Mohammad Mosaddegh

former Prime Minister of Iran (1882–1967)

Mohammad Mosaddegh, also spelled Mosaddeq, (Persian: محمد مصدق‎) (16 June 1882 – 5 March 1967) was an Iranian politician who served as the 35th Prime Minister of Iran, holding office from 1951 until 1953, when his government was overthrown in the 1953 Iranian coup d'état orchestrated by the United Kingdom's MI6.

Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh

An author, administrator, lawyer and parliamentarian, his administration introduced a range of social and political measures such as social security, land reforms and higher taxes including the introduction of taxation of the rent on land. His government's most significant policy, however, was the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry, which had been built by the British on Persian lands since 1913 through the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC), later known as British Petroleum (BP).


  • The moral aspect of oil nationalization is more important than its economic aspect.
  • There is no political or moral yardstick by which the court can measure its judgment in the case of nationalization of the oil industry in Iran [...] under no condition we will accept the jurisdiction of the court on the subject. We cannot put ourselves in the dangerous situation which might arise out of the court's decision.
    • Refusing to allow the International Court in the Hague to rule on his nationalisation of oil interests
  • 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 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.
    • Defending himself against a treason charge, on 19 December, 1953

Quotes about Mohammad Mosaddegh

  • Since the 1950s, several democratically elected socialist governments have nationalized large parts of their extractive sectors and begun to redistribute to the poor and middle class the wealth that had previously hemorrhaged into foreign bank accounts, most notably Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran and Salvador Allende in Chile. But those experiments were interrupted by foreign-sponsored coups d'état before reaching their potential.
    • Naomi Klein This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (2014)


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