1952 Iranian legislative election

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Iranian legislative election, 1952
State flag of Iran (1933–1964).svg
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79 seats to the National Consultative Assembly
  First party Second party
  Dr Mohammad Mosaddeq.jpg Reza Radmanesh.jpg
Leader Mohammad Mosaddegh Reza Radmanesh
Party Tudeh Party
Alliance National Front
Leader's seat Did not stand Did not stand
Seats won 30 0

Prime Minister before election

Mohammad Mosaddegh

Elected Prime Minister

Mohammad Mosaddegh

Parliamentary elections were held in Iran in 1952 to elect the 17th Iranian Majlis.

The elections were held by Government of Mosaddegh, who championed free elections and tried to minimize fraud by changing several governor-generals and governors. He also ordered members of the electoral supervisory councils to be selected by lot. However, the government was unable to control the shah, Artesh, the notables, and some of its own supporters.[1] The voting process was stopped by Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh after enough MPs were elected to form a parliamentary quorum (79 out of 136).[2] The decision is viewed as manipulation, because Mosaddegh meant to prevent opposition candidates taking seat from rural areas.[3]

U.S. interference[edit]

Historian Ervand Abrahamian, in an interview with Democracy Now!, said U.S. State Department documents declassified in 2017 reveal that their strategy was to undermine Mohammad Mosaddegh through parliament and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spent lot of money to get their 18 favorable candidates elected.[4]


The highly organized Tudeh Party failed to win a single seat, despite receiving the second-highest number of votes.[5]

In Tehran, the turnout was double that of previous election and the National Front candidates, including members of Iran Party, Toilers Party, Muslim Mojahedin and non-partisan nationalists won all twelve seats.[6] In Tabriz, the nine deputies elected were supporters of Mossadegh.[7]

According to David McDowall, in Mahabad the candidate known to be a Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan member was overwhelmingly elected but the results were annulled.[8] However, Denise Natali states that the candidate was named Vaziri, who belonged to Tudeh Party.[9] Royalist cleric Hassan Emami eventually took office representing the constituency and was elected as Speaker of the parliament.[10] A CIA document states that the Shah was behind his election.[11]

Party/alliance Seats
Royalists 49
National Front Iran Party 30
Toilers Party
Muslim Warriors
Vacant 57
Total 136
Source: Abrahamian[6]


  1. ^ Azimi, Fakhreddin (December 13, 2011) [December 15, 1998]. "ELECTIONS i. UNDER THE QAJAR AND PAHLAVI MONARCHIES, 1906-79". In Yarshater, Ehsan. Encyclopædia Iranica. 4. VIII. New York City: Bibliotheca Persica Press. pp. 345–355. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  2. ^ Nohlen, Dieter; Grotz, Florian; Hartmann, Christof (2001), "Iran", Elections in Asia: A Data Handbook, I, Oxford University Press, p. 73, ISBN 0-19-924958-X
  3. ^ Rieffer-Flanagan, Barbara Ann (2013). Evolving Iran: An Introduction to Politics and Problems in the Islamic Republic. Georgetown University Press. p. 85–86. ISBN 9781589019782.
  4. ^ Abrahamian, Ervand (24 July 2017). "Newly Declassified Documents Confirm U.S. Backed 1953 Coup in Iran Over Oil Contracts" (Interview). Interviewed by Amy Goodman and Juan González. Democracy Now!. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  5. ^ Zabih, Sepehr (1966). The Communist Movement in Iran. University of California Press. p. 193. ISBN 0-691-10134-5.
  6. ^ a b Abrahamian, Ervand (1982). Iran Between Two Revolutions. Princeton University Press. p. 269. ISBN 0-691-10134-5. The Seventeenth Majles convened in February 1952. Of the seventy-nine deputies, thirty either belonged to or closely identified with the National Front. They included Sanjabi and Zirakzadeh of the Iran party; Baqai of the Toilers' party; Kashani and Qonatabadi from the Society of Muslim Warriors; nonparty supporters of Mossadeq, such as Shayegan, Razavi, Nariman, Makki, and Haerzadeh; and Khosrow and Naser Qashqayi, who joined the caucus after their elections from Fars... The other forty-nine deputies, many of them landowners, divided into a royalist and a pro-British fraksiun. Not daring to confront public opinion directly, the royalists and pro-British conservatives tried to weaken the government with side skirmishes.
  7. ^ Baktiari, Bahman (1996). Parliamentary Politics in Revolutionary Iran: The Institutionalization of Factional Politics. University Press of Florida. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-8130-1461-6.
  8. ^ McDowall, David (2004). A Modern History of the Kurds: Third Edition. I.B.Tauris. p. 251. ISBN 9781850434160.
  9. ^ Denise Natali (2005). The Kurds And the State: Evolving National Identity in Iraq, Turkey, And Iran. Syracuse University Press. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-8156-3084-5. In the 1952 elections, for instance, KDPI candidates received about 80 percent of the votes in the Kurdish regions, vet they were prohibited from attaining seats in the Majlis. Kurdayeti certainly remained salient for Kurdish nationalist cadres. Although Vaziri was director of Tudeh's KAK, he ran as the "Kurdish candidate" from Mahabad in 1952 in his bid for a seat in Majlis.
  10. ^ Gasiorowski, Mark J.; Byrne, Malcolm (2004). Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran. Syracuse University Press. p. 46–51. ISBN 0815630182.
  11. ^ "346. Despatch From the Station in Iran to the Chief of the Near East and Africa Division, Directorate of Plans, Central Intelligence Agency (Roosevelt)", Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, United States Department of State, p. 833, 13 November 1953