Skip to main content

Mussadegh, Muhammad

Muhammad Mussadegh (mōōhäm´mäd mōō´sädāg), 1880–1967, Iranian political leader, prime minister of Iran (1951–53). He held a variety of government posts (1914–25) but retired to private life in protest against the shah's assumption of dictatorial powers in 1925. He returned to government (1944) as a member of parliament and quickly established himself as an opponent of foreign interference in Iranian affairs. He successfully fought Soviet attempts to exploit the oil fields of N Iran and led the movement to nationalize the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. He became immensely popular, and after parliament passed his oil nationalization act (1951), the shah was forced to appoint him prime minister. Mussadegh's refusal to negotiate a settlement with the British alienated the shah and members of Iran's ruling class. A political crisis developed; the shah openly opposed him and, after trying (1952) to oust Mussadegh, was forced into temporary exile. In Aug., 1953, Mussadegh's government was overthrown by the shah's supporters with CIA aid. After serving three years in prison, Mussadegh spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

See S. Kinzer, All the Shah's Men (2003); C. de Bellaigue, Patriot of Persia (2012).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Mussadegh, Muhammad." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 15 Dec. 2018 <>.

"Mussadegh, Muhammad." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (December 15, 2018).

"Mussadegh, Muhammad." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 15, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.