The non-profit Mossadegh Legacy Institute (MLI), inspired by the legacy of the late Iranian Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, seeks to “create a world that nurtures the nonviolent virtues and values of “The Gandhi of Iran” [Mossadegh], not only for his beloved Iran, but for the global community on our distressed Mother Earth.”
MLI has composed a petition to the Nobel Foundation for a joint Posthumous Nobel Peace Prize for Mossadegh and Mahatma Gandhi. MLI’s Board of Endorsers includes MIT Professor Noam Chomsky (Honorary Chair); Prof. Ervand Abrahamian; Tariq Ali; Cindy Sheehan; Professor Richard Falk; Prof. Stephen Kinzer and many other effective contemporary voices for truth and justice.
MLI is conducting a Mossadegh Awareness Speaking Tour across the U.S., seeking to build a deeper understanding of Mossadegh and beget Sanity in Foreign Policy, a condition urgently needed in today’s world. MLI founder Moji Agha will speak in Spokane on June 6:
6:00 to 8:00 PM, at Salem Lutheran Church, 1428 W 1428 W Broadway Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
Co-Host: Peace and Justice Action of Spokane (PJALS)
MLI’s Moji Agha is also available to speak to other groups in the Inland Northwest through June 9th. Please contact PJALS if you are interested.
Few outside of the peace & justice community know of Iranian Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, the immensely popular, democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran who is perhaps best known here in the U.S. for his leadership role in nationalizing the British-controlled Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1951.
Mossadegh did much more, though. He initiated land reform, social security and other programs that benefited the Iranian people rather than foreign investors. For these sins, the bright light of Mossadegh’s leadership was brief.
When the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, failed to destroy Mossadegh they sought help from the CIA, who deposed Mossadegh in 1953, destroying his popularly supported government and installing the murderous Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi who immediately reinstated the British oil interests (and now U.S. oil interests—who acquired a 40 percent share of Iran’s oil). With CIA help, the Shah established his notorious SAVAK (secret police) who regularly imprisoned, tortured and murdered those who protested this dictatorship installed at the behest British and U.S. oil. U.S. support for the gruesome dictatorship was decisive, maintaining a “stable” business climate for its oil merchants, proving that the Americans, too, could deliver what Adam Smith once called the “savage injustice of the Europeans.”
However, official history has not been able to paint Mossadegh away as a dark character and it’s unlikely the bright light of Mossadegh’s time has been extinguished. He seems to have been a very great man, revered by the people of Iran and beyond, considered by many to be the Gandhi of Iran, and deeply respected in the West by those able to see beyond the “necessary illusions” of “Americanism.” For example, U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas could see. He respected and befriended Mossadegh, offering encouragement to his friend, writing in 1951, “I think the great body of American sentiment will grow and grow in favor of you and your wonderful people, as the ugly and greedy British policy under Churchill’s management becomes as plain to everyone as it is to you and to me.”
Certainly that sentiment has grown, at least in the truth and justice communities, maybe beyond. And perhaps the grassroots work of the Mossadegh Legacy Institute can bring it further into the mainstream, until it’s as plain to everyone as it was to Douglas and Mossadegh.
Thanks to PJALS member Mike Nuess for this article!