The 1953 coup in Iran: U.S. and British foreign policy in Iran, 1951-1953 and the covert operation to overthrow the elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq

Masters Thesis


Revell, S. 2018. The 1953 coup in Iran: U.S. and British foreign policy in Iran, 1951-1953 and the covert operation to overthrow the elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq. Masters Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Faculty of Arts and Humanities
AuthorsRevell, S.
TypeMasters Thesis
Qualification nameMA
Abstract

The 1953 coup in Iran that overthrew the elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq had a profound effect on Iranian history and U.S.-Iranian relations.

The covert operation by the U.S. and British intelligence agencies abruptly ended a period of Iranian democracy and with it, efforts to nationalise the Iranian oil industry.

This thesis analyses recently released primary source material to re-examine how the U.S. was drawn into Iranian affairs and contended with often conflicting considerations of maintaining stability in Iran, supporting Britain, its primary Cold War ally and protecting its own economic self-interests. It considers why the U.S. abandoned its attempts to mediate a negotiated settlement to the oil dispute and supported British calls for the removal of Mosaddeq. It also examines the domestic political situation in Iran to evaluate the role of internal opposition forces in the success of the coup but also the long term legacy of the foreign intervention.

This thesis argues that the clarion protestations by the U.S. that Iran was in imminent danger of being lost to Communism were a smokescreen for the primary objective of maintaining control of the Iranian oil supply to protect U.S. economic and strategic interests. It challenges existing scholarship by demonstrating that far from being passive, the Truman administration established a pattern of intervention that set the course for U.S. policy in Iran.

Year2018
Supplemental file
File Access Level
Restricted
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Nov 2018
Accepted2018
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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