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1953 Iranian coup d’état
TPAjax.jpg
Anti-Mosaddegh demonstrators on a Military tank,
Tehran, 19 August 1953.
Date 15-20 August 1953
Location Iran
Result The overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, and his replacement by Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi on 19 August 1953.
Belligerents
State Flag of Iran (1925).svg Supporters of Shāh
 United States
 United Kingdom
State Flag of Iran (1925).svg Supporters of Mosaddegh
State Flag of Iran (1925).svg National Front

The 1953 Iranian coup d’état (termed the 28 Mordad coup d'état in Iran), was the overthrow of the democratically-elected Iranian government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh by the Central Intelligence Agency;[1] It was the CIA's first covert operation against a foreign government.[2] The coup has been called "a critical event in post-war world history", and is thought to have influenced "all of subsequent Iranian history."[3] The coup was originally considered in America to be a triumph of Cold War covert action, but given its blowback, it is considered now generally to have left "a haunting and terrible legacy," both in Iran and worldwide.[4] In 2000, the U.S. Secretary of State called the coup a "setback for democratic government" in Iran, saying "It is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs."[5] In 2009, President Barack Obama publicly admitted US involvement in the coup; the first time a sitting US president had done so.[6]

In 1951 with majority support in Iran’s parliament, Mosaddegh had nationalized the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), so Iran could profit equitably from the sale of its vast national petroleum resources that had so far been under the control of the British, who gave the Iranian government only 16 percent of Iran's oil profits.[7][2] Since 1913, the British had exclusively controlled Iranian oil through the AIOC,[8][2] and it was the British government 's single largest overseas investment.[9] Despite Mosaddegh’s wide support, the decision angered Britain, which accused Mosaddegh of violating the 1913 Qajar era agreement that had given Britain control of Iranian oil through the AIOC, and it instigated a worldwide boycott of Iranian oil, to pressure Iran economically.[10] Initially, Britain mobilized its military to seize control of the Abadan oil refinery, the world’s largest, but Prime Minister Attlee chose instead to tighten the economic boycott against Iran.[11] The later British government, of Churchill, successfully gained US support for staging a coup d'état against Iran's elected government; while the Truman administration had opposed a coup, the succeeding Eisenhower administration administration supported it.[12]

The British and U.S. spy agencies then persuaded the Iranian monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, to order Mosaddegh's dismissal, while paying and organizing anti-Mosaddegh mobs, clergy, politicians and Iranian army officers, and waging a propaganda campaign against Mosaddegh and his government.[13] At first, the coup appeared to be a failure when on the night of August 15-16, Imperial Guard Colonel Nematollah Nassiri was arrested while attempting to arrest Mosaddegh. The Shah fled the country the next day. After several days of mass confusion, however, a pro-Shah mob marched on Mosaddegh's residence, which was also attacked by a tank column led by retired General Fazlollah Zahedi.[14] Subsequently, Mosaddegh was arrested, tried by military court, and placed under house arrest until his death..[15][16] Mossadegh’s supporters were rounded up, imprisoned, tortured or executed. The minister of Foreign Affairs and the closest associate of Mossadegh, Hossein Fatemi, was repeatedly stabbed by a mob, and later executed by a firing squad. [17]

In the wake of the coup, Zahedi was appointed prime minister of a military government by the Shah who returned to Iran to rule as an authoritarian monarch[18], for the next 26 years, until he was overthrown by a popular revolt in 1979.[19] The Iranian-controlled national oil company was replaced by a consortium of Western oil companies which shared profits 50-50 with Iran but did not to open their "books to Iranian auditors or to allow Iranians onto its board of directors." [20] Washington went on to become the major backer of Shah, with the CIA training the Shah's secret police, SAVAK. The coup is widely believed to have significantly contributed to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which deposed the Shah and replaced the pro-Western monarchy with the anti-Western Islamic Republic of Iran.[21]

Contents

Background

According to The Guardian newspaper, the principal motive for overthrowing Iran's elected government was US and UK refusal to accept the nationalisation of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, the business agreement between the Imperial British and the Iranian civil governments.[22] However according to scholar Mark Gasiorowski, while "it is often argued that the main motive behind the coup was the desire of U.S. policy makers to help U.S. oil companies gain a share in Iranian oil production ... it seems more plausible" the U.S. policymakers "were motivated mainly by fears of a communist takeover in Iran."[23] Gasiorowski's later book written with Malcolm Byrne and published in 2003 offers a different interpretation.[citation needed]

History professor Ervand Abrahamian[24] and author of five books on Iran's history was interviewed on Democracy Now concerning the US motive for overthrowing the government of Iran.

Amy Goodman: That issue of the U.S. government funding both the people in the streets who pretended that they were for Mosaddegh but communist, and against Mosaddegh, pro-Shah, I would like our guest, professor Ervand Abrahamian, Middle East and Iran expert at Baruch College, to comment on. This was a time, the British had used the ruse of anti-communism supposedly to lure in the U.S. Do you think the U.S. was fully well aware of the issue of oil being at the core of this, and also them possibly getting a cut of those oil sales. Ervand Abrahamian: Yes, I think oil is the central issue. But of course this was done at the height of the Cold War, so much of the discourse at the time linked it to the Cold War. I think many liberal historians, including of course Stephen Kinzer’s wonderful book here, even though it’s very good in dealing with the tragedy of the ‘53 coup, still puts it in this liberal framework that the tragedy, the original intentions, were benign—that the U.S. really got into it because of the Cold War and was hoodwinked into it by the nasty British who of course had oil interests, but the U.S. somehow was different, that the U.S. Eisenhower’s interests were really anti-communism. I sort of doubt that interpretation. For me, the oil was important both for the United States and for Britain. It’s not just the question of oil in Iran. It was a question of control over oil internationally. If Mosaddegh had succeeded in nationalizing the British oil industry in Iran, that would have set an example and was seen at that time by the Americans as a threat to U.S. oil interests throughout the world, because other countries would do the same. Once you have control, then you can determine how much oil you produce in your country, who you sell it to, when you sell it, and that meant basically shifting power from the oil companies, both British Petroleum, Angloversion, American companies, shifting it to local countries like Iran and Venezuela. And in this, the U.S. had as much stake in preventing nationalization in Iran as the British did. So here there was not really a major difference between the United States and the British. The question really was on tactics. Truman was persuaded he could, in a way, nudge Mosaddegh to give up the concept of nationalization, that somehow there could be a package seen as nationalized but which, in reality, kept power in the hands of Western oil companies. Mosaddegh refused to go along with this facade. He wanted real nationalization, both in theory and practice. So the Truman administration, in a way, was not that different from the British view of keeping control. Then, the Truman policy was then, if Mosaddegh was not willing to do this, then he could be shoved aside through politics by the Shah dismissing him or the Parliament in Iran dismissing him. But again, it was not that different from the British view. Where the shift came was that after July of 1952, it became clear even to the American ambassador in Iran that Mosaddegh could not be got rid of through the political process. He had too much popularity, and after July ’53, the U.S. really went along with the British view of a coup, indeed to have a military coup. So even before Eisenhower came in, the U.S. was working closely with the British to carry out the coup. What came out of the coup was that the oil industry, on paper, remained Iranian, nationalized, but in reality controlled by a consortium. In that consortium the British still retained more than 50 percent, but the U.S. got a good 40 percent of the control.[25]

