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|Subject||1953 Iranian coup d'état|
|Publisher||John Wiley & Sons|
|July 18, 2003|
All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror is a book written by American journalist Stephen Kinzer. The book discusses the 1953 Iranian coup d'état backed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in which Mohammed Mossadegh, Iran's prime minister, was overthrown by Islamists supported by American and British agents (chief among them Kermit Roosevelt) and royalists loyal to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues. However, most journalists tend to specialize, and by cooperating with other journalists, produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics.
Stephen Kinzer is an American author, journalist and academic. He was a New York Times correspondent, has published several books, and currently writes for several newspapers and news agencies.
The 1953 Iranian coup d'état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup d'état, was the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favour of strengthening the monarchical rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the United Kingdom and the United States, and the first United States covert action to overthrow a foreign government during peacetime.
In 1933 Reza Shah signed a deal selling Iranian oil extraction rights to the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, later called British Petroleum (BP). Though Iran was officially neutral at the start of World War II, its monarch was friendly towards the Axis. Following the 1941 Allied Invasion of Iran, Reza Shah was forced to abdicate in favour of his son Mohammad Reza Shah, who upheld the oil agreement with APOC, which by then had been renamed the "Anglo-Iranian Oil Company". When the first democratically elected parliament and prime minister in Iran took power in 1950 they planned to seize the oil assets in Iran that had been developed by the British, violating the still running oil contract with British Petroleum. The British government followed to court in Belgium's International Court, lost the case against Iran's new government and reacted by blockading the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, halting Iran's trade and economy.
Reza Shah Pahlavi, commonly known as Reza Shah, was the Shah of Iran from 15 December 1925 until he was forced to abdicate by the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran on 16 September 1941.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, also known as the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Persia, was the joint invasion of Iran in 1941 during the Second World War by the British Commonwealth and the Soviet Union. The invasion lasted from 25 August to 17 September 1941 and was codenamed Operation Countenance. Its purpose was to secure Iranian oil fields and ensure Allied supply lines for the USSR, fighting against Axis forces on the Eastern Front. Though Iran was neutral, the Allies considered Reza Shah to be friendly to Germany, deposed him during the subsequent occupation and replaced him with his young son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
The US was concerned that Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh was seeking help from the local superpower, the Soviet Union, against Britain. The Eisenhower administration agreed with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill government to restore the pro-Western Shah to power. In the summer of 1953, the CIA and Britain's MI6 arranged a coup in Tehran. Mossadegh was successfully overthrown and spent the rest of his life on his country estate under house arrest, and Iran remained a staunch Cold War ally of the West. After more than 20 years of the Shah's rule, there was a bloody revolution in 1979 and brought into power an Islamic republic, which has ruled ever since.
Mohammad Mosaddegh was the 35th prime minister of Iran, holding office from 1951 until 1953, when his government was overthrown in a coup d'état orchestrated by the United States' Central Intelligence Agency and the United Kingdom's MI6.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a British politician, army officer, and writer. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, when he led Britain to victory in the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill represented five constituencies during his career as a Member of Parliament (MP). Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, for most of his career he was a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955, but from 1904 to 1924 was instead a member of the Liberal Party.
Regarding US policy as it developed towards Iran in the early 1950s, the book portrays it as having been variously driven by the fear of annoying the British, an attempt to be an honest broker, or an effort to stop the spread of Communism. The fact, stated at the end of the book, that US companies were granted the majority of the oil concessions from the Shah's government after the coup, does not feature significantly in the earlier part of the narrative. However, that it was the chief reason for the coup is the tacit conclusion of the book.
British critic David Pryce-Jones takes strong issue with this conclusion in his essay "A Very Elegant Coup" (link below). In his view, the attempted Communist takeover of Iran was the chief issue, and the portrayal of the CIA by Kinzer as "arrogant, thuggish and immoral" was originally a notion put forward by leftists who sympathized with the attempt.
The Pahlavi dynasty was the last ruling house of the Imperial State of Iran from 1925 until 1979, when the Monarchy of Iran was overthrown and abolished as a result of the Iranian Revolution. The dynasty was founded by Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1925, a former brigadier-general of the Persian Cossack Brigade, whose reign lasted until 1941 when he was forced to abdicate by the Allies after the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran. He was succeeded by his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran. According to Reza Shah, He named Agha Ameri the successor to his dynasty if it fell.
The Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) was a British company founded in 1908 following the discovery of a large oil field in Masjed Soleiman, Iran. It was the first company to extract petroleum from Iran. In 1935 APOC was renamed the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) when Reza Shah Pahlavi formally asked foreign countries to refer to Persia by it's endonym Iran. and in 1954 it was renamed again to the British Petroleum Company (BP), one of the antecedents of the modern BP public limited company, while its assets in Iran were nationalised and taken over by the National Iranian Oil Company. Britain's treasury purchased 51% of the company in 1914.
