The 1953 Iranian Coup Revisited in 2012

Bleow is a very enlightening lecture by Ervand Abrahamian who is a foremost authority on the coup.  His book Coup: 1953, CIA and the Roots of Modern US-Iranian Relations has just been published. Abrahamian refutes claims made by liberal US writers like Stephen Kinzer (in his book All the Shah’s Men and elsewhere in his interviews, etc.) that the US originally got involved as an “honest broker” to mediate between the UK and Iran, or that the issue was about Mossadeq’s unreasonable financial demands and his closeness with the communists.  Rather, Abrahamian brings solid evidence (mostly from British archives which have been more accessible and plentiful than the highly guarded, partly censored and partly destroyed US material) that the key factor in the coup was the “control” of the oil industry in Iran which both the UK and the US insisted should not be relinquished to the Iranians because that would put the “civilization” at the merci of the oil producing countries (i.e. the global south).  This is highly important in the context of post-WWII capitalist reorganization. The “communist threat” then like the “terrorist threat” now was the red herring.

This lecture is about an hour long and delivers the gist of Abrahamian’s critical argument:

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