In case you have been asleep for the past 61 years, the CIA overthrew Mossadegh in 1953. This kept the Shah in power for another 26 years until in 1979 the people mind you, and not Islam, overthrew him, and were then hijacked by Islam, which eventually became the IRHI or the Islamic Republic of Hijacked Iran.
Sure, sure, you can claim that Islam was at the very head of the crowds that marched against the Shah, and sure, sure you can bring both referendums and try to pose that as proof of the peoples’ willing capitulation in their own enslavement, but I don’t easily buy any of that. And I don’t think you should either.
In 1989 through the Freedom of Information Act, documents were released that pointed to a clear 1953 CIA secret mission to personally frame Mossadegh, and shatter his well-planned ultimately successful overthrow of the Shah, in the form of (Gasp! Dare we say it out loud!) a classic Jeffersonian model of Democracy for Iran.
I don’t know if I am a fan of Mossadegh or not. What is clear and unfair, is that I was never given the chance to find out.
Although the proof was irrefutable. It wasn’t as clearly admitted as a CIA formal project. Even so, afterwards, 3 Presidents, 3 Secretaries of State, 2 Secretaries of Defense, and a Partridge in a pair tree, have since apologized formally, and personally to the Iranian people, and even this government, for the deed known as Operation Ajax, that previously had no name.
Note: Actually the exact name of the operation was TPAJAX. I don’t want to think about what “TP” stood for, although given the results, I can guess.
Here is the very loose gist of what happened:
Two CIA agents, Kermit Roosevelt Jr. (Teddy Roosevelt’s grandson) and Norman Schwarzkopf Sr. (Father of General Norman Schwarzkopf who “liberated” Kuwait from Saddam) arrived in Tehran and began to bribe a host of what we can only very tongue-bitingly call Iranians (Akkkh! Toff!) to betray their country, their people, and their own consciences, by accusing Mossadegh of being a member of the Communist party, and then helping the CIA to overthrow his government in what is known as the 28 Mordad Coup.
The Shah, who had already fled when all of this was rumored to be happenning, was convinced to return, and promptly re-instated as an absolute Monarch of Iran. That means he had final say, no discussion. And this is pretty much how Iran got the reputation of being a US puppet dictatorship.
A little known fact. That it was the US (not the Shah) who put the Shah in absolute power. For life. After illegally removing Mossadegh from his legally, democratically, freely voted, and elected position.
This is a stunningly anti-democratic act by the US. A world bastion and poster child of democratic principle. What we Iranians must now altogether, only consider to be an act of unarguable aggression. For it has now cost not just Iranians, but everyone in the world dearly.
When it was over, Mossadegh was convicted of treason, not by a civilian, but by a military court, and was sentenced to 3 years in jail, and then spent the rest of his life under house arrest, where he died in 1967. Most of Mossadegh’s friends were either imprisoned, and a few were even executed.
After it was over, Roosevelt quietly returned to the US a quietly recognized hero, Schwarzkopf stayed behind to train what became the SAVAK, and Iran and her oil became the personal gas pump of the US forever. Or long enough. In 1979 the US apparently tired of her toy and it’s increasingly annoying King, and allowed Iran to fall off the American dinner plate, and into the dirt of Islamic fundamentalism.
The rest is history. Actually thanks to the 1989 release of the official documents, it’s pretty much all history now. But, like all nightmares, there’s always more you didn’t know!
Sometime this year a supplemental volume will be released that should add even more nuanced detail to this treasure trove of trash.
So why all the bitter sarcasm, Behrouz?
What the CIA coup demonstrates to me is the easy proclivity Iranians seem to have for betraying our own people and our own country. Being evil or showing contempt towards an enemy is one thing, but being this cruel to your own country, is entirely abominable.
Yes, the CIA bribed Iranians to frame Mossadegh. Yes, the CIA conspired to remove a democratically elected leader from power, and put in place a dictatorship they could control, purely for the convenient advantage of the US.
But the part I hate most is that Iranians took those bribes. Iranians betrayed Iran. Iranians, watched, waited, and as soon as it suited them, sold their soul to the devil for nothing more than 1953 denomination cash.
While we can certainly blame the CIA and a contemptuous US foreign policy of greed for ill-intentions and a voracious appetite and acquired taste for Persian food, we have to look at ourselves for the consequences of our part in the deal, that have led us to where we are today. For it was certainly no Bazar bargain.
While in 1953 the US may have sullied it’s reputation by passing cash under the table, I often wonder where we would be today, if Iranians hadn’t stooped to take it.