By: Mir M.Hosseini
Britain abused Iranian prodigious oil fields for many years. That all changed in 1951 when Iranians nationalized the oil industry under Mosaddegh leadership. Mosaddegh was a true nationalist who really believed in democracy, human rights and freedom and he wished all the best for Iranians. Although his secular stance pissed off some zealots, his government enjoyed a popular backing when a UK-CIA backed coup brought a despotic monarchy to power.
Shortly after the Shah's return, Mosaddegh was tried for treason by the Shah's military court. On 19 December 1953, defending himself against the treason charge, he said:
“Yes, my sin — my greater sin and even my greatest sin is that I nationalized Iran's oil industry and discarded the system of political and economic exploitation by the world's greatest empire. This is at the cost to myself, my family; and at the risk of losing my life, my honor and my property. With God's blessing and the will of the people, I fought this savage and dreadful system of international espionage and colonialism.... I am well aware that my fate must serve as an example in the future throughout the Middle East in breaking the chains of slavery and servitude to colonial interests.”
After the brief show trial at a military court he was sentenced to three years in prison on 21 December 1953. After his term, he was kept under house arrest in Ahmadabad and was denied contact with the outside world. He spent the last days of his life in a hospital in Tehran and finally passed away on March, 5, 1967 at the age of 87. His supporters were denied a funeral and he was buried in a room in his house in Ahmadabad against his will.
The secret U.S. overthrow of Mosaddegh served as a rallying point in anti-US protests during the 1979 Iranian Revolution and to this day he is said to be one of the most popular figures in Iranian history. Despite his popularity among people, he is generally ignored by the regime of the Islamic Republic.
After the 1979 revolution the Pahlavi Avenue was renamed after him, however the fear from his name and revival of his ideas still threatens treacherous elements of darkness creeping within highest ranks of Iranian institutions.