CIA Admits Role in Iran's Coup—60 Years Later
Releases documents acknowledging it was behind overthrow of Mossadeq in '53
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2013 7:15 PM CDT
Mohammad Mossadeq.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – It's only taken 60 years, but the CIA has finally acknowledged its role in the 1953 coup of democratically elected Iranian PM Mohammad Mossadeq. In documents released to the independent National Security Archive website, an internal report says: "[T]he military coup that overthrew Mosadeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy," Foreign Policy reports. It was hardly a secret—former operatives have written books about the coup, and both Clinton and Obama have acknowledged it. But this appears to be the first time the CIA ever has.

"[I]t was estimated that Iran was in real danger of falling behind the Iron Curtain; if that happened it would mean a victory for the Soviets in the Cold War and a major setback for the West in the Middle East," the operation's architect, Donald Wilber, wrote in one document, per the BBC. The US and its partner in the operation, the UK, were also motivated by Mossadeq's move to nationalize the country's formerly British-controlled oil industry. The documents show the CIA planted anti-Mossadeq stories in both the Iranian and US media, and organized rallies against him. "By the end of 19 August," wrote Wilber, "members of the Mossadeq government were either in hiding or were incarcerated."

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Showing 3 of 56 comments
Aug 26, 2013 12:37 PM CDT
What the US won't do for control of oil. The Saudis are smart. They stay close but not too close.
Aug 20, 2013 11:02 AM CDT
I wander why the CIA don't tell of the plans to kill President Kennedy. We all know its a government cover up if not than why don't they release all the documents they have and not the made up story the Warren commission tried to feed America. I bet most of the people on the Warren commission had something to do with it. Our government wants to be in our business all the time now show us the truth if any of you know how.
Aug 20, 2013 5:00 AM CDT
Must have been Obama running things then. He's the only president ever did anything wrong, right publicans?