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Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran

Edited by Mark J. Gasiorowski and Malcolm Byrne

Paper $29.95s    |    978-0-8156-3529-1    |    2017

Cloth $49.95s    |    0-8156-3018-2    |    2004

The book examines the turbulent political climate that prevailed in Iran during Mosaddeq’s tenure, the confrontation between Iran and Britain for control over Iran’s oil, the strategic considerations that led U.S. officials to opt for a coup, and the details of the coup itself. Based on exhaustive research by leading academic experts in the field, this is the most authoritative account of the tragic events that led to the overthrow of Mosaddeq. With the recent declassification of CIA documents regarding the 1953 coup that overthrew Mohammad Mossadeq’s government in Iran, there is an opportunity for new in-depth analysis into not only the coup Coup d’État itself but the events that inevitably led up to it.

"More books should have such a pedigree. . . . Seven polished studies that speak to each other. . . . The book [provides] a richly and tightly reasoned setting out of what might be dubbed the emerging scholarly synthesis: the British started it, but the United States took it over; Cold War concerns about ‘losing’ Iran were a greater factor than was oil nationalization; and Mosaddeq faced growing domestic opposition and made important tactical mistakes in his final days-but he was toppled only because of outside intervention."
Foreign Affairs

"An absolute must-read for any student of recent U. S. and Iranian history individually, of the relations of each with the other and, indeed, of recent Middle Eastern history/politics more generally."
Andrew J. Newman, The Middle East and South Asia Folklore Bulletin

"This collection of essays by eminent Iranologists provides an exhaustive analysis of the sequence of events, reasons for the coup, and the roles of both foreign and domestic participants. . . .The book stands alone as a definitive analysis. . . . Highly recommended."

Mohammad Mosaddeq is widely regarded as the leading champion of secular democracy and resistance to foreign domination in Iran’s modern history. Mosaddeq became prime minister of Iran in May 1951 and promptly nationalized its British-controlled oil industry, initiating a bitter confrontation between Iraq and Britain that increasingly undermined Mossaddeq’s position. He was finally overthrown in August 1953 in a coup d’état that was organized and led by the United States? Central Intelligence Agency. This coup initiated a twenty-five-year period of dictatorship in Iran, leaving many Iranians resentful of the U.S. legacies that still haunt relations between the two countries today.

Contents include:

  • "Mosaddeq’s Government in Iranian History: Arbitrary Rule, Democracy, and the 1953 Coup"—Homa Katouzian

  • "Unseating Mosaddeq: The Configuration and Role of Domestic Forces"—Fakhreddin Azimi

  • "The 1953 Coup in Iran and the Legacy of the Tudeh"—Maziar Behrooz

  • "Great Britain and the Intervention in Iran, 1953"—Wm. Roger Louis

  • "The International Boycott of Iranian Oil and the Anti-Mossaddeq Coup of 1953"—Mary Ann Heiss

  • "The Road to Intervention: Factors Influencing U.S. Policy Toward Iran, 1945-1953"—Malcolm Byrne

  • "The 1953 Coup d’État Against Mosaddeq"—Mark J. Gasiorowski

Mark J. Gasiorowski, a professor in the Department of Political Science at Louisiana State University, is the author of U.S. Foreign Policy and the Shah and coeditor of Neither East nor West: Iran, the Soviet Union, and the United States.

Malcolm Byrne is deputy director and research director of the George Washington University-based National Security Archive, where he directs the U.S.-Iran relations project. He is the coeditor of The Iran-Contra Scandal: The Declassified History and The Chronology.

6 x 9, 408 pages, 14 illustrations, 3 tables, bibliography, notes, index

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