Tehran renames street after former premier Mossadegh

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses Iranian Muslims at morning prayers for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, at the Imam Khomeini grand mosque in central Tehran July 18, 2015. REUTERS
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses Iranian Muslims at morning prayers for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, at the Imam Khomeini grand mosque in central Tehran July 18, 2015. REUTERS

TEHRAN, March 14 — Tehran’s city council yesterday renamed a street in the Iranian capital after former nationalist prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh, who was deposed in a 1953 coup, local news agencies reported.

Mossadegh was overthrown in a CIA-organised coup with support from British operatives after he nationalised the Anglo-Iranian Oil company, the forerunner to British Petroleum.

After the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Tehran changed the name of its central street, Pahlavi Avenue, and replaced it with Mossadegh’s name.

But two and a half years later, authorities again renamed the avenue to Vali-e Asr, or “Master of Time”, in reference to the 12th imam who, according to Shiah Muslims, will return to save the world.

Appointed prime minister in 1952 by the shah, Mossadegh was overthrown the next year in a coup orchestrated by Washington and London.

The coup led to the return of the shah, who had left the country over disagreements with Mossadegh after the latter tried to limit his powers.

After the coup, Mossadegh was jailed for three years before being placed under house arrest. He died in 1967.

After the revolution, Mossadegh was criticised by officials in the Islamic republic for not cooperating with Ayatollah Abol-Ghassem Kashani, the chief religious leader during his tenure in office.

Religious groups, as well as nationalists and Marxists, participated in the revolutionary movement that led to the 1979 overthrow of the imperial regime, but after often violent clashes, the other groups were eliminated by the Islamists.

In recent years, however, senior Iranian officials including supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have cited Mossadegh’s case as an example of US “hostility” towards Iran. — AFP

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