The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations (Anglais) Relié – 5 février 2013
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The book provides unshakable evidence of the CIA’s direct involvement in the coup, return of the Shah and strangulation of a budding democracy in Iran. It also hopefully puts a stop to the arguments of the "Coup Deniers" who have used the present regime’s-- mildly stated-- misdeeds to distort the facts. Undeniably reading the book takes time, despite its small size. The reason is absorption of the references and the unfamiliarity of some of the characters involved, long gone. It should be a book to have and read time and again. To keep the memories alive, to remind further actors who keep inventing the wheel again and again of repeating the same mistakes and to realize the Red Thread that extends from that historical event to today’s Middle East and the blowback it created for the United States. It is a sad but excellent book, but so is history.
Abrahamian utilizes the major known sources well: the files of the AIOC and the international oil producers (the Seven Sisters), the documents of the UK that have been de-classified under the 30 year rules, and the US records , some de-classified State Dept. Records as well as some CIA memos and memoirs that have become available since especially 2000.There is plenty of long quoted passages from these primary sources to provide the evidence for Abrahamian's arguments.
But Abrahamian also offers a nice analysis of the historical literature on the coup, showing how the interpretations have evolved. The early accounts were mainly official justifications reflecting President Eisenhower's speech on the coup, that Iran was faltering into instability that could have led to communism and the US could not sit by and watch that happen. The Shah became a central figure as a cornerstone of support for the West against communist threats to Iran and the Middle East. The advent of the Islamic Republic and the collapse of the Shah in 1979 saw the first major revisions by historians, who discovered Mossadeq as an alternative to both the Shah and Khomeini. Since then analysis has focused on the rise and fall of Mossadeq and the National Front and the origins of the coup. Abrahamian emphasizes the issue of control over Iran's oil reserves as the crucial point of the contest and argues that Mossadeq's position was more flexible than that of the UK and the oil producers. That the fall of Mossadeq brought on the revolution of the Islamic Republic, the end of the shahs, and the advent of Islamic fundamentalism is a widely shared perspective now.