department instructions, continued to refuse permission for direct US contact with the Shah. In the meantime the US Ambassador to Iraq, Burton Berry, reported on his conversation with the Shah on the evening of the 16th. His statements, made on his own initiative, were quite in line with suggestions reaching him after the event.
About 1000 hours a considerable body of the troops that had been dispersed throughout the city were called back to their barracks, as the government was certain the situation was well in hand. At 1030 hours Radio Tehran called up General [ ] to surrender to the authorities, and then began broadcasting lists of those arrested as having taken part in the abortive coup or having had some connection with those events. The separate lists, including those of the next day, contained the following names:
Acting Minister of Court Abul Ghassem Amini
Colonel Novzari, Commander of 2nd Armored Brigade
Colonel Zand-Karimi, Chief of Staff of 2nd Mountain Brigade
Commander Poulad Daj of the Police
Colonel Nematollah Nasiri, Commander of Imperial Guards
Lt. Colonel Azamudeh, Reg. CO 1st Mountain Brigade
Colonel Parvaresh, head of the Officers' Club
1st Lieutenant Niahi
Mr. Perron, Swiss subject
General Nadr Batmangelich, retired
Colonel Hadi Karayi, Commander of Imperial Guards at Namsar
General Shaybani, retired
Rahim Hirad, Chief of Shah's private secretariat
Soleiman Behbudi, Chief of Shah's household
Lt. Colonel Hamidi, Asst. Director of Police visa section
Colonel Mansurpur, Squadron Leader (cavalry)
Colonel Rowhani, Chief of Staff of 3rd Mountain Brigade
1st Lieutenant Naraghi
1st Lieutenant Eskandari
1st Lieutenant Jafarbey
Mr. Mohammed Jehandari
1st Lieutenant Rauhani
Dr. Mozaffar Baqai
Rumors circulated to the effect that the arrested officers were to be hanged on 20 August, and throughout the unit commands of the Tehran garrison, the police, and the gendarmerie, officers met to discuss the situation. Several of them resolved to risk all to attempt to rescue their friends.
The station devoted a great deal of effort during the day to circulating photostatic copies of the firman-- particularly among the army--and in trying to arrange for more and more press coverage. It was now obvious that public knowledge of the existence of the firmans was having an effect. Everyone was asking questions: "Was it true that the Shah had issued the firmans? If so, why was Mossodeq lying about it? Wasn't that a most reprehensible thing to do?"
At 1325 hours Fatemi held a press conference at which he dealt with the flight of the Shah to Iraq, read the abjectly pleading letter from arrested Acting Minister of Court Armini, and stated that 14 officers had been arrested. His more detailed views on the current situation were expressed in an editorial in Bakhtar Emruz and were in the main a repetition of his previous scurrilous attacks against the Shah. He wrote such words as, "Oh traitor Shah, you shameless person, you have completed the criminal history of the Pahlevi reign. The people...want to drag you from behind your desk to the gallows."
Early in the afternoon, Ambassador Henderson arrived in Tehran from Beirut. On the way out to the airport to meet him, members of the Embassy passed the site of the bronze statue of Reza Shah at the end of the avenue of that name. Only the boots of the figure remained on the pedestal. A passing truck was dragging behind it the horse from the equestrian statue of the same ruler that had stood in Sepah Square. In the crowds engaged in this activity, the Tudeh were obviously in the majority.
On behalf of the government, Henderson was welcomed by Dr. Gholam Hosein Mossadeq, son of the Prime Minister, and by Dr. Alemi, Minister of Labor. At 1630 hours the station sent off a cable giving a general survey of the local situation which, although it foresaw Mossadeq's position strengthened for the next few weeks, did insist that a policy of opposition to him be continued. Near the end of the afternoon, the government used the voice of a religious leader, Sadr Balaghi, to attack the Shah over Radio Tehran.
