British spy’s account sheds light on role in 1953 Iranian coup

The Guardian | : Interview given by MI6 officer in 1980s was discovered in research for new documentary

A first-hand account of Britain’s role in the 1953 coup that overthrew the elected prime minister of Iran and restored the shah to power has been published for the first time.

The account by the MI6 officer who ran the operation describes how it took British intelligence years to persuade the US to take part in the coup. Meanwhile, MI6 recruited agents and bribed members of Iran’s parliament with banknotes transported in biscuit tins.

Together the MI6 and CIA even recruited Shah Reza Pahlavi’s sister in an effort to persuade the reluctant monarch to back the coup to overthrow Mohammad Mossadegh.

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