A Tragic Continuum
1953 Coup to 2009 Green Movement

Ebrahim Norouzi, MD
The Mossadegh Project | June 26, 2009                     

For over a century, the people of Iran have struggled to achieve freedom and self-determination. From the foreign transgressions of Russia, Britain and America, to the despotic rulers whom they supported, Iran has long been treated as a chess board of the great world powers.

In the dawn of the 20th century, Iran’s Constitutional Revolution achieved a system of constitional monarchy akin to the European monarchies of England and Belgium. However, their gains were trampled by subsequent Qajar dynasty kings and the British supported Reza Shah, the founder of Pahlavi dynasty. After the abdication of Reza Shah in 1941 at the behest of Russia and Britain, and placement of his son, Mohammad Reza, to the throne, a degree of the constitutional rule was restored mainly with the efforts of many progressive political activists led by the nationalist Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh.

In 1951, Dr. Mossadegh was overwhelmingly elected by deputies of the Majles [Iranian parliament] as Prime Minister. To pursue the goals of independence, democracy and improving the lot of his people, Dr. Mossadegh nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP - British Petroleum), thus putting an end to outright looting of the country's main natural resource by the British. This action led to a confrontation with the British colonial power and duplicitous American government. Together, they plotted to remove Mossadegh by any means possible—including cold blooded murder.

On August 19, 1953 a CIA plan, OPERATION AJAX, was put into operation, thus savagely eliminating Mossadegh's government, the most democratic and popular government in Iranian history. In the ensuing quarter century, under the tutelage of America, the country descended into the autocratic rule of the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. It took a bloody revolution by the Iranian people to get rid of the Shah, resulting in the tyrannical theocracy of Ayatollah Khomeini. The current tragic events in Iran are the continuation of this century old struggle for democracy and human rights.

What would today’s Iran look like if America, Britain and Iranian traitors had not acted as they did in Iran in 1953? Most likely a democratic and prosperous Iran, secure and proud, and a partner for peace in the Middle East and the world.

Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954
Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954

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Related links:

Penn State Student Explains the Iranian Freedom Struggle — November 8, 1968

The Elixir of Life: Persian Author Iraj Pezeshkzad on Iran’s Democracy Movement

How To Install a Dictatorship — Secret U.S. Memo Grooms Mossadegh’s Successor

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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