The evening was a most active and trying time for the station. Principal agents [ ] [ ] were reached and given instructions. Within the Embassy compound, Roosevelt and Carroll held a prolonged council of war with the heads of their team: General [ ] and [ ], General [ ] the three [ ] brothers, and Colonel [[ ]]. These teammates were, when required, smuggled in and out of the compound in the bottom of cars and in closed jeeps. A few hundred yards away Ambassador Henderson and General McClure were out in the garden in front of the residency, and Roosevelt wore a path back and forth to reassure them that no Persians were hidden out in the compound, so that they could in all honesty so inform Mossadeq if the question were asked. The council of war went on for about four hours, and in the end it was decided that some action would be taken on Wednesday the 19th. As preparation for this effort, several specific activities were to be undertaken. In the field of political action, it was planned to send the Tehran cleric [ ] to Qum to try to persuade the supreme cleric, Ayatollah Borujerdi, to issue a fatwa (religious decree) calling for a holy war against Communism, and also to build up a great demonstration on Wednesday on the theme that it was time for loyal army officers and soldiers and the people to rally to the support of religion and the throne. In the field of military action, support from outside of Tehran seemed essential. Colonel [[ ]] was sent off in a car driven by a station agent (US national Gerald Towne) to Kermanshah, a distance of 400 miles, to persuade Colonel [ ] commanding officer of the Kermanshah garrison, to declare for the Shah. [ ], with Carroll, was sent to Brigadier General [ ] at Isfahan with a similar request. Through station facilities these messengers were provided with identification papers and travel papers which stood up under inspection. All those leaving the compound were also given station-prepared curfew passes.
Throughout the long hours of 17 August, there seemed little that Headquarters could do to ease the pangs of despair. A wire sent to the station in the afternoon expressed the strong feeling that Roosevelt, in the interest of safety, should leave at the earliest moment, and it went on to express distress over the bad luck. At about the same time, an operational immediate cable went out to Ambassador Beery in Baghdad with guidance concerning his future meetings with the Shah. Propaganda guidance was sent to the stations in Karachi, New Delhi, Cairo, Damascus, Istanbul, and Beirut to the effect that the [ ] govern- ment was the only legal one. Just after midnight Headquarters urged a Paris Station officer in southern France to get in touch with the Agha Khan at once, in order to urge the latter to send a wire to the Shah expressing his strongest moral support. Much later, Headquarters learned that contact had been established, but there was not the hoped-for outcome. The Agha Khan had at once stated that a ruler who left his throne and country would never return, and after this statement no effort was made to sell him on the idea of backing the Shah. Of course, he was later delighted to hear that the Shah did get his throne back after all.
At Nicosia the SIS refused to give up hope, and bucked against their own office in London and against the Foreign Office. Darbyshire continued to try to get permission to go to Baghdad. While the persistence and apparent faith shown by the SIS station at Nicosia was altogether admirable, it should be remembered that they had nothing to lose if the cause had been pressed to ultimate failure and disclosure.
The 18th was to be the most trying day for every person in every country who was aware of the project. At 0730 hours that morning the Shah left Baghdad for Rome on a regular BOAC commercial flight. It would be some hours before this news reached Tehran. In Tehran the day opened with small bands roaming the streets. The Tudeh managed to ransack the Pan- Iranist Party headquarters [ ] claim credit for this incident) located near the Majlis Square, and then there were minor clashes between gangs of the Tudeh and the Third Force (a Marxist, non-Tudeh opposition group).
Morning papers appeared about as usual, although very few opposition sheets were available since secret police were posted in all printing shops. Those papers supporting Mossadeq announced that the Pahlevi dynasty had come to an end, while [Ettelaat (despite assurances from its publisher to support the station's line) wrote that the nation expressed its violent disapproval of the coup which was in foreign interests. Dad continued its really remarkable efforts by reprinting the firman and an interview with [ ]. Shahed ran a copy of the firman, and Keyhan ran two brief notes on [ ]'s claims. Shojat, replacement for Besuye Ayandeh and, hence, the leading organ of the Tudeh Party, printed a statement by the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party--the first such statement to appear for some weeks. In this statement the party blamed the recent events on Anglo-American intrigue, and added that the watch word for the day must be: "...Down with the Monarchy! Long live the democratic republic!" During the morning the AP correspondent wired out a story, destined to get considerable play abroad, which included [ ]'s statement to the officers of the Iranian Army: "Be ready for sacrifice and loss of your lives for the maintenance of independence and of the monarchy of Iran and of the holy religion of Islam which is now being threatened by infidel Communists."
