U.S. Seeks to Justify Its 1953 Coup in Iran

November 1, 2000 - 0:0
TEHRAN The U.S. television network History on Sunday night aired a program about the role of the United States and Britain in the 1953 coup d'etat in Iran that overthrew the government of prime minister Mohammad Mossadeq. The program, which lasted for one hour, included interviews with Iranian, British and American experts, along with some documentary films about the coup in Iran. The program first examined the situation in Iran during the years 1951-1953 and the efforts by prime minister Mossadeq to establish democracy in the country.
It indicated that the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry and ending the British monopoly prompted London to ask Washington to stage a coup in Iran. According to the program, the then U.S.
president Harry Truman first rejected the London's request, but factors like the widening of the gap between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union, the expansion of the activities of the communist Iran Tudeh Party and finally Mossadeq's inclination to ask for help from countries like China and Russia made the U.S. officials worried about the likelihood of Iran falling into the trap of communism.
It was further said that the U.S. and British intelligence officers met in Cyprus and planned the coup operation code-named Ajax', and appointed the Iranian general Fazlollah Zahedi as head of the operation. According to a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent, after the coup was staged and the former Shah returned to the country, he told the American planner of the coup Kermit Roosevelt, "I owe my throne first of all to you!" One of the experts participating in the program said that the direct role of the U.S. in the coup intensified the anti-U.S. sentiment of the Iranian people, so much so that 25 years later, after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, they called the U.S. Embassy in Tehran Den of Spies' and occupied it. Although the participants in the program cited the activities of the Iran Tudeh Party as one of the major factors prompting the U.S. to stage the coup in Iran, the fact is that the party has no popular base in the country. Therefore, it seems that citing this factor was only aimed at justifying the U.S. direct role in overthrowing the government of prime minister Mossadeq and restoring dictatorship to the country.