Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

CIA overthrow of Mossadeq, Iran 1953

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:11 PM
Original message
CIA overthrow of Mossadeq, Iran 1953
A PBS 1987 clip. Excerpt from "The Secret Government". This part is on the CIA overthrow of the popular, democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadeq of Iran in 1953.

"Khomeini is a direct consequence, and the hostage crisis is a direct consequence, and the resurgence of the Shia is a direct consequence of the CIA's overthrow of Mossadeq in 1953."

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. We just fuck everything up
Iran could have been one of our best friends. Israels too. If we had only played our cards right. Sheesh.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think that event started the whole ball rolling.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
ryanus Donating Member (511 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. US gov. creates villians to fight later
Gotta keep them under control, though.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
remfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. Have some fun and Google the CIA orchestrated coup
Look for the actual CIA follow-up document (think it was leaked to WaPo, maybe NYTimes, 10-15 years ago) that describes how it was done, and how they used the media in Iran to do much of it. Photocopies of the whole after action report. It's a great lesson in how the media is used to change public opinion. The CIA was very pleased with how it worked, and you can sense that they were eager to do it again.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 03:52 AM
Response to Reply #4

Goes to show just how eager the CIA was to do it again.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
5. Same reason as now: We wanted the oil...
From 1949 on, sentiment for nationalization of Iran's oil industry grew. In 1949 the Majlis approved the First Development Plan (1948-55), which called for comprehensive agricultural and industrial development of the country (see The Beginnings of Modernization: The Post-1925 Period , ch. 3). The Plan Organization was established to administer the program, which was to be financed in large part from oil revenues. Politically conscious Iranians were aware, however, that the British government derived more revenue from taxing the concessionaire, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC--formerly the Anglo-Persian Oil Company), than the Iranian government derived from royalties. The oil issue figured prominently in elections for the Majlis in 1949, and nationalists in the new Majlis were determined to renegotiate the AIOC agreement. In November 1950, the Majlis committee concerned with oil matters, headed by Mossadeq, rejected a draft agreement in which the AIOC had offered the government slightly improved terms. These terms did not include the fifty-fifty profit-sharing provision that was part of other new Persian Gulf oil concessions.

Subsequent negotiations with the AIOC were unsuccessful, partly because General Ali Razmara, who became prime minister in June 1950, failed to persuade the oil company of the strength of nationalist feeling in the country and in the Majlis. When the AIOC finally offered fifty-fifty profit-sharing in February 1951, sentiment for nationalization of the oil industry had become widespread. Razmara advised against nationalization on technical grounds and was assassinated in March 1951 by Khalil Tahmasebi, a member of the militant Fadayan-e Islam. On March 15, the Majlis voted to nationalize the oil industry. In April the shah yielded to Majlis pressure and demonstrations in the streets by naming Mossadeq prime minister.

Oil production came to a virtual standstill as British technicians left the country, and Britain imposed a worldwide embargo on the purchase of Iranian oil. In September 1951, Britain froze Iran's sterling assets and banned export of goods to Iran. It challenged the legality of the oil nationalization and took its case against Iran to the International Court of Justice at The Hague. The court found in Iran's favor, but the dispute between Iran and the AIOC remained unsettled. Under United States pressure, the AIOC improved its offer to Iran. The excitement generated by the nationalization issue, anti-British feeling, agitation by radical elements, and the conviction among Mossadeq's advisers that Iran's maximum demands would, in the end, be met, however, led the government to reject all offers. The economy began to suffer from the loss of foreign exchange and oil revenues.

Meanwhile, Mossadeq's growing popularity and power led to political chaos and eventual United States intervention. Mossadeq had come to office on the strength of support from the National Front and other parties in the Majlis and as a result of his great popularity. His popularity, growing power, and intransigence on the oil issue were creating friction between the prime minister and the shah. In the summer of 1952, the shah refused the prime minister's demand for the power to appoint the minister of war (and, by implication, to control the armed forces). Mossadeq resigned, three days of pro-Mossadeq rioting followed, and the shah was forced to reappoint Mossadeq to head the government.

