The Consortium News editor-in-chief was interviewed by former British MP George Galloway on the occasion of the 67th anniversary of the British and U.S. coup in Iran.
A new document released in time for last Wednesday’s 67th anniversary of the Iran coup shows that Britain, and not the United States, led the operation. The Truman administration refused to join it, believing that elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh would not allow communists to takeover, as Britain was arguing. Only after the election of Dwight Eisenhower and his appointment of Allen Dulles as CIA director in February 1953 did the U.S. take part in the coup six months later.
George Galloway spoke to Joe Lauria on his show Sputnik Orbiting the World With George Galloway about the new revelations on the Iran coup, as well as the history of post-war U.S. regime change operations.
That MI-6 was the mastermind behind the coupe was known long ago. It just took a while for it to surface.
see: All the Shah’s Men — amazon.com/All-Shahs-Men-American-Middle/dp/047018549X
coups? invasions a more accurate term
Love Joe, and gotta love George, too. How many interviewers would say that their initial thoughts about an issue have been potentially changed by statements made by the interviewee? Not to mention his performance in Congress years ago (2005) that made his interlocutors look like the fools they were.
I watched your brief interview with George Galloway. I was not aware of the recent document you mentioned, but I have some thoughts on the Iranian coup.
I am by no means an expert on the ME or geopolitics, but I have spent much time during the last 20 years reading about the 1953 Iran coup. My interest was first piqued, interestingly enough, through a political science class I took in 1978 (at the East Liverpool branch of Kent State University) wherein a very small class (8 adult students) discussed four books in depth concerning major issues in US politics. One of those books was titled Energy Politics (I’ve forgotten the author’s name) wherein it was stated quite matter-of-factly that the UK/US did perpetrate a coup in Iran, and the overriding reason for it was due to Iran’s vast oil and gas deposits. This was an eye-opener for me, because the continuing official US narrative never mentions the US role in this affair.
What I have learned in the last 20 or so years: I’ve read multiple statements that most knowledgeable and involved persons there at that time considered Soviet influence and/or support for socialism or communism was very limited among Iranians; there was an evolving social/political scene in Iran, peculiar to them alone, that seemed to acknowledge and account not only the growing democratic/nationalist movement, but the involvement of the religious/clerics, and also a fading but respectful allowance for the former monarchical tradition – it was distinctly Iranian, and seemed both dynamic and popular; what Mossadegh and his party wanted was merely a part of the wealth being generated through the extraction of their energy resources, but the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. (now BP) flatly refused even their modest demands; during the active machinations of the coup, UK/US spooks and spies enlisted several Shiite clerics as oppositional leaders (against Mossadegh) – these clerics were jealous of the growing influence of the secular governance movement.
In broad terms, I have come to regard the 1953 Iranian coup as one of the most seminal events of the current era. US citizens may not have had a clear or accurate picture of what was transpiring in Iran then, but the Iranians certainly did, as did many of their Islamic neighbors. The US was exposed there, in that time, as grossly and violently hypocritical; all the US talk about freedom and democracy was a gross open lie. During my study of this issue I came upon a quote by Madeline Albright from a book she wrote some time after 1953 to the effect that “the coup was the worst failure of US foreign policy in her lifetime.” That of course was written before the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq.
It is easy to say that things might have been much different had this coup not been perpetrated and Iran had been allowed to evolve their own unique blend of secular/religious/traditional-monarchical socio-political life. but it is almost impossible to say with any certainty what the particulars of that alternate reality might be. It seems to me that the coup closed off all other avenues of coherence for Iranians other than the solidarity of their common faith – their “fundamentalist” Shiite Islamism. Their grass-roots democracy had been overthrown and crushed, the traditional monarchy of the Pahlavi clan had been crassly discredited by the US puppet Shah Reza and the SAVAK enforcement of his authority. All that was left to rally around and organize and plan was their common faith. And so, the Islamic Iranian Revolution of 1979.
Ayatollah Khomeini was a dynamic and complicated man. Many of his conclusions, as he returned triumphantly to Iran in ’79 were hardened and shaped by the brutal realities of international geopolitics. But he did see clearly that the only path toward independence for Iran and all of their neighbors in the ME was to throw off the yoke of colonialism. And so, soon after Iran’s revolution he began to vigorously call for an Islamic revolution in neighboring Iraq to bring to an end the rule of Sadam and his minority Baathist Party. At Khomeini’s direction a purge of the Iranian military ensued to rid them of officers sympathetic to, and enablers of foreign influence. It is reported that several thousand such officers were executed. This, to the sensibilities of western citizens untouched by machinations of their own governments in regime change operations, seems barbaric. But it was effective, and Iran to this day maintains its independence.
To what degree Khomeini’s urgings prompted Sadam to invade SW Iran, or whether he was prodded along by the usual meddlers – the UK/US – I’m uncertain. However, what many Americans may not know is that the Iranians fought and largely dominated the Iraqis with US supplied weapons, materials, and a US trained army, abandoned there when the Iranians kicked the US out (before the ’79 revolution, Iran’s military was regarded as the world’s 3rd largest.) Khomeini offered amnesty and forgiveness to those still detained for sedition and treason, if they would take up the fight against the Iraqi invaders. Near the end of the Iran-Iraq War the Iraqi military was demoralized, much of their material destroyed or abandoned, and losing ground on all fronts. It was only the intervention of the west with huge infusions of money, weapons, and ammunition, that forced the end of that conflict, with no change of hands of any territory or advantage. In short, the west was largely responsible for creating the “monster” of Sadam and his regime which was then decided (by the west) that must be crippled and neutered. The fact that Sadam at that time was the chief sponsor of bounties to those that would take up arms against Israel in defense of Palestinian grievances had no small part in the decision to prosecute both Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom (ha!)
If you have read this message, I thank you for taking the time to do so. Keep up the great work at Consortium News, and continued health to you, your staff, and all your families. I investigate and study for enlightenment, and unfortunately do not save or archive references, which would support what I have said here. However, I am quite certain that you are aware of everything I’ve stated, and no references are needed for this friendly affirmation.