Fazlollah Zahedi was an Iranian general and statesman who replaced the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh through a coup d'état, in which he played a major role.
Donald Newton Wilber, American writer and spy.
The Tudeh Party of Iran is an Iranian communist party. Formed in 1941, with Soleiman Mohsen Eskandari as its head, it had considerable influence in its early years and played an important role during Mohammad Mosaddegh's campaign to nationalize the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and his term as prime minister. The crackdown that followed the 1953 coup against Mosaddegh is said to have "destroyed" the party, although it continued. The party still exists, but has remained much weaker as a result of its banning in Iran and mass arrests by the Islamic Republic in 1982, as well as the executions of political prisoners in 1988.
The Abadan Crisis occurred from 1951 to 1954, after Iran nationalised the Iranian assets of the BP controlled Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) and expelled Western companies from oil refineries in the city of Abadan.
The National Front of Iran is an opposition political organization in Iran, founded by Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1949. It is the oldest and arguably the largest pro-democracy group operating inside Iran despite having never been able to recover the prominence it had in the early 1950s.
Christopher Montague Woodhouse, 5th Baron Terrington, DSO, OBE was a Conservative politician and Member of Parliament for Oxford from 1959 to 1966 and again from 1970 to 1974. He was also a visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford from 1956 to 1964. Terrington was an expert on Greek affairs after he first got involved with the resistance forces in Greece against the Germans during World War II, and then having served in the British Embassy.
Princess Ashraf ol-Molouk Pahlavi was the twin sister of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran (Persia), and a member of the Pahlavi Dynasty. She was considered the "power behind her brother" and was instrumental in the 1953 coup which led to him taking the throne. She served her brother as a palace adviser and was a strong advocate for women's rights. Following the Iranian Revolution in 1979, she lived in exile in France, New York, Paris and Monte Carlo and remained outspoken against the Islamic Republic.
Haj Ali Razmara was a military leader and prime minister of Iran.
Hossein Fatemi was a scholar, journalist, and famous politician of Iran. A close associate of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, he proposed nationalization of Iranian oil and gas assets. Initially a journalist, he served as Foreign Affairs Minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953. After the 1953 CIA-orchestrated coup d'état toppled the democratically elected government of Mosaddegh, Fatemi was arrested, tortured, and convicted by a military court of "treason against the Shah", and executed by a firing squad.
Assadollah Rashidian was an Iranian anglophile who along with his brothers, played a critical role in the 1953 overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh. He was a principal covert agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) and through him the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was able to convince the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, to endorse the operation.
Karim Sanjabi was an Iranian politician of National Front.
Gholam Hossein Sedighi, was an Iranian politician and Minister of Interior in the government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. After a CIA-backed coup d'etat overthrew Mossadegh, Sedighi was arrested and later testified in defense of Mossadegh at the latter's trial. Despite the loss of power, Sedighi continued to be politically active. He helped to found the Second National Front in 1960 and, along with other pro-Mossadegh politicians, advocated a democratic system and a Shah that reigns but does not rule.
Mozzafar Baghai is known best as an Iranian political figure of the 1940s and 50s. He rose to prominence during the national struggle against British control of Iran's oil industry. For decades, most Iranians had resented the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company for the perceived injustice of allocating most profits to the company and the British government, while only a very small proportion was given to Iran, despite the fact that the oil fields were on Iranian territory. Baghai made himself known as a fiery critic of the British and he allied himself with those of like mind, including Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh. He was different from many other nationalists in that he held very left-wing views. He was able to best articulate this when he formed the Toilers Party of the Iranian Nation, a left-wing, nationalistic and anti-communist party that included such notables as Khalil Maleki. In 1949, the Toilers Party joined with Mossadegh and his liberal supporters in forming the National Front of Iran, which was an umbrella organization for all Iranians who were committed to the principles of freeing Iran from foreign domination, ending arbitrary rule and establishing a government dependent on the will of the people of Iran. In April 1951, one month after the oil industry was nationalized by the Majlis, Mossadegh was chosen by that elected body as the Prime Minister of Iran, subject to approval by the reigning Mohammad Reza Shah.
The Abadan Crisis was a major event in Iranian history. It began in 1951 with the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company by the government of Iran, and the shutting down by the British of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company's huge oil refinery in Abadan. It ended with a successful CIA-orchestrated coup which overthrew the democratically elected government of Mohammed Mosaddeq in 1953, and enabled the Shah to rule autocratically for the next 26 years, before he was overthrown by the Iranian Revolution.
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as Mohammad Reza Shah, was the last Shah of Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Islamic Revolution on 11 February 1979. A close ally of the United States, he tried to use vast oil revenues to generate a rapid industrial, cultural and military modernisation, as well as economic and social reforms. In reaction religious forces revolted and overthrew him.
Iranian monarchism is the advocacy of restoring the constitutional monarchy in Iran, which was abolished after the 1979 Revolution.