Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh was Iran’s first democratically elected prime minister. For many people he symbolizes Iranian sovereignty and patriotism. During his short time in office (April 1951-Aug. 1953) he managed to nationalize the oil industry ending almost 50 years of British monopoly over Iran’s petroleum excavation, extraction, research, marketing and sales. In a now infamous covert military operation (the coup) by the British and the American intelligence services, his government was overthrown on Aug.19, 1953, (28 Mordad 1332). He lived under house arrest from the time his government was overthrown until his death on March 5, 1967. He was buried inside his residence’s dining room in the village of Ahmadabad.
Mohammad Mossadegh was one of crown prince Abbas Mirza’s great grandsons. Born in Tehran on June 16, 1882, his father was a finance minister and his mother a Qajar princess. In 1909 he married Zahra Khanom, one of Nasir al-Din Shah’s granddaughters. Mossadegh was educated at Institut d'études politiques de Paris in France and University of Neuchâtel Switzerland where he received his doctorate degree in law in June 1913.
When he returned to Iran he briefly taught at Tehran School of Political Science and then held various posts in government. He served as a member of parliament, governor of the provinces of Fars and Azerbaijan, and became justice, finance and foreign minister at different periods before leading the government as prime minister.
More information about Mohammad Mossadegh:
Excerpt from "Thirty Years of Iran Oil: From Nationalization to Revolution" by Ghobad Fakhimi (PDF)
Iran's widely circulated newspaper featured the Mossadegh Servant Leaders Hall at Northeastern for the first time introducing its mission and history on the 64th anniversary of the Coup.