The Iranian coup 1953

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The Iranian coup 1953

Known in Iran as the August 28 coup, was a coup, to overthrow democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister “Mohamed Mossadegh” on August 19, 1953, planned by the United Kingdom and the United States, the first secret action by the United States to overthrow a foreign government in peacetime.

Early History

Britain in World War I was able to secure Iran’s oil refineries in Abadan, the only source it relied on to provide fuel for its warships during the war

In the Second World War, the region of Iran and the Black Sea region was violent military conflict between Germany and Britain. The German plan was to occupy the whole territory of Russia and then progress southward and control the oil fields in the Black Sea region and then the occupation of Iran and meet with the African legion forces led by Rommel in the region of Iraq, thus, Germany tightened its grip on oil in the Gulf region, but the defeat of the Germans in the battles of North Africa and Russia prevented the Germans from achieving this goal.

In 1941, after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, British, Commonwealth and Red Army forces invaded Iran to secure oil for the Soviet Union’s efforts against the Nazis on the Eastern Front and the British elsewhere. The British and the Soviets took off Shah “Reda Pahlawi”, a Nazi loyalist, and replaced him by his 22-year-old son, “Mohammad Reda Pahlawi”, as the Shah of Iran.

During the war, Iran was used as an ammunition corridor to the Soviet Union. US forces have also entered the country to replace the British in operating the southern part of the railways through Iran.

After War World II

Iranian and Arabian oil remained under British control for the duration of the war and beyond. Britain had the right to explore through “British Petroleum” company, which many Iranian politicians saw as a drain on Iranian wealth. During the years of World War II and beyond, Tehran was the scene of fierce battles among Western intelligence services struggling on her land.

Internally, Iran was experiencing a political struggle when the Iranian National Bloc Party succeeded in the parliamentary elections, thus it had the right to form a government after the approval of parliament. This was the case when the Shah agreed to appoint “Dr. Mossadegh”, While Shah “Mohammad Reda Pahlawi” was shy young at the beginning of his reign, but he had begun to intervene in the political arena, contrary to the desire of the Prime Minister, who was in favor of the direction of limiting the powers of the Shah and thus the crash happened between the two sides.

The Coup

  • The coup against the “Mossadegh” government in Iran in 1953 is a classic example of CIA planning to achieve an essentially economic goal – Iran’s oil, which Britain badly needed – and America feared its oil concessions in the Gulf states would repeat the experience of nationalization.

 

  • “Mossadegh” adopted an ambitious policy aimed at nationalizing the oil industry in Iran, which was highly welcomed by the Iranians and some parties, such as the Communist Party of “Tudeh”, which was closely related to Moscow at the time.

 

  • In 1951 “Mossadegh” nationalized the “Anglo-Iranian Oil Company”, owned by British companies, with the support of the Iranian Council. Iran’s oil was Britain’s largest offshore investment.

 

  • Despite the popular support for “Mossadegh”, Britain did not accept the negotiation of its most valuable possessions overseas, and a global economic boycott of Iranian oil began to pressure Iran economically. For the Americans, “Mossadegh’s” move was a dangerous precedent that other oil-producing countries could imitate, which in turn will lose the US influence and profits.

 

  • At first, Britain moved its armed forces to seize the Abadan refinery, the world’s largest refinery, but Prime Minister “Clinty Atley” preferred instead to tighten the economic boycott and at the same time used Iranian agents to undermine the “Mossadegh” government.

 

  • After the change of governments of Britain and the United States, “Churchill” and the administration of President “Dwight D. Eisenhower” agreed to overthrow the government of Iran, although the administration of former US President “Harry Truman” had opposed the idea of the coup.

 

  • The CIA pressured the weak Iranian king as it bribed street thugs, sheikhs, politicians, and Iranian military officers to participate in the campaign against “Mossadegh” and his government.

 

  • At first, the coup appeared to be a failure, when the colonel in the Imperial Guard Neema-Allah Nasiri was arrested while trying to arrest Mossadegh on the night of August 15-16, and the Shah fled the country the next day.