As domestic conditions deteriorated, however, Mossadeq's populist style grew more autocratic. In August 1952, the Majlis acceded to his demand for full powers in all affairs of government for a six-month period. These special powers were subsequently extended for a further six-month term. He also obtained approval for a law to reduce, from six years to two years, the term of the Senate (established in 1950 as the upper house of the Majlis), and thus brought about the dissolution of that body. Mossadeq's support in the lower house of the Majlis (also called the Majlis) was dwindling, however, so on August 3, 1953, the prime minister organized a plebiscite for the dissolution of the Majlis, claimed a massive vote in favor of the proposal, and dissolved the legislative body.

The administration of President Harry S Truman initially had been sympathetic to Iran's nationalist aspirations. Under the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, however, the United States came to accept the view of the British government that no reasonable compromise with Mossadeq was possible and that, by working with the Tudeh, Mossadeq was making probable a communist-inspired takeover. Mossadeq's intransigence and inclination to accept Tudeh support, the Cold War atmosphere, and the fear of Soviet influence in Iran also shaped United States thinking. In June 1953, the Eisenhower administration approved a British proposal for a joint Anglo-American operation, code-named Operation Ajax, to overthrow Mossadeq. Kermit Roosevelt of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) traveled secretly to Iran to coordinate plans with the shah and the Iranian military, which was led by General Fazlollah Zahedi.

In accord with the plan, on August 13 the shah appointed Zahedi prime minister to replace Mossadeq. Mossadeq refused to step down and arrested the shah's emissary. This triggered the second stage of Operation Ajax, which called for a military coup. The plan initially seemed to have failed, the shah fled the country, and Zahedi went into hiding. After four days of rioting, however, the tide turned. On August 19, pro-shah army units and street crowds defeated Mossadeq's forces. The shah returned to the country. Mossadeq was sentenced to three years' imprisonment for trying to overthrow the monarchy, but he was subsequently allowed to remain under house arrest in his village outside Tehran until his death in 1967. His minister of foreign affairs, Hosain Fatemi, was sentenced to death and executed. Hundreds of National Front leaders, Tudeh Party officers, and political activists were arrested; several Tudeh army officers were also sentenced to death.

Source: A Country Study: Iran. Federal Research Division Library of Congress, Edited by Helen Chapin Metz (Research Completed December 1987)
Internet: Library of Congress

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
laststeamtrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. The history of the world since 1945 is the history of ' blowback'
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Even earlier than that. Remember the so called "Mexican-American War"?
Sometimes it seems to me that we're unteachable.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DURHAM D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
7. The clip leaves out one of the most interesting facts - the guy
sent by our CIA to help organize the opposition to Moosadeq was none other than General Norman Schwarzkopf - father to Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf of Gulf war fame.

Never once did I hear the media mention during or after the first Gulf War that Norman was the second generation of Schwarzkopfs to muck around in the mid-east.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
8. Great clip although they fail to mention Britain's role.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Don't forget this was Iran's SECOND attempt to establish a representative
parliamentary government; The first -- in 1906-7 -- was thwarted by the "Great Powers" of Great Britain and Russia:

Twice thwarted by the Western powers, when Iran finally established a Parliament it was, not surprisingly, unremittingly anti-Western. Try to imagine how different history would have been -- and how different the world would be now -- if Iran had been allowed to follow its own initial democratic impulses, instead of having absolutist, authoritarian monarchy imposed by outside forces.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Yes and thanks for pointing out that importance piece of
information. And another excellent point on how different the world might be if they had been free from outside influence, unfortunately they had something other nations wanted.

This quote is from page 6 of this 7 page article and some believe the immunity granted to the U.S. in 1964 was a main factor in the rise of American hatred and the eventual rise in popularity of Khomeini.


In October 1964, responding to what he
perceived as a capitulation of national sovereignty,
Ayatollah Khomeini denounced the
adoption by the Majlis of a Status of Forces
Agreement, under which U.S. personnel received
certain legal immunities. His statement
appealed to many Iranians, especially
university students, and the government responded
by arresting and then sending the
ayatollah into exile, first in Turkey and later
Iraq, where he remained until 1978.