Military communiques read over Radio Tehran indicated that continuing efforts were being made by the government to firm up its control. One announcement offered a reward of 100,000 rials for information as to the whereabouts of General [ ], a second demanded that retired officer Colonel [ ] appear before the military government and a third was a reminder that all demonstrationswere forbidden by the government. At 1030 hours General Riahi, Chief of Staff, met with the high ranking officers of the army in the lecture hall of the Military School and read them the riot act, stressing that they must be faithful to the government.
Personnel at the Tehran Station, while continuing to make every effort to carry out its decision of the 16th, were also planning for eventualities. One message to Headquarters asked that the means for a clandestine evacuation of up to 15 people from Iran be prepared. Another cited local military opinion that officers would carry out instructions broadcast by the Shah, and then went on to put it up to Headquarters as to whether the station should continue with TPAJAX or withdraw. Nicosia commiserated over the initial failure and stated that they, personally, were continuing to do all they could to induce London to continue to support station efforts. This message was followed by a report on the Shah's statements at Baghdad, and by still another to the effect that SIS Nicosia was asking London's assent to urge the Shah's return on pilgrimage to the holy shrines in Iraq where he would be in direct contact with Iranian divines resident there.
During the afternoon most of the news was not of action but of statements from various sources. At his press conference Minister of Foreign Affairs Fatemi asserted that there had been serious anti-Shah riots in Baghdad--a complete lie. At 1500 hours the Shah arrived in Rome, where he was to make statements to the press which followed a middle ground. These statements did not dash the hopes of his supporters, but neither were they a call to action. Also, in the afternoon, Radio Moscow carried the text of the appeal of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party as it had been printed that morning in Shojat.
In the evening, violence flared in the streets of Tehran. Just what was the major motivating force is impossible to say, but it is possible to isolate the factors behind the disturbances. First, the flight of the Shah brought home to the populace in a dramatic way how far Mossadeq had gone, and galvanized the people into an irate pro-Shah force. Second, it seems clear that the Tudeh Party overestimated its strength in the situation. This fault may have been that of the Soviet liason people, or of the leaders of the Tudeh party, or of the rank and file. During the day the Party not only had defiled statues of the monarchy, but also had erected their own flags at certain points. Party members had also torn down street signs in which the Pahlevi dynasty was mentioned or which commemorated events in the reign of Reza Shah, and had replaced them with "popular" names. The party seemed ready for an all-out effort to bring in a peoples' democracy, believing either that Mossadeq would not challenge them or that they could outfight him in the streets. Third, the Mossadeq government was at last beginning to feel very uneasy about its alliance with the Tudeh Party. The Pan-Iranists were infuriated and the Third Force was most unhappy about the situation. Fourth, the climax was now approaching of the [ ] campaign of alleged Tudeh terrorism. (Details of this campaign have been given on earlier pages.) On this evening [ ] had gangs of alleged Tudehites on the streets with orders to loot and smash shops on Lalezar and Amirieh streets when ever possible, and to make it clear that this was the Tudeh in action.
During the evening all these factors came together in ferment. Security forces were given orders to clear the streets and serious fighting resulted. Friends of Colonel [ ] in the Police Department exceeded instructions in preventing Tudeh vandalism by beating up Tudehites and shouting for the Shah.
The Tudeh did seem to take rapid cognizance of the fact that a covert action was being staged, and that their members were not strong enough to fight the police. They brought people out who tried to argue demonstrators into going home.
Headquarters spend a day featured by depression and despair. The immediate direction of the project moved from the Branch and Division to the highest level. At the end of the morning a handful of people worked on the draft of a message which was to call off the operation. As the message was finally sent, in the evening, it was based on the Department of State's tentative stand: "that the operation has been tried and failed," the posi- tion of the United Kingdom that: "we must regret that we cannot consider going on fighting" and Headquarters' positon that, in the absence of strong recommendations to the contrary from Roosevelt and Henderson, operations against Mossadeq should be discontinued.