Early petroleum development

In May 1902, Mozzafar al-Din Shah Qajar, the Shah of Persia, sought to pay debts owed to Britain by granting a 60-year petroleum search concession to William Knox D'Arcy. The exploration took seven years and was almost canceled, but ultimately yielded an enormous petroleum field discovery—from which Persia would receive only 16 percent of the future net profits. Calculating net profits was left to the company, and later became a source of serious conflict.[26]

The company grew slowly until World War I, when Persia's strategic importance led the British government to buy a controlling share in the company, essentially nationalizing British oil production in Iran for a short time. It became the Royal Navy's chief fuel source during the war.

Post-World War I

The Persians were dissatisfied with the royalty terms of the British petroleum concession, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC), whereby Persia received 16 per cent of net profits.[27] Furthermore, the British exacerbated that business dissatisfaction by intervening in the national, internal affair of the Persian Constitutional Revolution (the transition from dynastic to parliamentary government).[28][29][30]

In 1921, a military coup d’état—“widely believed to be a British attempt to enforce, at least, the spirit of the Anglo-Persian agreement” effected with the “financial and logistical support of British military personnel”—permitted the political emergence of Reza Pahlavi, whom they enthroned as the “Shah of Iran” in 1925. The Shah modernised Persia to the advantage of the British; one result was the Persian Corridor railroad for British military and civil transport during World War II.[31]

In the 1930s, the Shah tried to terminate the APOC concession, but Britain would not allow it. The concession was renegotiated on terms again favorable to the British. On 21 March 1935, Pahlavi changed the name of the country from Persia to Iran. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company was then re-named the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC).[32]

World War II

In 1941, after the Nazi invasion of the USSR, the British and Commonwealth of Nations forces and the Red Army invaded Iran, to secure petroleum (cf. Persian Corridor) for the Soviet Union's effort against the Nazis on the Eastern Front and for the British elsewhere. Britain and the USSR deposed the pro-Nazi Shah Reza, and enthroned his 22-year-old son, Crown Prince Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, as the Shah of Iran.

The British secured the oilfields and seaports.

By June 1941 the British had reasserted their influence in Iraq and planned to protect their interests more effectively. This decision was made more pertinent when Germany invaded the USSR (now Russia) on 22 June 1941. The Royal Engineers were given the task of executing and supervising a series of large works projects to secure the RAF stations at Habbaniya and Shaiba, the Kirkuk oilfields, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company's installations in south-west Iran, as well as the development of ports and communication infrastructure in both Iran and Iraq.[33]

Post-World War II

After the war, nationalist leaders became influential by seeking a reduction in long-term foreign interventions in their country—especially the very profitable British oil concession. In particular, the AIOC's refusal to allow auditing of accounts to determine whether or not the Iranian government was being paid its due royalties in full irked many. The AIOC's refusal escalated nationalist demands to an equal share of petroleum revenue. Finally, the crisis was the AIOC's closing rather than accepting Iranian government "interference" in its business. The AIOC and the Iranian government resisted nationalist pressure to a renewed deal in 1949.

1950s

In mid-1952, Britain's boycott of Iranian oil was devastatingly effective, and British agents in Tehran "were working to subvert" the government of Mosaddegh who sought help from President Truman and then the World Bank to no avail. "Iranians were becoming poorer and unhappier by the day" and Mosaddegh's political coalition was fraying. In the springtime, Mosaddegh was preoccupied with parliamentary elections. "He had little to fear from a free vote, since despite the country's problems, he was widely admired as a hero. A free vote, however, was not what others were planning. British agents had fanned out across the country, bribing candidates, and the regional bosses who controlled them. They hoped to fill the Majlis with deputies who would vote to depose Mosaddegh. It would be a coup carried out by seemingly legal means."[34]

Iranian elections took several weeks to complete because of difficulties in transportation and communication. The first results came from big cities, and they were encouraging to Mosaddegh. In Tehran all twelve National Front candidates were elected. Results in other parts of the country, where there was no one to monitor the voting, were quite different. These results did not in themselves disturb Mosaddegh, whose faith in the popular will was boundless, but he became worried after violence broke out in Abadan and several other parts of the country where elections were being hotly contested. Aides told him that some of the candidates being elected were under the direct control of British agents. He was about to leave for The Hague to defend Iran against another British lawsuit at the World Court and feared that his absence might remove the last checks on his enemies' electoral chicanery. In June, after 80 candidates had been certified as winners of seats in the 136-seat Majlis, his cabinet voted to halt the elections. In a statement, he asserted that since "foreign agents" were exploiting the election campaign to destabilize Iran, "the supreme national interests of the country necessitate the suspension of elections pending the return of the Iranian delegation from The Hague." [35]

In a 1987 article, Mark J. Gasiorowski was sharply critical. He wrote "The referendum was rigged which caused a great public outcry against Mosaddegh."[36]

Kinzer, however, wrote that "Mosaddegh was legally entitled to take this step as long as the eighty seated members did not veto it, which they did not. He could also claim a measure of moral legitimacy, since he was defending Iran against subversion by outsiders. Nonetheless, the episode cast him in an unflattering light. It allowed his critics to portray him as undemocratic and grasping for personal power.

