State Department: Iran Documents

Diplomatic Files, Embassy Telegrams, U.S. Estimates

The Mossadegh Project     

[Updated November 30, 2023]                                       

U.S. State Department Documents on Iran, Mossadegh, 1953 Coup | 1951-1954

This archive collects declassified State Department documents on Iran, Premier Mossadegh, the Shah, oil negotiations and the 1953 coup. The transcribed documents are supplemented with in-depth analysis, footnotes, annotations and other background information, with regular updates to follow.

CIA Documents on Iran, Mossadegh, 1953 Coup
National Security Council (NSC) | IRAN
U.S. Congress on Iran | Archive (1951-1981)
British Foreign Office documents on Iran
Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC/BP) | Archive

U.S. State Department Documents


May 2, 1951
Ambassador Henry Grady Meets New Premier Mossadegh

May 3, 1951
Summary of Telegrams: IRAN

May 4, 1951
Estimate of the Political Strength of the Mosadeq Government

May 6, 1951
Mossadegh’s Strength “Derives From the Spirit Of Nationalism”

May 7, 1951
Shah “Quite Unhappy” Re: Mossadegh Victory, Nationalization

Henry Grady on Mossadegh’s Cabinet, Oil Committee Prospects

May 24, 1951
Iranian Situation (Henry S. Villard to Paul Nitze)

June 25, 1951
Arrival in New York of Mohamad Hosein and Khosro Qashqai

June 29, 1951
Gerald F. P. Dooher on the Qashqai Brothers Visit

July 5, 1951
Max Thornburg Meets With Dean Acheson, William Rountree

Max Thornburg: Notes For Discussion With Dean Acheson

July 11, 1951
Dean Acheson to Grady Reacting To Mossadegh Letter

July 29, 1951
Amb. Henry Grady Reports on Mossadegh Meeting

Amb. Walter Gifford’s Telegram on Britain and Iran

August 24, 1951
Henry Grady’s Resignation Letter, Cover Note to Pres. Truman

September 26, 1951
Iranian Situation (Henry S. Villard to Paul Nitze)

October 1, 1951
Amb. Walter Gifford on Iran vs Britain at Security Council

October 2, 1951
Ernest Gross Advises British To Revise Approach on Iran

October 3, 1951
George W. Perkins: British Attitude on Iran Concerns Us

October 8, 1951
George McGhee’s First Meeting With Dr. Mossadegh

October 9, 1951
George McGhee’s Solo Meeting With Premier Mossadegh

October 10, 1951
U.S. Oil Kings Air Iran Concerns With State Dept.

October 11, 1951
Meeting With Dr. Mossadegh at New York Hospital

October 23, 1951
Truman, Acheson and Mossadegh Talk at Blair House

October 24, 1951
Acheson, Nitze, McGhee and Mossadegh at Walter Reed

October 28, 1951
Mossadegh, George McGhee Talk Oil at the Shoreham Hotel

November 14, 1951
6 US, British Diplomats Compare Views on Iran


April 1, 1952
Dean Acheson’s Telegram To French Embassy on Ghavam

July 28, 1952
Loy Henderson’s 2½ Hour Discussion With Dr. Mossadegh

August 12, 1952
William E. Warne: My Visit With Ayatollah Kashani

October 5, 1952
Sec. of State Dean Acheson’s Letter to Premier Mossadegh

October 8, 1952
The Communist Danger in Persia

Comments on the British Paper entitled “The Communist Danger in Persia”

Discussion of British Paper on “The Communist Danger in Persia”

November 26, 1952
Proposal to Organize a Coup d’état in Iran

December 8, 1952
British Proposal to Organize a Coup d’état in Iran


January 1953
Communism In the Free World (Iran: pp. 235-258)

January 26, 1953
Sec. of State Dulles Advises British on AIOC Legalities

January 28, 1953
Henderson and Mossadegh’s First Post-Inauguration Meeting

February 19, 1953
The Iranian Petroleum Situation

February 25, 1953
Loy Henderson Panics Over the Shah’s Pending Departure

February 26, 1953
Loy Henderson Wants To “Take Some Action” For Shah

February 27, 1953
Loy Henderson Warns of Serious Consequences In Iran

John Foster Dulles: We Are Currently Assessing Crisis

February 28, 1953
Loy Henderson Accepts Risks of Interference Charge

Sec. Dulles Approves Of Henderson’s “Energetic Measures”

March 1953
Measures which the United States Government Might Take in Support of a Successor Government to Mosadeq

March 20, 1953
First Progress Report on Paragraph 5–a of NSC 136/1, “U.S.Policy Regarding the Present Situation in Iran”