VIII. "THE SHAH IS VICTORIOUS"
While on the 18th only Shahed had published the imperial firman naming [ ] as Prime Minis- ter, on 19 August, as soon as the city was awake, early risers could see photostats or type-set copies of the firman in the papers Setareh Islam, Asia Javanan, Aram, Mard-i-Asia, Mellat-i-Ma, and the Journal de Tehran. The first four of these papers, and Shahed and Dad in addition, ran an alleged interview with [ ] which stressed that his government was the only legal one in existence--an interview that had been fabricated by [ ]. Somewhat later in the morning the first of many thousands of broadsheets which carried a photostatic copy of the firman and the text of the [ ] statement appeared in the streets. Although each of these newspapers had a normal circulation of restricted size, the news they carried was undoubtedly flashed through the city by word of mouth, for before 0900 hours pro-Shah groups were assembling in the bazaar area. Members of these groups had not only made their personal choice between Mossadeq and the Shah, but they were stirred up by the Tudeh activity of the preceding day and were ready to move. They needed only leadership.
Even before the day had dawned [ ] having been informed that a pro-Shah statement by the ranking religous leader, Ayatollah Borujerdi, might be forthcoming during the day, had made definite preparations to utilize any such statement. [ ] and two of their most enegetic sub-agents, [ ] were down at the bazaar section with a jeep and trucks ready to set out for Qazvin. Their plan was to print broadsheets at this town some 85 miles west of Tehran should it appear that the Mossadeq government had increased its attempted strangelhold on the urban press. As soon as they noticed that the pro-Shah groups were gathering, [,] [and [ ], another sub-agent] rushed to supply the needed leadership. [ ] accompanied one group in its progress toward the Majlis, and on the way incited them to set fire to the offices of Bakhtar-i-Emruz, the semi-official paper owned by Minister of Foreign Affairs Fatemi, which on the 17th and 18th had printed most bitter and scurrilous attacks on the person of the Shah. About the same time [ ] led other elements toward the offices of the Tudeh papers Shahbaz, Besuye Ayandeh, and Javanan-i-Democrat, all of which were thoroughly sacked.
The news that something quite startling was happening spread at great speed throughout the city. Just when it reached Mossadeq, who was meeting with members of his cabinet, is not known. By 0900 hours the station did have this news, and by 1000 hours word had come in that both the Bakhtar-i-Emruz office and the headquarters of the Iran Party had been ransacked. Also about 1000 hours contact was established with the [ ] brothers who seemed full of glee. Their instructions, as well as orders directed to [ ] were now to attempt to swing security forces to the side of the demonstrators and to encourage action for the capture of Radio Tehran. To what extent the resulting activity stemmed from specific efforts of all our agents will never be known, although many more details of the excitement of the day may slowly come to light.
Fairly early in the morning Colonel [ ] one of those involved in the staff planning, appeared in the square before the Majlis with a tank which he had secured from the Second Battalion of the Second Armored Brigade, [a battalion] originally committed to the operation] Col.[ ] [ ] and Captain [ ] were on hand and were joined by two trucks from the same battalion, while members of the disbanded Imperial Guard seized trucks and drove through the streets. By 1015 hours there were pro-Shah truckloads of military personnel at all the main squares.
While small groups had penetrated to the north of the city by 0930 hours, the really large groups, armed with sticks and stones, came from south Tehran and merged as they reached Sepah Square in their progress north toward the center of the city. There the troops held in readiness fired hundred of shots over the heads of the crowd, but apparently were not willing to fire at these partisans of the Shah. As a result the crowds were able to fan out toward key points. Just up Lalezar, a main shopping street, the Saadi theater, long sponsored by the Tudeh Party, was burned. The surging crowds of men, women, and children were shouting, "Shah piruz ast," (The Shah is victorious). Determined as they seemed, a gay holiday atmosphere prevailed, and it was if exterior pressures had been released so that the true sentiments of the people showed through. The crowds were not, as in earlier weeks, made up of hoodlums, but included people of all classes--many well dressed--led or encouraged by other civilians. Trucks and busloads of cheering civilians streamed by and when, about noon, five tanks and 20 truckloads of soldiers joined it, the movement took on a somewhat different aspect. As usual, word spread like lightning and in other parts of the city pictures of the Shah were eagerly displayed. Cars went by with headlights burning as a tangible indication of loyalty to the ruler.