 

  • On August 19, a pro-Shah-driven gang, driven by the CIA, moved into “Mossadegh” residence.

 

  • According to CIA documents revealed 30 years later, some of the most dangerous and most serious Tehran criminals were hired by the CIA to carry out pro-Shah unrest on August 19.

 

  • Other CIA-inspired men were brought to Tehran by bus and truck and took control of the streets and the city.

 

  • “Mossadegh” was arrested, tried and convicted of treason before a military court.

 

  • On December 21, 1953, “Mossadegh” was sentenced to three years in prison and then placed under house arrest for the rest of his life. “Mossadegh’s” supporters were arrested, imprisoned, tortured or executed.

 

  • Following the coup, Britain and the US choose “Fadlullah Zahedi” to become the next Prime Minister at the head of a Military Government, and then the Shah expelled him after two years.

 

  • The Shah “Pahlawi” ruled as an authoritarian monarch for the next 26 years until he was overthrown in a popular revolution in 1979.

 

  • The perceived advantages of the United States from toppling the elected government of Iran were a share of Iran’s oil wealth, as well as the absolute prevention of even a slight possibility of aligning the Iranian government with the Soviet Union, although the latter motive still generates much debate among historians.

 

  • Washington has consistently supplied the unpopular Shah with weapons and the CIA trained his secret police.

 

  • The coup is widely believed to have contributed significantly to the development of anti-American sentiment in Iran and the Middle East.

 

  • In 1979, the Iranian revolution overthrew the Shah and replaced the Western-backed monarchical dictatorship for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The consequences

Iran

The direct result of the coup was the suppression of all forms of political opposition, especially the liberal and nationalist opposition group known as the National bloc as well as the Tudeh (Communist) Party, and the concentration of political forces in the hands of the Shah and his retinue.

Internationally

“Eisenhower’s” administration believed that its actions were justified for strategic reasons, but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran’s political development. It is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs.

In June 2009, US President “Barack Obama” in his speech in Cairo, Egypt, talked about US relations with Iran, referring to the role of the United States in the Iranian coup 1953, saying:

  • “This has been a source of tension between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. For years, Iran has known itself partly through its opposition to my country, and there is already a long history between us. In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in overthrowing a democratically elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in hostage-taking and violence against US forces and civilians. This date is known. Instead of remaining entangled in the past, I have made it clear to the leaders and people of Iran that my country is ready to move forward”.

 

