Evidence proves MI6 footprint in 1953 coup

TEHRAN, Aug. 02 (MNA) – For the first time as of 1958, a documentary reveals evidence confirming a British spy’s role in the 1953 Iranian coup d'état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup d'état.

As The Guardian reported on Sunday, the hidden role of a British secret service officer who led the coup that permanently altered the Middle East is to be revealed for the first time since an Observer news story was suppressed in 1985.

The report, headlined “How MI6 and CIA joined forces to plot Iran coup”, appeared in the 26 May edition but was swiftly quashed. It exposed the fact that an MI6 man, Norman Darbyshire, had run a covert and violent operation to reinstate the Shah of Iran as ruler of the country in 1953. Yet just a few days after the newspaper came out, all fresh evidence of this British operation and of Darbyshire’s identity disappeared from public debate.

The background to the 1953 coup d’etat has long been the cause of international suspicion and conjecture. Prime Minister Winston Churchill opposed the rule of the country’s first democratic leader, Mohammad Mossadegh, largely because it threatened Britain’s interests in Iran’s oil industry. Working with the CIA, who also hoped to see the Shah Reza Pahlavi back on the throne, it is now clear that MI6 did much more than agitate for Mossadegh to be overthrown.

In June 2020, documents found in a Washington archive showed how Queen Elizabeth II’s name was mistakenly used to persuade the Shah to stay in Iran prior to the coup. Coup 53 now makes a clear case that the British were orchestrating an uprising, going as far as kidnapping, torturing, and paying for protesters to go out on to the streets of Tehran, The Guardian reported.

In August 1953, the British and American intelligence agencies initiated a coup by the Iranian military, setting off a series of events, including riots in the streets of the capital, Tehran, which led to the overthrow and arrest of the time Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq.

Mosaddeq, who was convicted of treason by a court-martial, served three years in solitary confinement and then died under house arrest in exile in 1967.

His overthrow, which is still given as a reason for the Iranians' mistrust of the UK and the US, consolidated the Shah's rule for the following 26 years until the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, led by Imam Khomeini, which toppled the US-backed monarchy.

The Iranian premier had played a key role in the country’s 1951 movement that resulted in the nationalization of Iran’s oil industry, which had been mainly controlled by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), now known as BP.

Experts say the 28 Mordad coup, was aimed at making sure the Iranian monarchy would safeguard the West's oil interests in the country.

Six decades after the notorious coup, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for the first time published a document in August 2013 which confirmed Washington’s role in the coup d’état. 

"The military coup that overthrew Mosaddeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government," reads a brief segment from an internal CIA history.

MNA/PR

News Code 161767

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