At about 1030 hours, General Riahi informed Mossadeq that he no longer controlled the army and asked for relief, but Mossadeq visited his office and told him to hold firm. Colonel Momtaz was able to assemble only one battalion and disposed that force around Mossadeq's house.
About noon separate elements composing the crowds began to receive direct leadership from the military and police. Those army officers previously alerted to take part in the military operations provided by TPAJAX were now taking separate but proper individual action. By 1300 hours the central headquarters of the telegraph office on Sepah Square had fallen into royalist hands. The AP man filed a cable there shortly after 1300 hours giving a brief report on the fighting. Then fighting moved a few hundred yards away to the police headquarters and to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building just across the wide avenue from it. Defenders of the police station held out until nearly 1600 hours.
Also about noon, Roosevelt went to the houses where Generals [ ] and [ ] were in hiding. They were both fully informed of the events of the morning and told to wait for instructions. An hour later Carroll and Persian-speaking Major William R. Keyser (Assistant US Military Attache) reported on the military situation. By early afternoon more of the important objectives in the center of the city, such as the press and propaganda offices, had been taken over by the royalists. With important facilities under control, it was possible to begin dispatch of streams of telegrams to the provinces urging them to rise in support of the Shah. Even during the greatest heat of the day there was no slackening of activity. Station agent [ ] was still on the streets and, finding a crowd on Firdausi Avenue, urge them to go to military police headquarters and demand the release of Colonel [ ] and General [ ]. This they did. The soldiers on guard put up no resistance. Meanwhile agent General [ ] was touring the city in his car attempting to round up members of the Imperial Guard, soldiers who later took part in the attack on Mossadeq's house. Early in the afternoon the crowds did collect around approaches to Mossadeq's residence. By this time he had probably already left.
Radio Tehran was a most important target, for its capture not only sealed the success at the capital, but was effective in bringing the provincial cities quickly into line with the new government. During the heat of activity, it broadcast dull discussions of cotton prices, and finally music only. Already at 1030 hours there had been an interruption of its schedule, but it was not until early afternoon that people began streaming up the broad avenue toward their goal, some three miles to the north. Buses and trucks bore full loads of civilians, army offi- cers and policemen. Sheer weight of numbers seemed to have overwhelmed the defenders of the radio station, and after a brief struggle in which three deaths were reported, at 1412 hours the station was in royalist hands. At 1420 hours it broadcast the first word of the success of the royalist effort, including a reading of the firman. A stream of eager speakers came to the microphone. Some represented elements upon whom reliance had been placed in TPAJAX planning, while others were quite unknown to the station. Among the former elements were opposition papers. Bakhtiar and Zelzeleh, and likeh Etozadi. Among spontaneous supporters of the Shah to come to the microphone were Colonel [ ] and Major [ ]; their presence was the proof-- no longer required--of the truth of the TPAJAX assumption that the army would rally to the Shah under just such circumstances. For some period of time, Radio Tehran was alternately on and off the air. It may have been finally put into good operating condition by those engineers who, as one speaker said, had come along for just such a purpose. Here, as in so many other phases, chance served the cause very well, for, had the original defenders of the radio station managed to damage its facilities, the firm con- trol of the capital might have been delayed.
At the Embassy, station personnel were following the broadcasts of Radio Tehran, and were elated when it sudden- ly fell into royalist hands. Once again Roosevelt set off toward the hiding place of his valuable charges, meeting them a little before 1600 hours. Told it was time for them to play an active role, both promptly dressed for the occasion. It was agreed that General [ ] should meet General [ ] at 1630 hours on a certain street corner with a tank, and should proceed wih this vehicle to Radio Tehran where [ ] would speak to the nation. General [ ] was taken from the house by Major Keyser in a jeep; and then along the way, he spied two Air Force officers, he asked to be let out, saying he would take care of everything. Right on the street these officers greeted him warmly and when he said he would like a tank, they soon rounded one up. Asked if he knew where [ ] was, he said he did and that he had an appointment to meet him at 1630 hours. His comrades pressured him to make an immediate rendezvous with [ ], so he directed the tank toward the compound in which the house sheltering [ ] was situated. [ ] emerged and the tank set off again. At 1725 hours [ ] spoke over Radio Tehran, and this speech was repeated a little after 2100 hours that evening.