References

  1. ^Parsa, Misagh (1989). Social Origins of the Iranian Revolution. Rutgers University Press. p. 160. ISBN 9780230115620.
  2. ^Samad, Yunas; Sen, Kasturi (2007). Islam in the European Union: Transnationalism, Youth and the War on Terror. Oxford University Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-0195472516.
  3. ^Wilford 2013, p. 166.
  4. ^Steven R. Ward (2009). Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces. Georgetown University Press. p. 189. ISBN 978-1-58901-587-6. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  5. ^Wilford 2013, p. 164. “‘TP’ was the CIA country prefix for Iran, while ‘AJAX’ seems, rather prosaically, to have been a reference to the popular household cleanser, the implication being that the operation would scour Iran of communist influence”.
  6. ^CLANDESTINE SERVICE HISTORY: OVERTHROW OF PREMIER MOSSADEQ OF IRAN, Mar. 1954: p iii.
  7. ^Ends of British Imperialism: The Scramble for Empire, Suez, and Decolonization. I.B.Tauris. 2007. pp. 775 of 1082. ISBN 9781845113476.
  8. ^Bryne, Malcolm (18 August 2013). “CIA Admits It Was Behind Iran’s Coup”. Foreign Policy.
  9. ^The CIA’s history of the 1953 coup in Iran is made up of the following documents: a historian’s note, a summary introduction, a lengthy narrative account written by Dr. Donald N. Wilber, and, as appendices, five planning documents he attached. Published 18 June 2000 by The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/041600iran-cia-index.html
  10. ^خطأ استشهاد: وسم <ref> غير صحيح؛ لا نص تم توفيره للمراجع المسماة Gasiorowski
  11. ^“The Company File—From Anglo-Persian Oil to BP Amoco”
  12. ^S. Foreign Policy and the Shah: Building a Client State in Iran by Mark J. Gasiorowski (Cornell University Press: 1991) p. 59. ISBN 978-0-8014-2412-0
  13. ^Mary Ann Heiss in Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran, p.178–200
  14. ^Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran
  15. ^Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men, p.3 (In October 1952 Mosaddeq “orders the British embassy shut” after learning of British plotting to overthrow him.)
  16. ^Kinzer, Stephen. All the Shah’s Men. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008, p. 3
  17. ^Gasiorowski, p.237–9, 243
  18. ^Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran, Edited by Mark J. Gasiorowski and Malcolm Byrne, Syracuse University Press, 2004, p.xiv
  19. ^Zulaika, Joseba (2009). Terrorism: the self-fulfilling prophecy. University of Chicago Press. p. 139.
  20. ^Abrahamian, Ervand, Iran Between Two Revolutions by Ervand Abrahamian, (Princeton University Press, 1982), p.280
  21. ^Mossadegh – A Medical Biography by Ebrahim Norouzi
  22. ^Persian Oil: A Study in Power Politics by L.P. Elwell-Sutton. Lawrence and Wishart Ltd. London
  23. ^Kinzer, Stephen, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, John Wiley and Sons, 2003.
  24. ^Kinzer, Stephen, Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (Henry Holt and Company 2006). p. 200–201
  25. ^International Journal of Middle East Studies, 19, 1987, p.261
  26. ^McKenzie, Compton (1951). Eastern Epic. 1. Chatto & Windus, London. pp. 131–134.
  27. ^“العملية اجاكس”الجورنال، جريدة مصر الحرة. 2014-01-20. Retrieved2014-02-06.
  28. ^إيران: تسلسل تاريخيcom يونيه 23, 2009
  29. ^كتاب “جذور الثورة الإسلامية: عهد مصدق” محمد غيث الحاج حسين موقع الآوان 11 تشرين الأول (أكتوبر) 2007
  30. أب “The 1953 Coup in Iran, Science & Society, 65 (2), Summer 2001, pp. 182–215”. Archived from the original on 21 October 2009.
  31. ^“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.
  32. ^خطأ استشهاد: وسم <ref> غير صحيح؛ لا نص تم توفيره للمراجع المسماة usdocconf1
  33. ^Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954, Iran, 1951–1954 Office of the Historian.
  34. أب ت “British Proposal to Organize a Coup d’etat in Iran”.National Security Archive. 8 August 2017. Retrieved 1 September2017.
  35. ^Lynch, David J (8 August 2017). “Britain pressed US to join Iran coup against Mosaddegh”. Financial Tribune. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  36. ^McQuade, Joseph. “How the CIA toppled Iranian democracy”. The Conversation (in الإنجليزية). Retrieved 14 August2018.
  37. ^خطأ استشهاد: وسم <ref> غير صحيح؛ لا نص تم توفيره للمراجع المسماة usdocconf2
  38. ^Abrahamian, Ervand, Tortured Confessions, (University of California 1999)
  39. ^A short account of 1953 Coup
  40. ^“Barack Obama’s Cairo speech”. London: Guardian.co.uk. June 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
  41. ^Hamid Algar’s book, Islam and Revolution, Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini, ed by Hamid Algar, Mizan, 1981, p. 54
  42. ^Abrahamian, Ervand (1993). Khomeinism : Essays on the Islamic Republic. University of California Press. p. 109. ISBN 978-0520081734.
  43. ^Cited by Richard, Y. (1983). “Ayatollah Kashani: Precursor of the Islamic Republic?”. In Keddie, N. Religion and Politics in Iran. Yale University Press. p. 109. ISBN 978-0300028744.

 

 

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