In the book "The Eagle and the Lion" James Bill had this to say.

"Few political observers or scholars of Iran then understood the long term significance of what was happening. One notable exception was T. Cuyler Young of Princeton University who witnessed first-hand in Iran the explosive anti-Americanism that rose in reaction to the SOFA."

"Young's views were brushed aside by the American foreign policy establishment, and the Council on Foreign Relations chose not to publish his excellent manuscript of Iran..."

Here is what Khomeini said in his 1964 speech, this also ties into what is happening today in Iraq with regards to immunity.


June 24, 2004

"Ayatollah Khomeini's 1964 Speech Condemning U.S. Immunity

As I just posted, Bremer's last act is expected to be bestowing of blanket immunity to U.S. troops and perhaps contractors. "History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce," goes an oft-quoted phrase from Marx. I fail to detect the farce yet but repetition there is a lot of.

So, here's a trip down memory lane with excerpts from Ayatollah Rohollah Khomeini's key speech in 1964 condemning a similarly blanket immunity deal the U.S. struck with the Shah of Iran. The very, very popular speech led to Khomeini's exile in Najaf -- marked a turning point in his rise:

...All American military advisers, together with their families, technical and administrative officials, and servants - in short, anyone in any way connected to them - are to enjoy legal immunity with respect to any crime they may commit in Iran! If some American's servant, some American's cook, assassinates your marja'-i taqlid in the middle of the bazaar, or runs over him, the Iranian police do not have the right to apprehend him! Iranian courts do not have the right to judge him! The dossier must be sent to America so that our masters there can decide what is to be done!"

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thanks for that link. I've just saved it.
I have two books by Stephen Kinzler --- "All The Shah's Men" and "Overthrow". They're both in audible format so they need to be listened to TWICE for full effect, but they're well worth listening to.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
10. All The Shah's Men:An American Coup
British colonialism faced its last stand in 1951 when the Iranian parliament nationalized the sprawling Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) after London refused to modify the firm's exploitative concession. "(B)y a series of insensate actions," the British replied with prideful stubbornness, "the Iranian Government is causing a great enterprise, the proper functioning of which is of immense benefit not only to the United Kingdom and Iran but to the whole free world, to grind to a stop. Unless this is promptly checked, the whole of the free world will be much poorer and weaker, including the deluded Iranian people themselves."2 Of that attitude, Dean Acheson, the secretary of state at the time, later wrote: "Never had so few lost so much so stupidly and so fast."3 But the two sides were talking past each other. The Iranian prime minister, Mohammed Mossadeq, was "a visionary, a utopian, a millenarian" who hated the British, writes Kinzer. "You do not know how crafty they are," Mossadeq told an American envoy sent to broker the impasse. "You do not know how evil they are. You do not know how they sully everything they touch."4
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mogster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 01:34 AM
Response to Original message
14. 1953 - 1979: 26 years of close cooperation
Between the CIA/MI6 and the people in Iran that upheld the shah regime.

Yet they failed to predict his downfall, and subsequently the US embassy was taken over and the hostages taken. Which helped Reagan win. I can recommend this book:

Rhoodie was the Secretary of Information in South Africa during the so-called Muldergate scandal, and was close to the CIA. He paints a picture of what the secret services did during that period, and it is a document to show the clamoring of secret power to get control of what they saw as 'leftist' influences upon the intnl. orgs like the UN, World Council of Churches and so on.
A lot of SA's undercover work was in form of propaganda, and it is closely connected to the US and Britain. And Persia.

Recommended reading.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 03:26 AM
Response to Original message
15. I think it is safe to say that those who don't know this history don't
know shit about today. The US power elite has a long history of subverting democracy and the common people's interests on every continent (including the good old US of A) , and the blowback is everywhere. They are monsters.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
krkaufman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
17. Gotta love Bill Moyers. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Sep 23rd 2017, 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC