US faces Iranian lawsuit after CIA confession of involvement in 1953 coup

27th Sep 2013

US faces Iranian lawsuit after CIA confesses role in 1953 coup

[Declassified CIA documents offering details of how the CIA executed the over throw of PM, Mohammed Mossadegh, 60 years ago.]


By Elham Asaad Buaras


Iran’s Parliament gave preliminary approval on August 28 to a bill requiring the Government to sue the US for its involvement in the 1953 coup that overthrew the country’s democratically elected prime minister.


The bill follows the release of newly declassified CIA documents offering details of how the CIA executed the overthrow of Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadegh, 60 years ago.


Iranians elected Mossadegh in 1951 and he quickly moved to re-nationalise the country’s oil production, which had been under British control through the Anglo-Persian Oil Company – which later became British Petroleum or BP.


That was a source of serious concern to the US and the UK, which saw Iranian oil as key to its post-war economic rebuilding.


The CIA documents were published on September 19 by the independent National Security Archive on the 60th anniversary of the coup.


“The military coup… was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy,” says one excerpt.


The publication was released under the US Freedom of Information Act declassify documents about CIA’s TPAJAX operation that sought regime change in Iran through the bribery of high-ranking officials, and substantial anti-Mossadegh propaganda that helped to instigate public revolt in 1953.


Among the declassified documents there are several examples of CIA propaganda presenting Iranian PM Mossadegh disparagingly.


“This propaganda piece accuses the Prime Minister of pretending to be ‘the savior of Iran’ and alleges that he has instead built up a vast spying apparatus which he has trained on virtually every sector of society, from the army to newspapers to political and religious leaders,” the Archive said.


“Stirring up images of his purported alliance with ‘murderous Qashqai Khan’ and the Bolsheviks, the authors charge: ‘Is this the way you save Iran, Mossadegh? We know what you want to save. You want to save Mossadegh’s dictatorship in Iran!’”


The Iranian Bill calls for setting up a committee to study the issue and provide a report within six months before legal action is launched against the US Government in an international court.


Of 196 lawmakers attending the session of Parliament, 167 voted in favor of the bill while five opposed it.


The coup restored the despotic regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. He was overthrown in the 1979 Iranian revolution.


Lawmaker Mahdi Mousavinejad said Iran should take legal action and make the US take responsibility for its actions.


“America’s oppressive behavior (in 1953) shows that the Iranian nation has to stand up and pursue its trampled rights,” he said.


But Mohammad Mahdi Rahbari, another lawmaker, opposed the bill, saying it will fail to bring anything tangible for Iran.


“Pursuing this bill has no benefits for our country. It will waste the parliament’s time,” he said.


The US role in the coup was openly referred to by then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 2000, and by President Barack Obama in a 2009 speech in Cairo.


But until now the intelligence agencies have issued “blanket denials” of their role.


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