19 August 2018   Leave a comment

On this day in 1953, the Iranian Premier Mohammed Mosaddeq was overthrown and replaced by the Shah of Iran.  Mosaddeq had been elected in 1951 and one of the first acts of the Iranian Majlis (Parliament) was to nationalize the oil reserves of the country which had been leased to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now know as BP).  Anglo-Iranian prevented other states from purchasing Iranian oil, claiming that it was stolen, and, since oil exports were the primary source of revenues for the government, the Iranian economy slowly declined.  By 1953, after having been rebuffed by the US for economic aid, the Iranian government turned to the Soviet Union for aid.  US President Eisenhower interpreted that request as a move toward a Communist state and he authorized the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to force the Mosaddeq government from office:

“A previously excised section of an internal CIA history titled “The Battle for Iran“ released in 2013, reads: “The military coup that overthrew Mosaddeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government.”

The son of the ousted Shah came to power and stayed in power until he also was overthrown by a popular revolution supporting the Ayatollah Khomeini who established the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979.  Since that time, US-Iranian relations have been intensely hostile.  The sanctions that the US wishes to impose on the sale of Iranian oil on 4 November are remarkably similar to the legal actions taken by Anglo-Iranian–they are designed to force a change in the government by fostering discontent within the Iranian population.  One could hardly fault the Iranians for believing that the US will also plan to overthrow the government or force a regime change.  Americans may have forgotten the role of their government in 1953, but the Iranian people certainly have not.

Ayatollah Khomeini Arrives in Tehran in 1979

Iran Revolution 1979 photo 1

Posted August 19, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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