While Mosaddegh dealt with this challenge, he also had to face another that most Iranians considered far more urgent. Their country was spiraling into bankruptcy. Tens of thousands had lost their jobs at the Abadan refinery, and although most understood and passionately supported the idea of nationalization, they naturally hoped that Mosaddegh would find a way to put them back to work. The only way he could do that was to sell oil." [37]

Support for nationalization

In 1951, the AIOC's resistance to re-negotiating their petroleum concession—and increasing the royalty paid to Iran—created popular support for nationalising the company. In March, the pro-Western PM Ali Razmara was assassinated; the next month, the parliament legislated the petroleum industry's nationalisation, by creating the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). This legislation was guided by the Western-educated Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh, then a member of the Iranian parliament and leader of the nationalization movement; by May, the Shah had appointed Mosaddegh Prime Minister.

Mohammad Mosaddegh attempted to negotiate with the AIOC, but the company rejected his proposed compromise. Mosaddegh's plan, based on the 1948 compromise between the Venezuelan Government of Romulo Gallegos and Creole Petroleum,[38] would divide the profits from oil 50/50 between Iran and Britain. This proved unacceptable to Britain and the Foreign Office began planning for his overthrow.[39]

That summer, American diplomat Averell Harriman went to Iran to negotiate an Anglo-Iranian compromise, asking the Shah's help; his reply was that "in the face of public opinion, there was no way he could say a word against nationalization".[40] Harriman held a press conference in Tehran, calling for reason and enthusiasm in confronting the "nationalization crisis". As soon as he spoke, a journalist rose and shouted: "We and the Iranian people all support Premier Mosaddegh and oil nationalization!" Everyone present began cheering and then marched out of the room; the abandoned Harriman shook his head in dismay.[40]

Nationalization

The National Iranian Oil Company suffered decreased production, because of Iranian inexperience and the AIOC's orders that British technicians not work with them, thus provoking the Abadan Crisis that was aggravated by the Royal Navy's blockading its export markets to pressure Iran to not nationalise its petroleum. The Iranian revenues were greater, because the profits went to Iran's national treasury rather than to private, foreign oil companies. By September 1951, the British had virtually ceased Abadan oil field production, forbidden British export to Iran of key British commodities (including sugar and steel),[41] and had frozen Iran's hard currency accounts in British banks.[42]

The United Kingdom took its anti-nationalisation case against Iran to the International Court of Justice at The Hague; PM Mosaddegh said the world would learn of a "cruel and imperialistic country" stealing from a "needy and naked people". Representing the AIOC, the UK lost its case. Worried about the UK's other interests in Iran, and believing that Iran's nationalism was Soviet-backed, the UK persuaded Secretary of State John Foster Dulles that Iran was falling to the Soviets—effectively exploiting the American Cold War mindset. While President Harry S. Truman was busy fighting a war with in Korea, he did not agree to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. However, in 1953, when Dwight D. Eisenhower became president, the UK convinced him to a joint coup d'état deposing Iran's democratically elected government[27] in order to gain control of Iran's oil with the British.

U.S. motives

Among the controversies involved in the coup is the importance and/or legitimacy of American and British fears of Communist influence in Iran. In Iran, the well-organized, pro-Soviet Tudeh (Communist) Party, exceeded the National Front in the size of its rallies as the financial crisis caused by the global boycott, arranged by the British, of Iranian oil worsened.[43]

In the view of American mainstream public opinion, the crisis in Iran was perceived as a part of a Cold War conflict rather than as a nationalist struggle against Western colonialism.[44]

In the words of Middle East historian Ervand Abrahamian, the coup d'état was "a classic case of nationalism clashing with imperialism in the Third World". He states that Secretary of State Dean Acheson admitted the “`Communist threat` was a smokescreen” in responding to Pres. Eisenhower's claim that the Tudeh party was about to assume power.[45]

Throughout the crisis, the “communist danger” was more of a rhetorical device than a real issue—i.e. it was part of the cold-war discourse ...The Tudeh was no match for the armed tribes and the 129,000-man military. What is more, the British and Americans had enough inside information to be confident that the party had no plans to initiate armed insurrection. At the beginning of the crisis, when the Truman administration was under the impression a compromise was possible, Acheson had stressed the communist danger, and warned if Mosaddegh was not helped, the Tudeh would take over. The (British) Foreign Office had retorted that the Tudeh was no real threat. But, in August 1953, when the Foreign Office echoed the Eisenhower administration’s claim that the Tudeh was about to take over, Acheson now retorted that there was no such communist danger. Acheson was honest enough to admit that the issue of the Tudeh was a smokescreen.[45]

As part of the post-coup d'état political repression of the Tudeh, the Western-installed government of the Shah revealed that the party had 477 members in the Iranian armed forces but none that were members of the tank divisions, stationed around Tehran, that might have participated in the coup d'état.[46]

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill insisted that the US not undermine his' campaign to isolate Iranian Prime Minister Mosaddegh: "Britain was supporting the Americans in Korea, he reminded Truman, and had a right to expect Anglo-American unity on Iran".[47]

Planning

As a condition for restoring the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, the US required collapsing the AIOC's monopoly; five American petroleum companies, Royal Dutch Shell, and the Compagnie Française des Pétroles, were to draw Iran's petroleum after the successful coup d'état—Operation Ajax.[citation needed]

As part of that, the CIA organized anti-Communist guerrillas to fight the Tudeh Party if they seized power in the chaos of Operation Ajax.[48] Per released National Security Archive documents, Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith reported that the CIA had agreed with Qashqai tribal leaders, in south Iran, to establish a clandestine safe haven from which US-funded guerrillas and spies could operate.[49][48]

