Muhammad Mossadeq


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(b. 1880, d. 5 Mar. 1967).

Prime Minister of Iran 1951–3 A wealthy landowner, he joined the first government of Reza Shah Pahlavi, but then withdrew from politics until 1942. He became a government official, and in 1951 was named Prime Minister. A convinced nationalist, he nationalized the oil industry and proposed the reduction of foreign influence in all other matters. This restored some of the pride lost over one century of foreign (mainly British and Russian) dominance. Because of Mossadeq's popularity, Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was unable to control him and was himself forced into exile in 1953. However, Mossadeq's programme of nationalization ran counter to US interests. In a CIA-sponsored coup by the Iranian army (codenamed ‘Ajax’), he was removed and sentenced to solitary confinement, while the Shah returned to his throne.

Subjects: History — Politics.

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