This article was originally published by the Atlantic Council. Sixty-four years on, the effects of the 1953 coup in Iran continue to resonate inside Iran and outside. Last month, the State Department released a highly anticipated official collection of declassified documents covering US policy toward Iran from 1951-1954. While it did not change the basic […]
South and Southwest Asia
The United States and the Pakistani Bomb, 1984-1985: President Reagan, General Zia, Nazir Ahmed Vaid, and Seymour Hersh
Washington, D.C., 14 October 2015 - In July 1984, U.S. customs agents arrested a Pakistani national, Nazir Ahmed Vaid, at Houston International Airport for trying to purchase krytrons--useful for triggering nuclear weapons—and smuggle them out of the United States Some months later, Vaid was found guilty of violating export control laws, but a plea bargain produced a light penalty: deportation. Months later, journalist Seymour Hersh wrote a major article about the Vaid case for the New York Times and quoted a U.S.
"At last, the Reagan administration's Iran-Contra affair finally has a comprehensive history worthy of the scandal ... Malcolm Byrne has told the complex story in brilliant fashion." — Seymour Hersh Washington, DC, September 5, 2014 – A new book on the Iran-Contra affair shows that President Ronald Reagan stood at the epicenter of the scandal both in terms of his willingness to break the law in order to free American hostages in Lebanon and his failure to take account of the costs and consequences of his decisions, including the illicit conduct of numerous aides.
Washington, DC, July 2, 2014 – On August 16, 1953, the same day the Shah of Iran fled to Baghdad after a failed attempt to oust Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the agitated monarch spoke candidly about his unsettling experience to the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. In a highly classified cable to Washington, the ambassador reported: "I found Shah worn from three sleepless nights, puzzled by turn of events, but with no (repeat no) bitterness toward Americans who had urged and planned action.
The Battle for Iran, 1953: Re-Release of CIA Internal History Spotlights New Details about anti-Mosaddeq Coup
Washington, DC, June 27, 2014 – During early planning for the 1953 Iran coup, U.S. Ambassador Loy Henderson warned not only that the Shah would not support the United States' chosen replacement for Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq but that the Army would not play its hoped-for leading role without the Shah's active cooperation, according to a newly released version of an internal CIA history of the operation posted today by the National Security Archive.
Washington, DC, May 12, 2014 – As the Iranian revolution crested in 1978-1979, the CIA approved a memoir by Kermit Roosevelt, one of the architects of the 1953 coup against Iran's nationalist prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq. After first balking at the potential exposure of numerous "secrets," the CIA relented when Roosevelt agreed to delete all mention of MI6 and made over 150 other changes that rendered the book "essentially a work of fiction," according to recently declassified CIA files posted today by the National Security Archive.
Washington, DC, March 26, 2014 – The passing away of Iran-Contra Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh on March 19, at age 102, is an appropriate occasion to recall some of the extraordinary outcomes of his investigation into the most significant political scandal of the 1980s. The Iran-Contra affair stirred up profound political passions. Walsh found himself at the center of seemingly perpetual controversy from the time of his appointment in late 1986 until his last major case against a former cabinet official — Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger — jolted to a halt in December 1992.
Washington, D.C., November 22, 2013 – The arrest of a Pakistani national, Arshed Pervez in July 1987 on charges of illegal nuclear procurement roiled U.S.-Pakistan relations and sharpened divisions within the Reagan administration, according to recently declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project.
Washington, D.C., August 19, 2013 – Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States' role in the controversial operation. American and British involvement in Mosaddeq's ouster has long been public knowledge, but today's posting includes what is believed to be the CIA's first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup.