A glance at historical documents of 1953 Iran coup

Iran Daily – As a historical event, the August 19, 1953 coup against the government of then democratically-elected prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq is inextricably interlinked with Iran’s ongoing situation.

This is because, on the one hand, Iran is presently dealing with issues pertaining to oil exports and US sanctions. Furthermore, the coup has had a significant impact on Iran’s foreign policy.

On the other hand, documents have been released which shed light on the US role in the coup.

The British government plotted a military putsch against the Mosaddeq government because the premier played a key role in the country’s 1951 movement that resulted in the nationalization of Iran’s oil industry.

The US was initially opposed to the coup. However, in August 1953, British and American intelligence agencies initiated the coup by the Iranian military, setting off a series of events, including riots in the streets of the capital, Tehran, which led to the overthrow and arrest of Mosaddeq.

Sixty-five years have passed since the Mosaddeq government was toppled. The documents that have been released by the US government show that it was behind the coup.

However, some believe the ouster of the Mosaddeq government was not a coup. A glance at historical sources suggest that such a belief is incorrect. Since the coup was launched, the US expanded its influence in Iran for more than 30 years.

According to a declassified document published in 2003, the CIA admitted to orchestrating the August 1953 coup.

The document which was obtained by George Washington University’s National Security Archive, said, “The military coup that overthrew Mosaddeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy.”

In July 2017, the US State Department released papers, known as the 1,007-page report, which showed Washington was behind the coup.

In 2000, then-secretary of state Madeleine Albright admitted that the US had “played a significant role” in the overthrowing of the Mosaddeq government. “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,” Albright said at the time.

Former president Barack Obama also made a similar admission after taking office in 2009.

These admissions show that the US had an undeniable role in orchestrating the coup.

Since the coup was carried out, the US extended its influence in Iran, but the 1979 Islamic Revolution brought an end to Washington’s meddlesome policies in the country.