Operation Ajax's formal leader was senior CIA officer Kermit Roosevelt, Jr., while career agent Donald Wilber was the operational leader, planner, and executor of the deposition of PM Mosaddegh. The coup d'état depended on the impotent Shah's dismissing the popular and powerful Prime Minister and replacing him with Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi, with help from Col. Abbas Farzanegan—a man agreed by the British and Americans after determining his anti-Soviet politics.[49]

The CIA sent Major general Norman Schwarzkopf, Sr. to persuade the exiled Shah to return to rule Iran. Schwarzkopf trained the security forces that would become known as SAVAK to secure the shah's hold on power.[50][51]

Execution of Operation Ajax

The BBC spearheaded Britain's propaganda campaign, broadcasting the go-code launching the coup d'état against Iran's elected government.[52] At the start, the coup d'état briefly faltered—and the Shah fled from Iran. However, after a short exile in Italy, the CIA returned him to Iran. Gen. Zahedi replaced the deposed Prime Minister Mosaddegh, who was arrested, tried, and condemned to death.[53][54] Mosaddegh's sentence was commuted to three years' solitary confinement in a military prison, followed by house arrest until his death.[55]

Aftermath

Iran

An immediate consequence of the coup d'état was the political repression of National Front opposition and especially of the (Communist) Tudeh party, and concentration of political power in the Shah and his courtiers.[56] Another effect was sharp improvement of Iran's economy; the British-led oil embargo against Iran ended, and oil revenue increased significantly beyond the pre-nationalisation level. Despite Iran not controlling its national oil, the Shah agreed to replacing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company with a consortium—British Petroleum and eight European and American oil companies; in result, oil revenues increased from $34 million in 1954–1955 to $181 million in 1956–1957, and continued increasing,[57] and the United States sent development aid and advisors.

In the 1970s the Shah's government increased taxes that foreign companies were obliged to pay from 50% to 80% and royalty payments from 12.5% to 20%. At the same time the price of oil reverted to Iranian control. Oil companies now only earned 22 cents per barrel of oil.[58]

Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president, of The Future of Freedom Foundation, said, "U.S. officials, not surprisingly, considered the operation one of their greatest foreign policy successes—until, that is, the enormous convulsion that rocked Iranian society with the violent ouster of the Shah and the installation of a virulently anti-American Islamic regime in 1979".[59] According to him, "the coup, in essence, paved the way for the rise to power of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and all the rest that's happened right up to 9/11 and beyond".[59]

Internationally

The 1953 coup d'état was the first time the US had openly overthrown an elected, civil government.[60] In the US, Operation Ajax was a success, with "immediate and far-reaching effect. Overnight, the CIA became a central part of the American foreign policy apparatus, and covert action came to be regarded as a cheap and effective way to shape the course of world events"—a coup engineered by the CIA called Operation PBSUCCESS toppling the duly elected Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, which had nationalised farm land owned by the United Fruit Company, followed the next year.[61]

A pro-American government in Iran doubled the United States' geographic and strategic advantage in the Middle East, as Turkey, also bordering the USSR, was part of NATO.[62]

In 2000 US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, acknowledged the coup's pivotal role in the troubled relationship and "came closer to apologizing than any American official ever has before".

The Eisenhower administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons. ... But the coup was clearly a setback for Iran's political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs.[63]

In June 2009, the US President Barack Obama in a speech in Cairo, Egypt, talked about the United States' relationship with Iran, mentioning the role of the US in 1953 Iranian coup saying, "This issue has been a source of tension between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country, and there is indeed a tumultuous history between us. In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians. This history is well known. Rather than remain trapped in the past, I have made it clear to Iran's leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward."[64]

Historical viewpoint in the Islamic Republic

In the Islamic Republic, remembrance of the coup is quite different than that of history books published in the West, and follows the precepts of Ayatollah Khomeini that Islamic jurists must guide the country to prevent "the influence of foreign powers".[65] According to historian Ervand Abrahamian, the government tries to ignore Mosaddegh as much as possible and allocates him only two pages in "high school textbooks." "The mass media elevate Ayatollah Abol-Ghasem Kashani as the real leader of the oil nationalization campaign, depicting Mosaddegh as merely the ayatollah's hanger-on." This is despite the fact that Kashani came out against Mosaddegh by mid-1953 and "told a foreign correspondent that Mosaddegh had fallen because he had forgotten that the shah enjoyed extensive popular support."[66] A month later, Kashani "went even further and declared that Mosaddegh deserved to be executed because he had committed the ultimate offense: rebelling against the shah, `betraying` the country, and repeatedly violating the sacred law." [Cited by Y. Richard, `Ayatollah Kashani: Precursor of the Islamic Republic?` in Religion and Politics in Iran, ed. N. Keddie, (Yale University Press, 1983)] p. 109

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the main exposé of the 1953 coup d'état, All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer, has been censored of descriptions of Ayatollah Abol-Ghasem Kashani's activities during the Anglo-American coup d'état. Mahmood Kashani, the son of Abol-Ghasem Kashani, "one of the top members of the current, ruling élite" whom the Iranian Council of Guardians has twice approved to run for the presidency, denies there was a coup d'état in 1953, saying Mosaddegh, himself, was obeying British plans:

In my opinion, Mosaddegh was the director of the British plans and implemented them ... Without a doubt Mosaddegh had the primary and essential role[67]

in the August 1953 coup. Kashani says Mosaddegh, the British and the Americans worked against the Ayatollah Kashani to undermine the role of Shia clerics.[68] According to Masoud Kazemzadeh, this theory is contradicted by the fact that "the second person who spoke on Radio Tehran announcing and celebrating the overthrow of Mosaddegh was Ayatollah Kashani’s son, who was hand-picked by Kermit Roosevelt".[69]

This allegation also is posited in the book Khaterat-e Arteshbod-e Baznesheshteh Hossein Fardoust (The Memoirs of Retired General Hossein Fardoust), published in the Islamic Republic and allegedly written by Hossein Fardoust, a former SAVAK officer. It claims that Mohammad Mosaddegh was not a mortal enemy of the British, but had always favored them, and his nationalisation campaign of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was inspired by "the British themselves".[70] Scholar Ervand Abrahamian suggests that the Islamic Republican authorities may have had Fardoust tortured, and the fact that his death was announced before publication of the book may be significant.[70]

