The CIA has released documents which for the first time formally acknowledge its key role in the 1953 coup which ousted Iran's democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadeq.
|CIA Documents Acknowledge its Role|
Excerpt from The Lion and the Sun:
Conte remembered meeting Anatoly Balakirev for the first time at this reception. He wore the dark blue Parade uniform of a USSR Air Force officer, with epaulettes, a gold sash at the waist, and calf-high black leather boots. His chest was covered in medals, only a few of which Conte recognized, including medals for combat service, and for bravery. By comparison, Conte’s black Air Force mess dress uniform was drab, and Conte wore only a few medals, including the Air Force Cross, the Purple Heart, a National Defense Service Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal.
Balakirev was direct with this new American, who seemed so sure of himself. The Russian blamed Britain and America for the overthrow of Iran’s elected Prime Minister, Mohammed Mosaddeq in 1953, claiming that the US was threatened by Mosaddeq’s plan to nationalize oil and acted accordingly.
Conte was very familiar with the CIA’s botched operation to overthrow Mosaddeq, but pointed out to Balakirev the Communist’s role in undermining Mosaddeq. Conte told Balakirev that he was sure the USSR was behind the Tudeh Party’s subversion. Balakirev countered that the USSR’s only interest in Iran was to aid a developing nation and create a future trading partner. This sparring was in reality cover for each trying to determine what the other was really up to in Tehran at that critical time in the Shah’s rule. But it was true. The seeds of discontent in Tehran today had been planted by the CIA and the British SIS in 1953, and before that, the occupying forces of the USSR in 1946.