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The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations

By Ervand Abrahamian

In August 1953, the CIA orchestrated the rapid overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected chief and put in Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in his position. Over the subsequent twenty-six years, the U.S. sponsored the unpopular, authoritarian shah and his mystery police; in trade, it reaped a big proportion of Iran’s oil wealth.

The blowback used to be inevitable, as this “relevant, readable” (Kirkus Reviews) heritage via famous Iran student Ervand Abrahamian indicates. whilst the 1979 Iranian Revolution deposed the shah and changed his puppet govt with a thorough Islamic republic lower than Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the shift reverberated through the center East and the realm, casting an extended, darkish shadow over U.S.-Iran kin that extends to the current day.

In this “well-documented account [that] turns into crucial examining for college kids of the fashionable center East” (Choice), Abrahamian uncovers little-known files that problem traditional interpretations of the coup. delivering “new insights into his history-shattering occasion” (Reason.com), his riveting account transforms America’s figuring out of a vital turning aspect in glossy U.S.-Iran relations.

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Forty seven The Gulf Oil consultant argued it might be higher to lose Iran at the back of the iron curtain than to have Mossadeq be successful. forty eight the yankee businesses expressed “fear gentle American stance with recognize to unilateral cancellation of concessions may weaken their very own positions within the heart East and in different places. ” forty nine The Socony director informed the AIOC chairman that he thought of “nationalization” to be kind of like unilateral “abrogation,” and that such habit threatened “international investments,” “civilized countries,” and the “well-being of the peoples of the realm.

Middleton pronounced that the shah didn't hesitate in refusing Mossadeq’s call for for the warfare ministry, due to the fact “virtual keep an eye on of the military used to be his central resource of impression within the state. ”201 by way of elevating the problem, Mossadeq made an instantaneous pitch to the general public, bypassing not just the shah but additionally the Majles and Senate. He used to be calling at the public to select from himself and the shah, among himself and the parliamentary competition, and among himself because the nationwide spokesman and the British-owned oil corporation.

Khorramshahr Consul, July 19, 1946, India Office/L&S/12-3490A. 148. overseas workplace, “Notes through H. G. Gee,” FO 371/Persia 1949/34-75500. 149. Khorramshahr Consul, “Report for October–December 1948,” FO 371/Persia 1948/34-75501. one hundred fifty. Khorramshahr Consul, may possibly five, 1948, FO 371/Persia 1948/34-68734. 151. Labour Attaché, “Six per 30 days document (November 18, 1949),” FO 371/Persia 1949/34-75470. 152. Labour Attaché, “Report on AIOC,” FO 371/Persia 1950/34-82378. 153. Labour Attaché, December 31, 1948, FO 371/Persia 1949/34-75469.

Org/cia-iran-all. htm. The document—with a few names redacted—was later released as a booklet: Donald Wilber, Regime switch in Iran: Overthrow of most advantageous Mossadeq of Iran, November 1952–August 1953 (London: Russell Press, 2006). eight. James Risen, “How a Plot Convulsed Iran in ’53 (and in ’79),” manhattan instances, April sixteen, 2000. nine. The mum or dad, April 17, 2000. 10. Byrne, “Secret CIA historical past of the Iran Coup, 1953. ” eleven. Habib Ladjevardi, Reference consultant to the Iranian Oral heritage assortment (Cambridge: Harvard collage Press, 1993).

4 of the 5 commanders have been, like him, French-educated participants of the Iran occasion: Col. Ali Parsa, a nephew of Ali Shayegan, commanded the 1st Mountain Brigade at Mahabad Airport; Col. Ezatallah Momtaz, the second one Mountain at Jamshidieh; Col. Ashrafi—the one exception—the 3rd Mountain at Eshqabad; Col. Nasser Shahrough, the second one Armored at Qasr; and Col. Rostom Nowzari, the 1st Armored at Sultanabad—the biggest barracks, with thirty-two tanks, together with 16 Shermans. 119 Riyahi’s belief used to be good positioned in all yet Ashrafi, who occurred to be an MI6 operative.

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