The coup and CIA records

The coup was carried out by the US administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower in a covert action advocated by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and implemented under the supervision of his brother Allen Dulles, the Director of Central Intelligence.[71] The coup was organized by the United States' CIA and the United Kingdom's MI6, two spy agencies that aided royalists and royalist elements of the Iranian army.[72]

CIA officer Kermit Roosevelt, Jr., the grandson of former President Theodore Roosevelt, carried out the operation planned by CIA agent Donald Wilber.[52] One version of the CIA history, written by Wilber, referred to the operation as TPAJAX.[73][74]

During the coup, Roosevelt and Wilber bribed Iranian government officials, reporters, and businessmen.[75] The deposed Iranian leader, Mosaddegh, was taken to jail and Iranian General Fazlollah Zahedi named himself prime minister in the new, pro-western government.

Iranian fascists and Nazis played prominent roles in the coup regime. Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi, who had been arrested and imprisoned by the British during World War II for his attempt to establish a pro-Nazi government, was made Prime Minister on August 19, 1953. The CIA gave Zahedi about $100,000 before the coup and an additional $5 million the day after the coup to help consolidate support for the coup. Bahram Shahrokh, a trainee of Joseph Goebbels and Berlin Radio's Persian-language program announcer during the Nazi rule, became director of propaganda. Mr. Sharif-Emami, who also had spent some time in jail for his pro-Nazi activities in the 1940s, assumed several positions after 1953 coup, including Secretary General of the Oil Industry, President of the Senate, and Prime Minister (twice). [76][77]

The British and American spy agencies returned the monarchy to Iran by installing the pro-western Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on the throne where his rule lasted 26 years. Pahlavi was overthrown in 1979.[27][78] Masoud Kazemzadeh, associate professor of political science at the University of Southern California, wrote that Pahlavi was directed by the CIA and MI6, and assisted by high-ranking Shia clerics.[79] He wrote that the coup employed mercenaries including "prostitutes and thugs" from Tehran's red light district.[79]

The overthrow of Iran's elected government in 1953 ensured Western control of Iran's petroleum resources and prevented the Soviet Union from competing for Iranian oil.[80][81][82][83] Some Iranian clerics cooperated with the western spy agencies because they were dissatisfied with Mosaddegh's secular government.[75]

While the broad outlines of the Iran operation are known: the agency led a coup in 1953 that re-installed the pro-American Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to the throne, where he remained until overthrown in 1979. "But the C.I.A.'s records were widely thought by historians to have the potential to add depth and clarity to a famous but little-documented intelligence operation," reporter Tim Weiner wrote in The New York Times May 29, 1997[84]

"The Central Intelligence Agency, which has repeatedly pledged for more than five years to make public the files from its secret mission to overthrow the government of Iran in 1953, said today that it had destroyed or lost almost all the documents decades ago."[84][85][86]

"A historian who was a member of the C.I.A. staff in 1992 and 1993 said in an interview today that the records were obliterated by a culture of destruction at the agency. The historian, Nick Cullather, said he believed that records on other major cold war covert operations had been burned, including those on secret missions in Indonesia in the 1950s and a successful C.I.A.-sponsored coup in Guyana in the early 1960s. Iran—there's nothing, Mr. Cullather said. Indonesia—very little. Guyana—that was burned.[84]

According to the CIA officer who planned the coup in his account titled, Clandestine Service History Overthrow Of Premier Mossadeq of Iran: November 1952 – August 1953, one goal of the coup was to strengthen the Shah.

By the end of 1952, it had become clear that the Mosaddegh government in Iran was incapable of reaching an oil settlement with interested Western countries; was reaching a dangerous and advanced stage of illegal, deficit financing; was disregarding the Iranian constitution in prolonging Premier Mohammad Mosaddegh's tenure of office; was motivated mainly by Mosaddegh's desire for personal power; was governed by irresponsible policies based on emotion; had weakened the Shah and the Iranian Army to a dangerous degree; and had cooperated closely with the Tudeh (Communist) Party of Iran.... It was the aim of the TPAJAX project to cause the fall of the Mosaddegh government to reestablish the prestige and power of the Shah; and to replace the Mosaddegh government with one which would govern Iran according to constructive policies. Specifically, the aim was to bring to power a government which would reach an equitable oil settlement, enabling Iran to become economically sound and financially solvent, and which would vigorously prosecute the dangerously strong Communist Party. Clandestine Service History Overthrow Of Premier Mossaddeq of Iran: November 1952 – August 1953 by Donald Wilber

The author of that account, Donald Wilber, "played an active role in the operation," according to CIA historical officer Dean L, Dodge, who released the account in March, 1969. [1]

Blowback

According to the history based on documents released to the National Security Archive and reflected in the book "Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran," edited by Mark J. Gasiorowski and Malcolm Bryne, the coup caused long-lasting damage to the U.S. reputation.

"The '28 Mordad' coup, as it is known by its Persian date, was a watershed for Iran, for the Middle East and for the standing of the United States in the region. The joint U.S.-British operation ended Iran's drive to assert sovereign control over its own resources and helped put an end to a vibrant chapter in the history of the country's nationalist and democratic movements. These consequences resonated with dramatic effect in later years. When the Shah finally fell in 1979, memories of the U.S. intervention in 1953, which made possible the monarch's subsequent, and increasingly unpopular, 25-year reign intensified the anti-American character of the revolution in the minds of many Iranians." [87]

But the authoritarian monarch installed in the coup appreciated the coup, Kermit Roosevelt wrote in his account of the affair. "'I owe my throne to God, my people, my army and to you!' By 'you' he [the shah] meant me and the two countries—Great Britain and the United States—I was representing. We were all heroes."[88]

On June 16, 2000, The New York Times published the secret CIA report, "Clandestine Service History, Overthrow Of Premier Mossadeq Of Iran, November 1952 – August 1953," partly explaining the coup from CIA agent Wilber's perspective. In a related story, The New York Times reporter James Risen penned a story revealing that Wilber's report, hidden for nearly five decades, had recently come to light.

