Nojeh coup plot

Last updated
"Saving Iran's Great Uprising"
Part of Consolidation of the Iranian Revolution
Date9–10 July 1980 [1]
Planned to start from near Hamadan and undergo in Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Khuzestan and Sistan and Baluchestan [1]

Coup d'état failed


Flag of Iran.svg Government of Islamic Republic of Iran

Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization [2]


Intelligence aid:

Neqab Organization

  • Iran Patriotic Officers (NUPA) [1]

Supported by:
Commanders and leaders
Units involved

Second Bureau of Army
Revolutionary Guards

Revolutionary Committees
Prime Ministry Intelligence Office
Retired and active-duty personnel from: [1]
  • 700–750 military personnel [1]
  • 300–400 civilians (~100 in Tehran) [1]
Casualties and losses
1 KIA [3]
  • ~10 KIA [1]
  • Hundreds arrested, including 284 participants [1]
  • 144 executed [1]

The "Saving Iran's Great Uprising" (Persian : نجات قیام ایران بزرگ; acronymed NEQAB, Persian : نقاب, lit.  'Mask') more commonly known as the Nojeh coup d'état (Persian : کودتای نوژه, translit.  Kūdetâ-ye Nowžeh), was a plan to overthrow the newly established Islamic Republic of Iran and its government of Abolhassan Banisadr and Ayatollah Khomeini. [4]

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.

Literal translation, direct translation, or word-for-word translation is the rendering of text from one language to another one word at a time with or without conveying the sense of the original whole.

Romanization of Persian or Latinization of Persian is the representation of the Persian language with the Latin script. Several different romanization schemes exist, each with its own set of rules driven by its own set of ideological goals.


The plan involved officers and servicemen from the infantry, air force, army and secret service, and was largely halted by the arrest of hundreds of officers [5] on 9–10 July 1980 at Nojeh Air Base, near Hamedan, [1] although substantial sabotage damage had already been carried out, with only 28 tanks (of 159) operational in the frontline Khuzestan Province. The plan was organised by Colonel Muhammad Baqir Bani-Amiri, a retired Gendermerie officer, with the Shah's last Prime Minister, Shapour Bakhtiar, contributing financial support and providing his contacts and authority. [5] Bakhtiar's liaison with the conspirators in Iran was the businessman Manucher Ghorbanifar, who headed the logistics branch of the Niqab network which organised the civilian part of the plot. [1] [5] Bakhtiar told the plotters the United States "had given [the coup] its blessing," but "he was lying" as the U.S. "knew nothing about the Nojeh operation and would likely have opposed it on the grounds that it would endanger the lives of the [American] hostages" still held in Iran. [4]

Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force Air warfare branch of Irans regular military

The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force is the aviation branch of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. The present Air Force came into being in the early 1980s when the former Imperial Iranian Air Force was renamed.

Islamic Republic of Iran Army combined regular military forces of Irans military

The Islamic Republic of Iran Army, acronymed AJA, simply known as the Iranian Army or Artesh, is the "conventional military of Iran" and part of Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The army is tasked to protect the territorial integrity of the Iranian state from external and internal threats and to project power. Artesh has its own Joint Staff which coordinates its four separate service branches: Ground Forces, Air Force, Navy and the newly established Air Defense Force.

Khuzestan Province Province in Region 4, Iran

Khuzestan Province (Persian: استان خوزستان‎ Ostān-e Khūzestān, is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahvaz and it covers an area of 63,238 km2. Since 2014 it has been part of Iran's Region 4.

Failed coup

According to then-President Abolhassan Banisadr, the government discovered eight major cells, and exposed the plotters' plan, leading to the arrests: "their plan was to give the appearance of a coup d'etat to restore the Shah, while the real aim was to provide a pretext to cover the Iraqi invasion. According to the information we received, the conspirators had set up a military camp in [the Iraqi city of] Sulimanieh and planned to ignite a Kurdish revolt and organize demonstrations throughout Iran. Their strategy was simple: internal disorders would first disperse Iranian military forces, so that on the very first day of the Iraqi attack Saddam could occupy the whole Western part of the country." [5] After the failure of the coup, Khomeini delivered a speech in Jamaran Huseinieh and said, "they want to plot, and this type of plot. Even if we were not to neutralize it, people would suffocate it. … Suppose their phantoms were able to take off, what then they could do. The nation is not asleep that a phantom or two could do anything." [6]

Abolhassan Banisadr First President of Islamic Republic of Iran

Seyyed Abolhassan Banisadr is an Iranian politician. He was the first President of Iran after the 1979 Iranian Revolution abolished the monarchy, serving from 4 February 1980 until he was impeached by parliament on 20 June 1981. Prior to his presidency, he was the minister of foreign affairs in the interim government. He has resided for many years in France where he co-founded the National Council of Resistance of Iran. At age 86, Banisadr is currently the oldest living former Iranian President.

After coup

Khomeini ordered those arrested for involvement in the coup to be executed, but Banisadr used legal ruses to delay the executions, and when Iraq invaded, most were freed on the promise of a return to active duty. [5] 144 participants were however executed, and in the following months 2,000–4,000 military personnel dismissed. [1] An assassination attempt was made on Shapour Bakhtiar in Paris on 18 July, [1] and on 22 July Ali Akbar Tabatabaei, the former Iranian press attache in the US, was assassinated in Bethesda, Maryland. [7]

Shapour Bakhtiar Iranian politician

Shapour Bakhtiar was an Iranian politician who served as the last Prime Minister of Iran under the Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. He and his secretary were murdered in his home in Suresnes, near Paris by agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Ali Akbar Tabatabaei was an Iranian exile and former press attache to the Iranian embassy in the United States during the reign of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi..

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Bethesda is an unincorporated, census-designated place in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, located just northwest of the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a local church, the Bethesda Meeting House, which in turn took its name from Jerusalem's Pool of Bethesda. In Aramaic, beth ḥesda means "House of Mercy" and in Hebrew, beit ḥesed means "House of Kindness". The National Institutes of Health main campus and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center are in Bethesda, as are a number of corporate and government headquarters.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Mark J. Gasiorowski (2002), "The Nuzhih Plot and Iranian Politics Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine ", Int. J. Middle East Stud. 34 (2002), 645–666. DOI: 10.1017.S0020743802004038
  2. Mohammadighalehtaki, Ariabarzan (2012). Organisational Change in Political Parties in Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. With Special Reference to the Islamic Republic Party (IRP) and the Islamic Iran Participation Front Party (Mosharekat) (Ph.D. thesis). Durham University. p. 166.
  3. Nojeh Coup (in Persian). Political Studies and Research Institute. pp. 263–279. ISBN   9645645573. ستوانیار محمد اسماعیل قربانی اصل (تنها شهید عملیات خنثی‌سازی کودتا)
  4. 1 2 Emery, Chris (2013). "Reappraising the Carter Administration's response to the Iran-Iraq war". The Iran-Iraq War: New International Perspectives. Routledge. ISBN   9780415685245.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Kenneth R. Timmerman (1988), Fanning the Flames: Guns, Greed & Geopolitics in the Gulf War, Chapter 5: Thou Shalt Not Threaten American Interest, The Iran Brief
  6. "Unsuccessful Nojeh Coup". Islamic Revolution Document Center. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  7. PBS, 6 August 2011, 'A Darker Horizon': The Assassination of Shapour Bakhtiar