However, [ ] had been preceded on the air by [sta tion agent [ ]. In the dash back from Kermanshah [[ ]'s] car had broken down completely at about the halfway mark, but he was able to get an uncomfortable ride the rest of the way in an oil tank truck. He arrived in Tehran by morning and contacted the station. At the latter's urgent instructions, [[ ]] sent a telegram to Colonel [ ] which message contained a code phrase* signalling [ ] to lead his division on forced march to Tehran. An interesting sidelight concerning [ ] march to Tehran** occurred en route to Hamadan. The division entered Hamadan just as the local Tudeh Party was holding a large pro-Mossadeq demonstration. [ ] quelled the demon- stration in short order. The astonishment of the Tudeh on seeing the Kermanshah division enter Hamadan was exceeded only by that of the town mayor.
* "Am coming today to see my sick sister."
** The division actually arrived after Tehran was already in Royalist hands.
Within Tehran proper the last nests of resistance were being subdued. The Chief of Staff headquarters gave in at the end of the afternoon, and before 1900 hours Mossadeq's house was taken and soon turned into a shambles. Its belongings were dragged out into the street and sold to passersby. Reactions were also being reported from the provinces. At 1450 hours the regional station at Sanandaj in Kurdestan suddenly went off the air. At 1555 hours Radio Tabriz reported the capture of the station itself by forces loyal to the Shah, and stated that all of Azerbaijan was in the hands of the army. As it continued broadcasting, it became apparent that one of the speakers, [ ] and an effective sub-agent of station assets had played an important role in events at Tabriz. By 1800 hours the station at Isfahan was on the air with strong statements in favor of the Shah and [ ] by such elements as local editors, a member of Baghai's Toiler's Party, religious leaders, and staff officers--all groups which we had hoped would react in this fashion. Not until 2000 hours did the radio station at Kerman proclaim loyalty to the new government. Meshed Radio was not heard from at all, but the religious-minded town turned Loyalist almost immediately after the news of the change had been sent out over Radio Tehran. Known Tudehites were pursued and shops of Tudeh sympathizers looted.
Colonel [[ ]] following [ ]'s instruction, and Carroll now closed up the operation. While [ ] had [been named Chief of Staff, [ ] --at that office-- kept in touch by phone and placed known supporters of TPAJAX in command of all units of the Tehran garrison, seized key military targets, and executed the arrest lists.
As the afternoon drew to its close, Radio Tehran seemed to get down to a less haphazard schedule. From 1800 hours on, it made short announcements of government appointees. At 1845 hours the Associated Press representative and the New York Times man made fairly brief statements on the events of the day, intended for their home offices. Brief government communiques dealt with curfew hours, contained warnings against demonstrations, etc. A general news summary at 2100 hours was followed by a statement from [ ], installed in the office of the Chief of Police, and before 2200 hours the station had signed off for the night. The hectic day was over and curfew now in effect. Lives had been lost, but not nearly as many as stated in the white heat of the actual events. The security forces were firmly in control and well prepared to destroy any counter effort.
How had other interested parties weathered the exciting day? One such must have felt real anguish. This was the USSR and its people in Iran. Radio Moscow lagged far behind the rest of the world and did not put out a summary of the day's events at Tehran until 2300 hours GMT. Its Persian program that reach Iran early in the after noon was built around the text of the earlier Pravda article entitled "The Failure of the American Adventure in Iran," and this program was repeated early in the evening. The same Pravda article was broadcast through out the late afternoon and early evening from Moscow in English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Polish, Czech and Slovak, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, and Turkish, although by that time nearly everyone of its listeners must have known that this material was no longer applicable.
