30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

South and Southwest Asia

Jul 2, 2014 | Briefing Book
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.

Jun 27, 2014 | Briefing Book
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.

May 12, 2014 | Briefing Book
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.

Mar 26, 2014 | Briefing Book
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.

Nov 22, 2013 | Briefing Book
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.

Aug 19, 2013 | Briefing Book
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.

Feb 22, 2013 | Briefing Book
The Clinton Administration and the Indian Nuclear Test That Didn't Happen — 1995-1996 Washington, D.C., February 22, 2013 – In the last months of 1995, U.S intelligence agencies detected signs of nuclear test preparations at India's test site in Pokhran, but the satellite photos that analysts studied were "as clear as mud," according to declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project.

Nov 6, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 6, 2012 – The U.S. intelligence community predicted India's nuclear bomb in 1964 but mistakenly concluded Israel had "not yet decided" to go nuclear, according to newly declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project.

Oct 13, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, October 13, 2012 – Contrary to U.S. myths of a strategic Soviet offensive towards warm water ports on the Persian Gulf or Indian Ocean, it was "mission creep" that led the Soviet Union into its ill-fated invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, according to a new, richly documented account of early Soviet engagement in Afghanistan, published in English and in Russian today by the National Security Archive at www.nsarchive.org.

Oct 12, 2012 | Briefing Book
Advance Praise for Becoming Enemies For those seeking to understand the roots of modern enmity between the U.S. and Iran, Becoming Enemies is a truly unique and wonderful resource. — Karim Sadjadpour, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace A fascinating, eye-opening book. — Haleh Esfandiari, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Becoming Enemies provides a profound understanding ... [and] a fascinating story ... a rare "fly-on-the-wall" perspective on how ... the United States got itself into the mess it is in today in the Persian Gulf. — Kenneth M.

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