Bloody coup fells Iran's Mossadegh

By United Press

TEHRAN, Iran (UP) -- Iranian troops loyal to the Shah overthrew Premier Mohammed Mossadegh in a bloody coup today and besieged him in his burning home, shouting for his death.

Desperate guards ringing the home of the premier killed many of the attackers with machine guns in a battle that was still raging at dusk.


It was reported Mossadegh's firebrand foreign minister, Hussein Fatemi, had been cut to pieces by an infuriated mob.

At least 50 persons had been killed and more than 100 wounded in street battles between the forces of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlevi, who had fled to Rome after the failure of one abortive coup, and supporters of Mossadegh.

The city resounded with cannon and machine gun fire.

Troops attacked hideouts of Mossadegh men with tanks, artillery and bazooka fire.

Mobs stormed the Tehran prison and released supporters of the shah.


Pro-Mossadegh newspaper plants were set afire.

Reports from the provinces said army garrisons mutinied against Mossadegh seized control of cities and proclaimed loyalty to the 33-year-old monarch.

Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi, whom the shah had named premier at the start of the abortive coup early Sunday, returned from hiding and assumed control.

(In Rome, the shah confirmed Zahedi as head of a new "constitutional" government and said he was waiting word to fly home to Tehran).

Zahedi proclaimed martial law and imposed a 10 p.m. curfew until further notice.

He broadcast over Radio Tehran an outline of his policies -- social justice, improvement of the lot of the working man and a higher standard of living.

It was reported Zahedi had ordered the air force to bomb Mossadegh's sprawling, palatial home unless he surrendered.

Another report said a message was thrown from a window of the premier's residence, announcing that he had "resigned" and pleading with his attackers to have mercy now that he had quit.

Parts of Mossadegh's home were burning and it was reported the defenses seemed to be crumbling.

But the defenders were fighting desperately. It was reported they were led by Lt. Col. Ahmad Momdaz an armored unit commander.


Momdaz had tipped off Mossadegh to the attempted pro-shah coup Sunday.

Zahedi, moving swiftly to consolidate his power, named Gen. Batmandilich his chief of staff and Gen. Daftari, who led the pro-shah demonstrations in this morning's seizure of power, as chief of police.

Zahedi had freed Batmandilich, whom Mossadegh jailed after the first pro-shah attempt.

Automobiles with headlights blazing moved in honking motorcades through the streets tonight, joining the surging mobs in jubilant cheers for the shah.

Americans remained indoors on the advice of United States Ambassador Loy Henderson to leave the streets to the tanks, infantrymen and mobs who had taken over the streets.

(Direct reports from Tehran of the successful coup were received from United Press Staff Correspondent Joseph Mazandi when communications were restored after having been cut for several hours.)

(The shah and Empress Soraya received the news in Rome, where they arrived Tuesday to take up exile.

("I knew it. I knew it," the shah said. "My people love me." His young queen burst into tears.)

The shah fled Iran during the weekend when Mossadegh's guards frustrated an earlier attempt by army elements loyal to the shah to remove him from power.

Today's pro-shah uprising linked powerful army, police and tribal forces.


It rapidly gathered support among crowds of angry demonstrators who poured into the streets of the city shouting demands for the shah's return.

Mobs attempted to batter down the iron gates to Mossadegh's residence and were driven off by sub-machine gun fire of his household guards before the army seized control of the city.

General Fazlollah Zahedi, appointed premier by the shah prior to the frustrated weekend coup d'etat, spoke over the national radio early this afternoon.

He outlined the political program of his regime which he said will "raise the standard of living of the population and insure social justice."

If the ouster of Mossadegh can be made to stick, Iran's two-year-old dispute with Britain over the expropriated and nationalized properties of the billion dollar Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. probably will be speedily settled.

(Stock of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co., went up immediately on the London Exchange when reports of Mossadegh's ouster became known.)

The 78-year-old premier was one of the most colorful leaders of the turbulent Middle East.

He had held power, in spite of widespread opposition and policies which brought Iran's economy to near bankruptcy, by a strong emotional appeal.

He resorted frequently to displays of uncontrollable weeping, fainting spells and breast-beating threats to resign, whenever his policies came under attack.


Mossadegh once fled to the Majlis (the Parliament building) in his pajamas when an earlier attack was made on his home by pro-shah elements.

He made a personal appearance before the United Nations General Assembly in New York to plead his nation's case against British charges that the expropriation and nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co., was illegal.

Zahedi, in his broadcast to the people, appealed for calm and said he would remain in office long enough to permit the shah to return to the capital.

The coup d'etat was set in motion Tuesday night. The general staff issued instructions not to use the name of the shah in their plans.

Troops loyal to the shah asserted their strength and took control of the capital.

They brought tanks and armored cars into Tehran's streets. On some of them they placed large portraits of the shah and posters demanding that Mossadegh and "all the traitors" be arrested.

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