The other parties to the original plan felt elated, and possibly self-satisfied. While the reactions of the Shah at Rome are rather beyond the scope of this account, one or two of his remarks are worth citing as they bear upon some of the original assumptions of the TPAJAX plan. He said, "It was my people who have shown me that they were faithful to the monarchy and that two and a half years of false propaganda were not enough," and again, "My country didn't want the Communists and therefore have been faithful to me."
At Nicosia the earliest FBIS intercepts had not been translated and distributed until nearly mid-afternoon local time. As word passed from Leavitt to Darbyshire, the latter became so excited that he drove his friend right to his office outside of the town, something he and his associates had always avoided doing in earlier weeks.
Headquarters had its first word of what the day was to bring just before 0900 hours when someone burst in from the hall pouring out what at first seemed to be a bad joke-- in view of the depression that still hung on from the day before--the news that Mossadeq was on the way out. Throughout the morning, the afternoon, and until late that night people hurried down the corridors with fresh slips of ticker tape. During the entire day only two TPAJAX cables were received from the station. However, it was a day that should never have ended for it carried with it such a sense of excitement, of satisfaction, and of jubilation that it is doubtful whether any other can come up to it. Our trump card had prevailed and the Shah was victorious.
Appendices A, B, C and E had no redactions.
Military Planning Aspect
Military Aspects Operation TPAJAX
In early summer 1953 Carroll was assigned the task of planning military aspects of TPAJAX. Several assumptions first had to be taken into account:
A. Operation would be joint operation with SIS.
B. Operation would rely heavily upon military willingness to fight for Shah.
C. Armed forces in Iran under Mossadeq very strongly led by pro-Mossadeq officers.
D. Operational assets within armed forces controlled by SIS or CIA were not at the outset capable of executing the military objectives of TPAJAX.
Planning tasks which had to be accomplished:
E. Detailed study of the leading military personalities in Iran
F. Detailed study of order of battle of the Iranian Army with emphasis on the Tehran garrison.
G. Detailed military study of communications, supply dumps, ammunition depots, command structure Iranian armed forces, time and distance factors within Tehran and throughout Iran, including road and rail nets
H. Detailed study military assets possessed by SIS.
I. Operational assets to be developed by CIA; almost no military assets were then under CIA control.
George Carroll in Washington began a staff study preliminary to drafting a military plan. Persons who were particularly helpful in the preparation of this study were Jerome F. Begert, William Fowlkes, Jr., Eugene E. Cilsdorf, Elizabeth E. McNeill, Betty J. Caldwell, and Arthur W. Dubois. This group constituted a branch task force.
Throughout the summer cables were exchanged with the Tehran Station in an effort to procure the latest information on the order of battle of Iranian armed forces. The Iranian desk, G-2, Pentagon, was queried in an effort to obtain whatever information they could get which might help accomplish the above tasks. Information available in G-2 was almost non-existent. Biographical information on leading Army figures was extremely scanty. G-2 did not possess a tactical map showing the military situation in the city of Tehran. It must also be admitted that CIA too was unprepared for this type of operational plan and a heavy burden had to be laid upon the field at a time when the Tehran Station was already occupied with the opening phases of TPAJAX.
The primary difficulty in staff planning at this time was the fact that neither the field nor headquarters possessed detailed information on military figures in Iran. CIA had heretofore never placed particular emphasis on that type of operational reporting, and we learned as the days went by how extremely important, indeed vital, that type of reporting is.
Throughout the month of June, the branch task force gradually was supplied information from the field which made it possible to begin thinking about the use of the forces within the Tehran garrison. The field reported that Tehran was garrisoned by five brigades, three infantry mountain brigades, and two armored brigades. In addition, four other military forces existed: the Gendarmerie, the police, the armed customs guard, and the forces under the military governor. It was also learned that the young Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Taghi Riahi, and his staff had been drawn primarily from members of the pro-Mossadeq Iran Party. It had to be assumed that the chief of staff and officers within all sections of his staff were under control of Mossadeq. It has also to be assumed that at least three out of five of the brigade commanders in Tehran were completely under General Riahi's control. Those assumptions proved to be correct. SIS reported that Colonel [Ashrafi, military governor of Tehran and commanding officer of the Third Mountain Brigade,] could be relied upon; this later turned out to be incorrect but for staff planning purposes in June it had to be assumed correct. It was disappointing to learn that Major General [ ], Prime Minister designate under TPAJAX, possessed almost no military assets. General [ ], therefore, could not be relied upon to execute his own staff plan.
