IRAN-The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations

By Gasiorowski, Mark | The Middle East Journal, Spring 2013 | Go to article overview

IRAN-The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations


Gasiorowski, Mark, The Middle East Journal


The Coup: 1953, The CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations, by Ervand Abrahamian. New York and London: The New Press, 2013. 264 pages. $26.95.

Reviewed by Mark Gasiorowski

Ervand Abrahamian is one of the leading historians of modern Iran, having produced a series of excellent studies covering both the pre-revolution era and the Islamic regime. He has now turned his attention to the CIA-engineered coup d'état that overthrew Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953 and the events that precipitated the coup - topics that have been covered extensively elsewhere. Abrahamian's account is based mainly on British government archives, Persian-language sources, and the US government documents published in the Foreign Relations of the United States series; he does not appear to have interviewed any of the participants or examined the vast collection of relevant material available in the US National Archives. Partly as a result, his account provides no major new revelations or insights and is misleading in several ways.

Despite its title, most of Abrahamian's book focuses on the events surrounding Iran's nationalization of its British-owned oil industry in 1951, which ultimately led to the coup. The author gives a good account of how the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) exploited Iran for decades and resisted revision of its contract to produce and market Iranian oil. He then covers the efforts of the AIOC and British government to reverse or minimize the impact of nationalization by organizing a global embargo of Iranian oil, covertly undermining Mosaddeq's government, and encouraging US officials to take a hard line with Mosaddeq. Although these events have been covered exhaustively elsewhere, Abrahamian offers a few new details and gives good accounts of most of the key events. He emphasizes that British and US officials were, in varying degrees, willing to accept "nationalization" of the oil industry but wanted Western oil companies to retain "control," though he often confuses these two terms (e.g., pp. 82-85, 113) and employs a monolithic, all-or-nothing notion of "control." He mentions several major disagreements between US and British officials, but underemphasizes them, implying that US officials strongly supported the British position and opposed Mosaddeq's position. In fact, the US position was far more nuanced.

Abrahamian finally turns to the coup in the last third of the book. He provides some interesting new details, notably about how Mosaddeq was warned of the coup (pp. 184, 251) and was planning to stage a referendum on the future of the monarchy at the time (pp. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

IRAN-The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.