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(2) Covert action against the KGB by the CIA & MI6

The battles of the CIA and MI6 agents in Iran from the end of the Second World War to the 1953 coup was bloody, glorious, dirty, torturous and probably the nastiest ever. The job of sequestering and fighting against foreign agents was given to Iranian army intelligence, which was heavily infiltrated by Stalin and everybody else. The Soviet agents were transferring a lot of vital information to Russians. The Shah's personal bodyguard was also a communist.


The organization of the communist officers in Iranian army had 600 members, who happened to be the most competent officers and who were implanted in vital posts. Colonel Mobasheri - who was one the members of the central committee of communist officers organization - was the chief of army intelligence. The problem with working for Iranian intelligence service was that the person involved would be quickly known by the KGB and checkmated. The British MI6 had some infiltration into KGB but that was very little and it consisted of people who were just simply very nationalist. The main reason that in such a chaotic environment the communists were not able to totally annihilate Iran was the fact that they were atheists. The Iranian religious leaders would simply not permit the communists to gain any foothold. Mr. Seyyed Zia's groups were mostly ultra right-wing and sometimes fascistic organizations with very bad reputations. For example, one of these organizations, called SUMKA, had changed several hands, and was finally run by Davoud Monshizadeh, who was a personal friend of Hitler. Although they were quite brutal and their specialization was to fight the Tudeh party in the streets, they did not have the prestige to put up a fight against the communists. On Feb 4 1949, there was an assassination attempt on the Shah by a person who was a known member of the Tudeh party. The Shah used the occasion to outlaw the Tudeh party and arrested all of its leaders and put them in jail. It was quite funny when 2 months later all of the 10 arrested leaders of the Tudeh party escaped from Ghasr prison, hand in hand with the help of the warden and the officers, who were all communist.

Shah Wounded

Mr Sadeghian and the Shah

For several years my family had been fighting against the communists in different groups and factions. However, when the Shah banned the Tudeh party, my father was one of the first people who stormed into the headquarters of the Tudeh party and took over those facilities. He told me that although he was happy to be able to do this, he felt awful. He told me that when he was much younger and a sympathizer of the communist party, he used to go around and collect party dues from workers 5 pennies at a time and the night they stormed the headquarters of the Tudeh party, he saw that they had a bar in the main conference room with thousands of dollars worth of foreign drinks. The five pennies were used to buy American-made Johnny Walker to be consumed by Iranian communists. At this point the fight against the communist groups changed and the role of my uncle and my father changed. I really don't have a good understanding of what my father did, we were very different politically, and I never was a monarchist. Also, I was in the U.S. when he passed away and because of our ongoing intense political arguments, we never had the opportunity to sit down and talk about those details.

Mr Sadeghian's situation was totally different. He was directly working for the shah. However, in order to prevent being compromised his name was not known by any of Iranian agencies, and he received his orders only from the Shah and his most trusted friends for several years, until finally, he was identified by the KGB, along with three other people. The KGB had issued assassination orders to the intelligence branch of the army section of the communist party to eliminate four people on a list. That list became famous later on and was used against the communist party. The list was called (S-SH-d-f). These letters are the first letters of the names of the people who were supposed to be assassinated. S was my uncle Mr. Assadollah Sadeghian. SH was Mr. Shahandeh a famous pro Shah reporter. Unfortunately I do not remember the names of the other two. The orders for their assassinations were delivered from the Russian embassy to the assassination squad. The person delivering the message happened to be my uncle's friend and was a double agent. He gave the list to my uncle and he gave the list to the CIA station chief of Tehran. The CIA took care of the KGB agents that they could. However, unfortunately the double agent lost his life trying to save my uncle.

The activities of Mr. Sadeghian throughout these years were quite varied. Starting with the first couple of years, when he was low on the totem pole until his last job offer as Secretary of labor for the final cabinet of the Shah's reign, under Prime Minister Bakhtiar. During these difficult years, he answered only to the Shah himself. And the reason he was discovered so late by KGB was because he was not registered with Iranian intelligence services during the first years, and later on when he was known, he was not registered at his true levels. Also, since he was an excellent businessman and a multimillionaire, he had a very good cover.

A few memories from Mr Sadeghian

As I mentioned earlier we were so different politically that we did not have that many heart to heart chats.

He just told me a few things in our last encounter. One of my questions was about when he had just changed loyalties and was doing dangerous missions for the Shah; how did he handle the family? All together he had eight children and at that point he must have had three or four of them. He said before he accepted any duty he talked to my aunt, who was a very nice lady. He told her that his job was going to be dangerous and that if something happened to him, more than likely nobody would acknowledge knowing him. My aunt was a typical Iranian housewife of sixty years ago. She told him "if the Shah wants him to do it, then it must be important. Country comes first. Do not worry about us. If something happens to you I will raise your kids even if I have to work as a servant."

Missile Tests, Defenses against USSR

One of the exploits of WWII for Americans and Russians was German rocket scientists. Both countries inherited enough scientists to build their own rockets. Americans put most of their testing sites in the southwest deserts. Russians built theirs in Kazakhstan, which was deep inside their territory. Military installations in Kazakhstan dated to the Russian transfer of military factories in the face of Hitler. In order to monitor Soviet activities, Americans had to risk flying U2 planes on Russian territory, which ended in disaster. By 1953, the Iron Curtain had become solid. The Korean War never finished and both countries were at each other's throats. The CIA coup of 1953 had happened and the Shah was fully in power. There was a chance for shifting some military policies.

Ice Cream with the King

Newly elect Ike sent his vice president to Iran and several other countries around Russia to unify all anticommunist countries encircling The USSR. The Shah met with Nixon privately and publicly. There was a setting for the vice president to talk for an Iranian audience, which included the Iranian security officers and foreign reporters. It was not a news conference, more like a gathering in presence of the Shah to have some tea and ice cream and listen to the vice president.

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I am a Clinical Neuropsychologist. I was born and raised in Tehran Iran .I came to the U.S in 1976 to study psychology. With time decided to hang my hat here and became a U.S. citizen. My areas of interest in psychology are varied. However I (more...)

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The photos are quite good, Abbas. Where did you ge... by Peter Duveen on Wednesday, Mar 10, 2010 at 6:40:10 PM
My Dear Friend PeterMost of the pictures come out ... by Abbas Sadeghian, Ph.D. on Thursday, Mar 11, 2010 at 7:27:41 AM