In the early part of July, the branch task force was able to draw up a plan designed to neutralize the Tehran garrison and to isolate all other brigades in Iran. It appeared at that time that only a very small force could be relied upon by CIA, primarily the Third Mountain Brigade in Tehran. Therefore, our first staff plan was based upon the use of the Third Mountain Brigade for the capture and arrest of the officers assigned to the Chief of Staff, as well as the arrest and neutralization of all other forces in the city of Tehran.
Because of the fact that CIA did not possess any military assets capable at that time of helping TPAJAX, it was suggested that Station agent Colonel [[ ]] be given special training. [[ ]] was trained in a safe- house in Washington with the assistance of instructors from the training division. [[ ]] had no idea what lay before him. He had never previously participated in any military action, although he had been superbly trained in logistics in the Command and General Staff School at Ft. Leavenworth. Further, he had been assistant military attache for Iran in Washington for several years, and before that had been the [Iranian liaison officer to the United States Military Assistance Advisory Group in Tehran. He, therefore, had a good grasp of American army methods. He was a Signal Corps officer by profession. Because of the extreme sensitivity of TPAJAX, [[ ]] was given the lie detector test. In early July, [[ ]] was directed to go to Tehran and to renew all of his old contacts within the Iranian Army.
In June, Carroll was assigned TDY to Cyprus to work with Donald Wilber, NEA Planning Officer, and SIS. Carroll concentrated on military planning aspects with SIS, and ascertained the extent to which SIS could control Iran military assets. Headquarters was extremely concerned because the plan assumed that the Shah would sign a firman dismissing Mossadeq without being certain that his Army officers and men were well organized enough to force Mossadeq from office in the event Mossadeq did not obey the firman, since CIA and SIS did not possess military assets capable of being organized into an effective fight ing force and it was feared that the development of new military assets and their organization into a fighting force could not be accomplished in time.
SIS in Cyprus stated that it did have several important friends among the military, but the only officer among their friends then in a position to be of assistance to us was Colonel [ ]. SIS agreed that our preliminary military plan must be based on the assumption that Colonel [ ] would cooperate. Military Planner Carroll doubted whether one brigade out of five would be sufficient to overthrow Mossadeq and stated frankly that our military plan must be viewed as extremely tentative; he also stated that he hoped upon arrival in Tehran to find other assets in addition to Colonel [ ]. From the military point of view the discussions in Cyprus were extremely disappointing because they made it clear that we wanted to accomplish much but had very little with which to accomplish it. It also made it clear that Carroll and Colonel [[ ]] should arrive in Tehran as soon as possible where the military plan would by necessity have to be completed.
On 15 July Carroll left for London where SIS studied the military plan for two days and approved it with little comment. They agreed that, if TPAJAX were to succeed, CIA must start from scratch and work quickly to find powerful friends among Iranian Army troop commanders. In London, Carroll with Major Keen and two other British Army officers on duty with SIS, went over two military plans which had been drawn by the branch task force.
Both of our military plans used the same arrest lists for military and civilian persons in Tehran. These lists were compiled as a result of a long study of pro-Mossadeq Iranians, and later proved to be at least 90 percent correct. The British approved the arrest lists after their CE expert and their biographical section studied them. A third arrest list, the Tudeh Arrest List, was studied very carefully by SIS Tudeh Party experts and was approved with out addition. It would seem that our appraisal of Iranians must have been based upon approximately the same information.
While these arrest lists were farmed out to SIS experts Carroll sat down to study the two military plans with Major Keen and with the British major. The first plan was based upon the assumption that [ ] was a con- trolled British agent and that the [ ] Mountain Brigade would follow his commands. After a detailed examination of the Target List for Neutralization in the City