July 21st 1952 uprising is a memorable event in the history of contemporary Iran. This incident is perhaps the only case in which the king showed deference to the constitution. Taking charge of military and police forces by Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh was an unique event in the history of the Pahlavis.
Subsequent to the opening of the seventeenth period of Majliss, Dr. Mossadegh resigned according to a parliamentary tradition in July 8th 1952. However, due to the widespread demonstrations and strikes, the Majliss gave him its vote of confidence. In his meeting with the shah. Dr. Mossadegh proposed to take the right of appointing minister of war To this the shah had replied, “So tell me pack your suitcase and leave the country”. Mossaddeq had responded immediately that he would resign.
Domestic and foreign press whispered about Qavam’s coming to power, and some courtiers supported the idea. Following the resignation of Mossaddeq and appointment of Qavam as his successor, and the broadcast of a strongly worded declaration of Qavam on radio regarding the resumption of relations with the British and extermination of any political opposition and the execution of the opponents, Tehran had the image of an occupied city from early hours of July 21st 1952, and it was surrounded by military and police forces. However, the people crowded the streets of Tehran in support of Dr. Mossaddeq and backed by Aytollah Kashani’s declaration. The clashes between people and the armed forces left some killed and some injured. The rising against Qavam and in favor of Dr. Mossaddeq reached to a point that the shah found himself obliged to issue the decree for Mossaddeq’s premiership.
The following pictures portray some events of July 21st, the political and religious figures of the day and some scenes of people’s demonstrations chosen among the picture archives of the Institute for Iran’s Contemporary Historical Studies.