(Wikipedia) - In a speech on March 17, 2000 before the American Iranian Council on the relaxation of U.S. sanctions against Iran, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said: "In 1953, the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran's popular Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh. The Eisenhower administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons, but 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."
Mosaddegh was removed from power in a coup on August, 19 1953, organized and carried out by the United States CIA at the request of the British MI6 which chose Iranian General Fazlollah Zahedi to succeed Mosaddegh.
While the coup is commonly referred to as Operation TP-Ajax after its CIA cryptonym, in Iran it is referred to as the 28 Mordad, after its date on the Iranian calendar. Mosaddegh was imprisoned for three years, and then he was put under house arrest until his death on March, 16, 1967.
The colonial British government had grown increasingly distressed over Mosaddegh's policies and was especially bitter over the loss of their control of the Iranian oil industry. Repeated attempts to reach a settlement had failed and in October 1952, Mosaddegh declared Britain an enemy, and cut all diplomatic relations.
Engulfed in a whole range of problems following World War II, Britain was unable to resolve the issue single-handedly and looked towards the United States for help. Initially Americans opposed British policies. After U.S. mediation had failed several times to bring about a settlement, American Secretary of State Dean Acheson concluded that the British were "destructive and determined on a rule or ruin policy in Iran."
The American position shifted in late 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was put in power as U.S. President. In November and December, British intelligence officials suggested to American intelligence that the prime minister should be ousted. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill suggested to the incoming Eisenhower administration that Mosaddegh, despite his open disgust with socialism, was, or would become, dependent on the pro-Soviet Toodeh Party, resulting in Iran "increasingly turning towards communism" and towards the Soviet sphere at a time of high Cold War fears. After the Eisenhower administration had entered office in early 1953, the United States and the United Kingdom agreed to work together toward Mosaddegh's removal and began to publicly denounce Mosaddegh's policies for Iran as harmful to the country. In the meantime the already precarious alliance between Dr. Mosaddegh and Ayatollah Kashani was severed in January 1953, when Kashani opposed Mosaddegh's demand that his increased powers be extended for a period of one year.
In March 1953, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles directed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which was headed by his younger brother Allen Dulles, to draft plans to overthrow Mosaddegh. On 4 April 1953, Allen Dulles approved $1 million to be used "in any way that would bring about the fall of Mosaddegh". Soon the CIA's Tehran station started to launch a propaganda campaign against Mosaddegh. Finally, according to The New York Times, in early June, American and British intelligence officials met again, this time in Beirut, and put the finishing touches on the strategy. Soon afterward, according to his later published accounts, the chief of the CIA's Near East and Africa division, Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. the grandson of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, arrived in Tehran to direct it. In 2000, The New York Times made partial publication of a leaked CIA document titled, Clandestine Service History – Overthrow of Premier Mosaddegh of Iran – November 1952-August 1953. This document describes the point-by-point planning of the coup by agent Donald Wilbur, and execution conducted by the American and British governments. The New York Times published this critical document with the names omitted. The New York Times also limited its publication to scanned image (bitmap) format, rather than machine-readable text. This document was eventually published properly – in text form, and fully unexpurgated. The complete CIA document is now web published. The word ‘blowback' appeared for the very first time in this document.
The plot, known as Operation Ajax, centered on convincing Iran's monarch to issue a decree to dismiss Mosaddegh from office, as he had attempted some months earlier. But the Shah was terrified to attempt such a dangerously unpopular move, and it would take much persuasion and many U.S. funded meetings, which included bribing his sister Ashraf Pahlavi to successfully change his mind.
Mosaddegh became aware of the plots against him and grew increasingly wary of conspirators acting within his government. According to Dr. Donald N. Wilber, who was involved in the plot to remove Dr. Mosaddegh from power, in early August, Iranian CIA operatives pretending to be socialists and nationalists threatened Muslim clerics with "savage punishment if they opposed Mosaddegh," thereby giving the impression that Mosaddegh was cracking down on dissent, and stirring anti-Mosaddegh sentiments within the religious community. A referendum to dissolve parliament and give the prime minister power to make law was submitted to voters, and it passed with 99 percent approval, 2,043,300 votes to 1300 votes against. On or around Aug. 16, Parliament was suspended indefinitely, and Mosaddegh's emergency powers were extended.
In August 1953, the Shah finally agreed to Mosaddegh's overthrow, after Roosevelt told that the U.S. would proceed with him or without him and formally dismissed the Prime Minister in a written decree, an act explicitly permitted under the constitution. As a precautionary measure, he flew to Baghdad and from there hid safely in Rome. He actually signed two decrees, one dismissing Mosaddegh and the other nominating the CIA's choice, General Fazlollah Zahedi, as Prime Minister. These decrees, called Farmans, were specifically written as dictated by Donald Wilbur the CIA architect of the plan, which were designed as a major part of Wilbur's strategy to give the impression of legitimacy to the secret coup, as can be read in the declassified plan itself which bears his name. Wilbur was later given a letter of commendation by Allen Dulles, CIA head, for his work. It too is now declassified, and appears in Wilbur's autobiography.
Soon, massive protests, engineered by Roosevelt's team, took place across the city and elsewhere with tribesmen paid to be at the ready to assist the coup. Anti- and pro-monarchy protesters, both paid by Roosevelt, violently clashed in the streets, looting and burning mosques and newspapers, leaving almost 300 dead. The pro-monarchy leadership, chosen, hidden and finally unleashed at the right moment by the CIA team, led by retired army General and former Minister of Interior in Mosaddegh's cabinet, Fazlollah Zahedi joined with underground figures such as the Rashidian brothers and local strongman Shaban Jafari, to gain the upper hand on 19 August 1953 (28 Mordad). The military joined on cue: pro-Shah tank regiments stormed the capital and bombarded the prime minister's official residence, on Roosevelt's cue, according to his book. Mosaddegh managed to flee from the mob that set in to ransack his house, and, the following day, surrendered to General Zahedi, who was meanwhile set up by the CIA with makeshift headquarters at the Officers' Club. Mosaddegh was arrested at the Officers' Club and transferred to a military jail shortly after. On 22 August, Mohammad Reza Shah returned from exile.
Zahedi's new government soon reached an agreement with foreign oil companies to form a consortium and "restore the flow of Iranian oil to world markets in substantial quantities", giving the U.S. and Great Britain the lion's share of Iran's oil. In return, the U.S. massively funded the Shah's resulting government, including his army and secret police force, SAVAK, until the Shah's overthrow in 1979. Mosaddegh's supporters were rounded up, tortured or executed. The minister of Foreign Affairs and the closest associate of Mosaddegh: Hossein Fatemi was executed by order of the Shah's military court. The order was carried out by firing squad on October 29, 1953.
After a long silence that began in Iran after the coup, in 1979 Iranians revolted against the puppet regime and overthrew the dictatorship. In a referendum which took place on April, 1, 1979, Iranians voted for a new form of government, the Islamic Republic.
Although US categorically denied involvement in the 1953 coup, for Iranians it was the obvious thing and the true face of neo-colonialism was revealed to the world in time. Corporations became the new form of deceitful cover used by descendents of once sea-pirates and slave-traders to give their inhumane acts a legit appearance while the oppressed nations unite and tune in revolution songs.