In the summer of 2001, Ervand Abrahamian wrote in the journal Science & Society that Wilber's version of the coup was missing key information some of which was available elsewhere.

The New York Times recently leaked a CIA report on the 1953 American-British overthrow of Mosaddeq, Iran’s Prime Minister. It billed the report as a secret history of the secret coup, and treated it as an invaluable substitute for the U. S. files that remain inaccessible. But a reconstruction of the coup from other sources, especially from the archives of the British Foreign Office, indicates that this report is highly sanitized. It glosses over such sensitive issues as the crucial participation of the U. S. ambassador in the actual overthrow; the role of U. S. military advisers; the harnessing of local Nazis and Muslim terrorists; and the use of assassinations to destabilize the government. What is more, it places the coup in the context the Cold War rather than that of the Anglo-Iranian oil crisis—a classic case of nationalism clashing with imperialism in the Third World. [89]

In a review of Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes, historian Michael Beschloss wrote, "Mr. Weiner argues that a bad C.I.A. track record has encouraged many of our gravest contemporary problems... A generation of Iranians grew up knowing that the C.I.A. had installed the shah," Mr. Weiner notes. "In time, the chaos that the agency had created in the streets of Tehran would return to haunt the United States."[90]

The administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower considered the coup a success, but, given its blowback, that opinion is no longer generally held, because of its "haunting and terrible legacy".[91] In 2000, Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State, said that intervention by the U.S. in the internal affairs of Iran was a setback for democratic government.[92][93] The coup d’état was "a critical event in post-war world history" that destroyed Iran’s secular parliamentary democracy, by re-installing the monarchy of the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, as an authoritarian ruler.[94] The coup is widely believed to have significantly contributed to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which deposed the pro-Western Shah and replaced the monarchy with an anti-Western Islamic Republic.[21]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Mohammed Amjad. "Iran: From Royal Dictatorship to Theocracy‎". Greenwood Press, 1989. p. 62 "the United States had decided to save the 'free world' by overthrowing the democratically elected government of Mosaddeq."
  2. ^ a b c The spectre of Operation Ajax by Guardian Unlimited
  3. ^ Kinzer, 2003, p.212-5
  4. ^ Kinzer, 2003, p.215, 203-4
  5. ^ "U.S. Comes Clean About The Coup In Iran", CNN, 04-19-2000.
  6. ^ http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j8-a9Bpq471PDjYA2z6WazPmIZqw
  7. ^ From Anglo-Persian Oil to BP Amoco Aug. 11, 1998 BBC
  8. ^ From Anglo-Persian Oil to BP Amoco Aug. 11, 1998 BBC
  9. ^ "The Company File—From Anglo-Persian Oil to BP Amoco"
  10. ^ Heiss in Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran, p.192 [Heiss says " ... at the end of Mosaddeq's premiership the government treasury had a net balance of 1.1 billion rials, a fact that gave lie to Anglo-American assertions that the government was bankrupt... the Mosaddeq government was able to keep domestic inflation to very manageable levels, performing in this area better even than its successor." (Heiss, p.192)]
  11. ^ Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran
  12. ^ Little, Douglas. American Orientalism: the United States and the Middle East since 1945, I.B.Tauris, 2003, p. 216. ISBN 1860648894
  13. ^ Gasiorowski, p.237-9, 243
  14. ^ Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran, Edited by Mark J. Gasiorowski and Malcolm Byrne, Syracuse University Press, 2004, p.xiv
  15. ^ Abrahamian, Ervand, Iran Between Two Revolutions by Ervand Abrahamian, (Princeton University Press, 1982), p.280
  16. ^ Mossadegh – A Medical Biography by Ebrahim Norouzi
  17. ^ Mohammad Mossadegh: political biography‎ - p, 190
  18. ^ LaTulippe, Steven. "America, Iran, and Operation Ajax: The Burden of the Past." P1
  19. ^ Kinzer, Stephen, All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, John Wiley and Sons, 2003.
  20. ^ Kinzer, 2003, p.195-6
  21. ^ a b International Journal of Middle East Studies, 19, 1987, p.261
  22. ^ Dan De Luce wrote in The Guardian.
  23. ^ A pre-publication draft of an article written before CIA files were released in 2000 on the CIA role the 1953 Coup D'etat in Iran by Mark J. Gasiorowski 1998-08-23. accessed 2009-June-17. Archived 2009-06-19.
  24. ^ Ervand Abrahamian
  25. ^ Democracy Now. Goodman-Abrahamian interview.
  26. ^ Kinzer, Stephen, All the Shah's Men : An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, Stephen Kinzer, John Wiley and Sons, 2003, p.48
  27. ^ a b c Stephen Kinzer: "All the Shah's Men. An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror", John Wiley and Sons, 2003.
  28. ^ Mangol Bayat, Iran’s First Revolution: Shi’ism and the Constitutional Revolution of 1905–1909, Studies in Middle Eastern History, 336 p. (Oxford University Press, 1991). ISBN 019506822X.
  29. ^ Browne, Edward G., "The Persian Revolution of 1905–1909", Mage Publishers (July 1995). ISBN 0-934211-45-0
  30. ^ Afary, Janet, "The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906–1911", Columbia University Press. 1996. ISBN 0-231-10351-4
  31. ^ Coup d'Etat 1299/1921 in the Encyclopaedia Iranica, retrieved 8 July 2008.
  32. ^ Mackey, Iranians, Plume, (1998), p.178
  33. ^ (U.K.) Royal Engineers Museum history.
  34. ^ All the Shah's Men p. 135, 2008 edition ISBN 9780470185490
  35. ^ All the Shah's Men p. 136–37 2008 edition ISBN 9780470185490
  36. ^ "Mark J. Gasiorowski, "The 1953 Coup D'etat in Iran", International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Aug., 1987), pp. 261–86". Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. http://www.webcitation.org/5jWeVPa9R. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  37. ^ All the Shah's Men p. 136–7 2008 edition ISBN 9780470185490
  38. ^ Chatfield, Wayne, The Creole Petroleum Corporation in Venezuela Ayer Publishing 1976 p. 29
  39. ^ Gasiorowski, M. (1998)."The 1953 Coup D'etat in Iran". University of Toronto, utoronto.ca. Accessed 2009-06-06. Archived 2009-06-08.
  40. ^ a b Kinzer, Stephen, All the Shah's Men : An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, Stephen Kinzer, John Wiley and Sons, 2003, p.106
  41. ^ Kinzer, All the Shah's Men (2003) p.110
  42. ^ Abrahamian, (1982) p.268
  43. ^ The New York Times, "100,000 Red Rally in Iranian Capital", July 15, 1953
  44. ^ Kinzer, All the Shah's Men (2003), p.84
  45. ^ a b "The 1953 Coup in Iran, Science & Society, Vol. 65, No. 2, Summer 2001, pp.182–215". Archived from the original on 2009-10-20. http://www.webcitation.org/5kg6nFIXE. 
  46. ^ Abrahamian, Ervand, Iran Between Two Revolutions, Princeton University Press, 1982, p.92
  47. ^ Stephen Kinzer: All the Shah's Men. An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, John Wiley and Sons, 2003, p.145