May 8, 1953
Loy Henderson on the Opposition’s Chances Against Mossadegh

May 20, 1953
William E. Warne’s Discussion With Ali Akbar Akhavi

June 25, 1953
Henderson: “No Hope” For Oil Settlement With Mossadegh

Prior to Coup, U.S. Seeks Understanding With British on Oil

July 1, 1953
Popularity and Prestige of Prime Minister Mohammed Mosadeq

August 16, 1953
Tudeh Newspaper “Shojat” Predicts Iran Coup Plot

After Failed Iran Coup, U.S. Mulls Wait & See Approach

August 18, 1953
Loy Henderson Interrogates Mossadegh After 1953 CIA Coup Attempt

August 21, 1953
Amb. Loy Henderson Scorns Iranian Conspiracy Theorists

September 18, 1953
Army Morale: Loy Henderson Counsels Iran’s Shah After Coup

September 23, 1953
Dulles to Henderson on Strategy For Marketing Iranian Oil

September 29, 1953
U.S. Considers 2-Year World Bank Takeover of Iranian Oil

October 29, 1953
Amb. Henderson and Hoover’s Dinner With Zahedi, Entezam

November 2, 1953
Abdollah Entezam Outlines Iran’s Position on Oil

November 5, 1953
Winthrop W. Aldrich on Meeting With British Re: Iran Oil

December 8, 1953
State Dept. Legal Adviser Herman Phleger on Iran Oil Talks


January 18, 1954
Amb. Loy Henderson Ponders Interfering in Iran Elections

February 16, 1954
Livingston T. Merchant to Sec. Dulles on Iranian Oil, AIOC

May 15, 1954
John D. Jernegan Memo to Robert Murphy on Oil Consortium

May 17, 1954
Loy Henderson’s Telegram on Iran Oil Consortium Details

June 16, 1954
Status Report on Iran Oil Negotiations (Donald D. Kennedy)

August 3, 1954
Sec. Dulles’ Message to Pres. Eisenhower Re: Iran Oil Deal

August 5, 1954
Sec. Dulles and Anthony Eden’s Messages on Iran Oil Deal

British Aide-Mémoire on Oil Compensation Settlement

Text of Joint British-Iranian Statement Re: Compensation

Text of Joint British-Iranian Statement Re: Sterling Payments

October 28, 1954
U.S. Says Oil Deal Is A “Significant Victory” For Iran

December 21, 1954
Shah of Iran “Greatly” Encouraged By U.S. Help


August 15, 1955
Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights Between the United States of America and Iran


May 1, 1956
Standard Oil Co.’s Howard Page to William Rountree: 50/50 Oil Deals Bad for Middle Eastern Countries


October 5, 1963
Agitational Activities of Anti-Shah Iranian Students in the United States

June 9, 1964
Sec. of State Dean Rusk: Shah’s U.S. Visit Successful | June 9, 1964

June 16, 1964
Sec. of State Dean Rusk Summarizes Shah’s U.S. Visit, UCLA Protests | June 16, 1964

July 27, 1966
The Shah’s Meeting With Kermit Roosevelt, Jr.


May 30, 1972
Pres. Nixon, Henry Kissinger and the Shah’s Meeting in Iran

June 12, 1972
Iran: Internal Dissidence—A Note of Warning

September 9, 1972
Journalist Argues that Unchecked SAVAK Power Constitutes Long Term Danger to Iranian Regime (Parviz Raein)

December 6, 1972
Iranian Oil Negotiations

Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS)

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952–1954, Iran, 1951–1954, Volume X (1989)

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954, Iran, 1951–1954, Second Edition (2018)

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1955–1957, Near East Region; Iran; Iraq, Volume XII (1991)

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Volume XXII, Iran (1999)

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume E–4, Documents on Iran and Iraq, 1969–1972 (2006)

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1977–1980, Volume XI, Part 1, Iran: Hostage Crisis, November 1979–September 1980 (2020)

The Department of State Bulletin

October 15, 1951
Right of U.N. To Consider Anglo-Iranian Dispute

December 23, 1951
Point Four Officials Die In Plane Crash Near Tehran

January 29, 1954
American Policy in the Middle East During 1953 | Iran

August 5, 1954
Statement by Amb. Loy Henderson on Iran Oil Deal

John Foster Dulles Heralds “A New Era For Iran”

Sec. Dulles to Premier Zahedi and Abdollah Entezam

August 9, 1954
Foreign Minister Abdollah Entezam’s Reply to Sec. Dulles

August 16, 1954
Joint Statement by Howard Page, Ali Amini on Iran Oil Deal

October 28, 1954
Iranian Oil Agreement

November 22, 1954
FOA Announces Program of Aid to Iran

December 7, 1954
Arrangements for Participation in Iranian Oil Consortium

July 27, 1980
Deposed Shah Dies in Cairo


October 5, 1952
Sec. of State Dean Acheson’s Letter to Premier Mossadegh

1979 Iranian Revolution

November 13, 1979
Demonstration of Iranian Students in Manila

November 14, 1979
Demonstration of Iranian Students in Manila

November 20, 1979
Iranian Student Activities in Manila

Appeal To Student Groups: Hostages

November 26, 1979
Security During Iran Crisis


Related links:

Iran Severs Diplomatic Relations With Britain (October 1952 Ultimatum)

Pres. Eisenhower and the Shah Trade Compliments After Iran Oil Deal | Aug. 5, 1954

Some Documents on the Nationalization of the Oil Industry in Iran (Iranian Embassy, 1951)

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

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