Mohammad Mosaddeq and the Referendum: Iran and the Exception in the Cold War
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This work looks at a particular moment in the premiership of Mohammad Mosaddeq (1951-53), when he proposes a referendum to disband the 17th Majlis in order to hold re-elections. This paper will show that Mosaddeq’s premiership represents a confluence of colonial and non-liberal European thought, in a post-“colonial”, pre-Revolutionary Iran. In addition, this paper will, through a comparative analysis of Early Republican Turkey vis-à-vis Iran, show how Mosaddeq’s rule of law was not only not a unique phenomenon but heavily proliferated through much of Europe and the Middle East. Indeed much of Iran and Turkey’s law making and constitutional processes were heavily influenced by European political thought. Finally this paper will through an historical analysis of Reza Shah and Mustafa Kemal, show that Mosaddeq's rise to premiership and ultimately his decision to use emergency powers and the exception, is not a singular moment within the region’s history, but rather reflects a longer trend within the politics of Iran and other nations starting from the early 20th century.