  48. ^ a b "The 1953 Coup D'etat in Iran". Archived from the original on 2009-06-08. http://www.webcitation.org/5hOKkVZFE. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  49. ^ a b "CIA Historical Paper No. 208 Clandestine Service History: Overthrow Of Premier Mossadeq Of Iran November 1952 – August 1953 by Donald N. Wilber". Archived from the original on 2009-06-08. http://www.webcitation.org/5hOKk6ByB. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  50. ^ "Norman Schwarzkopf Sr.". Archived from the original on 2009-08-14. http://www.webcitation.org/5j0t4BJgh. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  51. ^ N. R. Keddie and M. J. Gasiorowski, eds., Neither East Nor West. Iran, the United States, and the Soviet Union, New Haven, 1990, 154–55; personal interviews
  52. ^ a b "A Very British Coup" (radio show). Document. British Broadcasting Corporation. 2005. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/document/document_20050822.shtml. Retrieved 2006-06-14. 
  53. ^ Helen Chapin Metz, ed. Iran: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1987.
  54. ^ The formerly secret story of the CIA overthrow in 1953 of Iran's democratically elected government written by the agent who said he planned the coup.
  55. ^ Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq: Symbol of Iranian Nationalism and Struggle Against Imperialismby the Iran Chamber Society
  56. ^ Abrahamian, Ervand, Tortured Confessions, (University of California 1999)
  57. ^ Abrahamian, Ervand, Iran between Revolutions, (Princeton University Press, 1982), pp.419–20
  58. ^ Oil company history
  59. ^ a b Washington's wise advice. Ralph R. Reiland. Pittsburgh Tribune Review July 30, 2007.
  60. ^ Stephen Kinzer: All the Shah's Men. An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, John Wiley and Sons, 2003, p.x
  61. ^ Stephen Kinzer: All the Shah's Men. An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, John Wiley and Sons, 2003, p.209
  62. ^ Turkey joined NATO in 1952.
  63. ^ A short account of 1953 Coup
  64. ^ "Barack Obama's Cairo speech". Guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/04/barack-obama-keynote-speech-egypt. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  65. ^ Hamid Algar's book, Islam and Revolution, Writings and Declarations Of Imam Khomeini, ed by Hamid Algar, Mizan, 1981, p.54
  66. ^ Abrahamian, Ervand, Khomeinism : Essays on the Islamic Republic, (University of California Press, c1993). p.109
  67. ^ ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) November 2003 interview in Persian with Mahmood Kashani
  68. ^ Review Essay of Stephen Kinzer's All the Shah's Men, By: Masoud Kazemzadeh, PhD, Middle East Policy, VOL. XI, NO. 4, winter 2004
  69. ^ See page 71 at: http://cryptome.org/cia-iran-all.htm Cryptome was unable to recover the redactions in the section that deals with the religious leaders. The following is page 20 of the secret history that can be found at: http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/041600iran-cia-index.html. Accessed 2009-06-06. Archived 2009-06-08.
  70. ^ a b Abrahamian, Ervand, Tortured Confessions, (University of California Press, 1999), pp.160–61
  71. ^ "Review of All the Shah's Men by CIA staff historian David S. Robarge". Archived from the original on 2009-06-22. http://www.webcitation.org/query?id=1245703486221703. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  72. ^ p.15, “Targeting Iran”, by David Barsamian, Noam Chomsky, Ervand Abrahamian, and Nahid Mozaffari
  73. ^ Michael Evans. "Secret Notes by CIA agent Donald Wilber on the overthrow of Premier Mossadegh of Iran (PDF)". Archived from the original on 2009-06-08. http://www.webcitation.org/5hOKwuH08. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  74. ^ Notes, formerly classified as "Secret" by CIA agent Donald Wilber on the overthrow of Premier Mossadegh of Iran (plain text). Accessed 2009-06-06. Archived 2009-06-08.
  75. ^ a b How to Overthrow A Government Pt. 1 on March 5, 2004
  76. ^ " The Day Democracy Died: The 50th Anniversary of the CIA Coup in Iran by historian Masoud Kazemzadeh". Archived from the original on 2009-06-20. http://www.webcitation.org/5hg3LWN5W. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  77. ^ Kinzer, pp. 6, 13. In addition to the secret $5 million dollars CIA delivered to Zahedi, the US government sent another $28 million in September 1953 to assist Zahedi in consolidating the coup regime. Another $40 million was delivered in 1954 as soon as the regime signed the oil consortium deal giving Iranian oil to American and British oil companies. See Ervand Abrahamian, "The 1953 Coup in Iran," in Science & Society, Vol. 65, No. 2 (Summer 2001), p. 211. See also Habib Ladjevardi, "The Origins of U.S. Support for an Autocratic Iran," in International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2 (May 1983).
  78. ^ "Foucault and the Iranian Revolution" By Janet Afary, Kevin Anderson, Michel Foucault. University of Chicago Press: June 2005 ISBN 9780226007861 "protesters killed by the Shah's brutal repression"
  79. ^ a b ""The Day Democracy Died: The 50th Anniversary of the CIA Coup in Iran" by Masoud Kazemzadeh, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the Department of History and Political Science at Utah Valley State College.". Archived from the original on 2009-06-20. http://www.webcitation.org/5hg2Wx9Jv. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  80. ^ Nasr, Vali, "The Shia Revival", Norton, (2006), p.124
  81. ^ Review by Jonathan Schanzer of "All the Shah's Men" by Stephen Kinzer
  82. ^ Mackay, Sandra, "The Iranians", Plume (1997), p.203, 4
  83. ^ Nikki Keddie: "Roots of Revolution", Yale University Press, 1981, p.140
  84. ^ a b c "C.I.A. Destroyed Files on 1953 Iran Coup" May 29, 1997 The New York Times
  85. ^ C.I.A. Is Slow to Tell Early Cold War Secrets by Tim Weiner April 8, 1996
  86. ^ "C.I.A., Breaking Promises, Puts Off Release of Cold War Files" by Tim Weiner July 15, 1998 The New York Times
  87. ^ Joan E. Dowlin. "Excerpt from "Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran," edited by Mark J. Gasiorowski and Malcolm Bryne.". Archived from the original on 2009-06-24. http://www.webcitation.org/query?id=1245819366212033. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  88. ^ Countercoup: The Struggle for the Control of Iran, Kermit Roosevelt, (New York: McGraw Hill) 1979
  89. ^ "The 1953 Coup in Iran by Ervand Abrahamian. Science & Society, Vol. 65, No. 2, Summer 2001, 182–215". Archived from the original on 2009-10-20. http://www.webcitation.org/5kg6nFIXE. 
  90. ^ "The C.I.A.'s Missteps, From Past to Present" The New York Times, July 12, 2007
  91. ^ Stephen Kinzer: "All the Shah's Men. An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror", John Wiley and Sons, 2003, p.215
  92. ^ "U.S. Comes Clean About The Coup In Iran", CNN, April 19, 2000.
  93. ^ The comments were not an apology.
  94. ^ "The Lessons of History: "All The Shah's Men"". Archived from the original on 2009-06-19. http://www.webcitation.org/5heX18vX0. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 

