News ID: 76
General Robert E. Huyser in his memoires has written: I went covertly to Tehran to investigate the matter how a coup is possible and whether it is expedient. After much investigation, order came from Washington to form a powerful government led by Shapour Bakhtyar. If that failed, a military coup would be conducted.
Publish Date : 13:12 - 2020 January 05

IRDC.IR: According to existing documents, the masterminds of the military coup named rescue operation or curettage intended to arrest the concerned people in two moves. The main objective of the coup carriers was to arrest and murder Imam Khomeini and the heads of the revolution as well as tens of thousands of revolutionaries.

In the book "American Military Advisors in Iran” published by the Islamic Revolution Documents Center, it goes about the role of the advisors in a military coup the Iranian nation that:

The plan for a coup was on agenda with the heads of the Army approximately since Huyser entered Iran. General Huyser would discuss the various aspects of the coup with a group of high-ranking army officials named "Group Five”, including Gharabaghi, Toufanian, Rabii, Badrei, Habibollahi. The plan was constantly discussed until finalized for February 10, 1979, which would become the eve of the Islamic Revolution.

Writing in his memoir named Mission in Tehran, Huyser says about forming the group 5 and its missions: The role of our staff should be to decide the kind of information needed for carrying out a military action… if the nonmilitary government is defeated, a coup would be better than anything else. We should made opponents realize that there is always the chance for action and that the military power element holds the most cards in sleeve and can meet some issues with force, break strikes and hold control of the country. It will do this even if it take shedding much blood.

In another part of his memoirs, he points to the commands he had received from US secretary of defense Harold Brown: Brown repeated his orders of January 11, saying if things grew worse, the Army should be prepared for a coup at any moment. Then he told me that I should boost the army both physically and in terms of morale so that they would be ready for it at any moment.

He goes on to add: Group 5 grows more prepared every day. Gharabaghi is playing more management role. The plans are being formed and we are getting to the point when we can carry out a military coup.

The role of military advisors was of high importance in the coup, so much so that according to existing accounts, the headquarters for commanding this coup housed tens of these American officers and they were head by General Gusset, head of the US advisory bureau in Iran. But finally, as the protests of the revolution grew more energetic, Huyser and the White House could do no more and he left Iran for the US a few days before the revolution.

The American general writes about the readiness of the forces for the coup: The army commanders are willing to stand behind Bakhtyar as long as possible, they have fully realized that if things grow worse, the only way to preserve the desired government would be military intervention. But I expressed my concerns about Gharabaghi and Habibollahi, two members of the group 5. Our military men in Iran also greatly fear ayatollah Khomeini, especially with regard to his unshaking anti-American morale. But they all work hard and there is no concern about their morale.

But things were not growing as the Pahlavi and American generals were expecting. With the wise leadership of Imam Khomeini and a thorough plan by his followers there were many revolutionary organizations inside the army consisting of soldiers and officers gathered around one pole for the revolution. It had also caused the desertion of many other forces of the army. The meetings of some of the members of the revolution council with the heads of the army had caused the plans of general Huyser and the group 5 to grow into disarray and challenge their final operability. This has been repeated many times and again by Huyser himself and the other heads of the Pahlavi army in their memoirs and statements. The operation called saving or curettage met failure on February 10 in the evening after the historic command of Imam Khomeini.

The plans for the final operation and the coup had been prepared in advance. The plan had even named hundreds of political and religious leaders opposed to the regime who would have to be arrested with the onset of the operation. On February 10 things changed so unexpectedly that Bakhtyar and army commanders had to order the operation to start. Phillip C Gust, the general who had replaced Huyser in Iran, played the role of the coordinator between the army advisors and the coup carriers from the army headquarters. The first move was to evacuate streets of people and suppress the resurrection in the air force base. Without delay, Bakhtyar ordered for the formation of the security council at 6 o’clock in the evening of February 10, addressed to the entire members and commanders of the army. He simultaneously ordered the Tehran governorate to announce an extension to the curfew on radio.

After the operation called rescue or curettage met failure in the evening of February 10 following the historic order of Imam Khomeini, that is the order that broke the curfew which had been extended to 6:30 for the coup to be carried out, in the morning of the following day when most of the headquarters of the Pahlavi regime had fallen in the hands of revolutionaries, the Islamic revolution of the Iranian nation as led by Imam Khomeini was going to end the 2,500 year rule of monarchs in this land. The coup was discarded in the morning when army commanders said they would stand aside.

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