Books

  • Dorril, Stephen, Mi6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service ISBN 9780743203791 (paperback is separately titled: MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations Fourth Estate: London, a division of HarperCollins ISBN 1857027019)
  • Dreyfuss, Robert, Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (Henry Holt and Company: 2005)
  • Elm, Mostafa. Oil, Power and Principle: Iran's Oil Nationalization and Its Aftermath.(Syracuse University Press, 1994) ISBN 9780815626428 Documents competition between Britain and the United States for Iranian oil, both before and after the coup. Publishers Weekly summary: "an impressive work of scholarship by an Iranian economist and former diplomat [showing how] the CIA-orchestrated coup, followed by U.S. backing of the dictatorial Shah, planted * Elwell-Sutton, L.P.[2][3] Persian Oil: A Study in Power Politics (Lawrence and Wishart Ltd.: London) 1955. Reprinted by Greenwood Press 1976. 978-0837171227
  • Farmanfarmaiyan, Manuchihr, Roxane Farmanfarmaian Blood and Oil: A Prince's Memoir of Iran, from the Shah to the Ayatollah (Random House 2005.). A cousin of Mossadeq, Farmanfarmaiyan was the Shah's oil adviser. Sympathetic to the Shah and antagonistic to Khomeini, Farmanfarmaiyan offers many insider details of the epic battle for Iranian oil, both in Iran's historic relationship with Britain and then, after the coup, with the United States.
  • Gasiorowski, Mark J. U.S. Foreign Policy and the Shah: Building a Client State in Iran (Cornell University Press: 1991). Traces the exact changes in U.S. foreign policy that led to the coup in Iran soon after the inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower; describes "the consequences of the coup for Iran's domestic politics" including "an extensive series of arrests and installation of a rigid authoritarian regime under which all forms of opposition political activity were prohibited." Documents how U.S. oil industry benefited from the coup with, for the first time, 40 percent post-coup share in Iran's oil revenue.
  • Gasiorowski, Mark J., Editor; Malcolm Byrne (Editor) (2004). Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran. Syracuse University Press. ISBN 978-0815630180. 
  • Gasiorowski, Mark J. (August 1987). "The 1953 Coup D'etat in Iran". International Journal of Middle East Studies 10 (3): 261–286. http://www.jstor.org/stable/163655. 
  • Kapuscinski, Ryszard (1982). Shah of Shahs. Vintage. ISBN 0-679-73801-0. 
  • Kinzer, Stephen (2003). All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-26517-9. 
  • Kinzer, Stephen, Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (Henry Holt and Company 2006). ISBN /9780805082401 Assesses the influence of John Foster Dulles on U.S. foreign policy. "Dulles was tragically mistaken in his view that the Kremlin lay behind the emergence of nationalism in the developing world. He could... claim consistency in his uncompromising opposition to every nationalist, leftist, or Marxist regime on earth."
  • Roosevelt, Kermit, Jr. (1979). Countercoup: The struggle for the control of Iran. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-053590-6. 
  • McCoy, Alfred, A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror (Metropolitan Books 2006)
  • Rashid, Ahmed. Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (Yale University Press 2010) ISBN 9780300163681
  • Roosevelt, Kermit Countercoup: The struggle for control of Iran (McGraw-Hill1979) ISBN 978-0070535909
  • Weiner, Tim. Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (Doubleday 2007) ISBN 9780307389008
  • Wilber "Clandestine Service History: Overthrow of Premier Mossadeq of Iran, Nov. 1952-1953" [CIA] CS Historial Paper no. 208. March 1954.
  • Yergin, Daniel. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (Simon & Schuster 1991) ISBN 9780671502485

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