The research work “Battle for Iran”, prepared back in 1970, was published, which was written for internal use by the intelligence directorate. In the 1981 year against the backdrop of a revolution in Iran, when the American hostages were taken in Tehran, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) demanded the declassification of this document. But then the Central Intelligence Agency withdrew from the declassified document any information relating to the coup of 1953 of the year. From the documents it follows that the British intelligence MI-6 worked in close cooperation with the American intelligence services.
In August - September 1941, after the outbreak of World War II, British and Soviet troops were brought into Iran. This was due to the fact that Reza Shah Pahlavi (ruled Iran from 1925 of the year) led pro-German policy, and the process of rapprochement between the Third Reich and Persia was underway. Shah refused to provide Iranian territory of Great Britain and the USSR for the deployment of their troops. As a result of September 16, the Shah’s 1941 was forced to abdicate, his son Mohammed Reza Pahlavi took his place. Reza Pahlavi was exiled to the Union of South Africa under the control of the British authorities. One of the consequences of this event was the decline in the authority of the Shah’s authority and the growing influence of the Majlis, the Iranian parliament, which became an independent source of power. The government was accountable to the Majlis.
In 1949, the National Front of Iran was formed, which united the patriotic circles of the local bourgeoisie. They wanted to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIC) so that the oil revenues belong to the Iranian people. The leader of the National Front was the former Minister of Finance and deputy of the Majlis Mohammed Mosaddyk. Due to his uncompromising position in relation to hereditary privileges and for liberating the country from foreign influence, Mossadegh became the idol of the Iranian intelligentsia. One of the main demands of the front was the cancellation of the unequal British-Iranian 1933 agreement of the year. According to him, the Iranian oil fields were handed over to the concession for the 60 years of the Anglo-Iranian oil company, which belonged to the British. The people of Iran were deprived of the lion’s share of oil production revenues. AINK was actually a state in the state. It had its own airfields, railways, ports, tankers, radio stations, oil refineries, oil wells, and even its own police.
15 March 1951, the Iranian parliament almost unanimously approved the law on the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry. 28 April 1951, Mohammed Mossadegh was approved for the post of prime minister. Iran to 1951-1953 embraced a massive social movement. The national front in the fight against the shah and external forces relied on broad layers of the urban and rural population, educated youth, workers, artisans, merchants, clergy, etc.
It should be noted that the entire Iranian economy in those decades was built around “black gold”. The nationalization of the oil industry had to substantially replenish the state budget and more effectively solve numerous social problems. However, simply the nationalization of the oil industry could not solve the problems of Iran. During nationalization, oil production dropped significantly - from 241,4 million barrels to 10,6 million barrels in 1952. All British experts and advisers were expelled from the country. October 22 1952 between Great Britain and Iran was broken diplomatic. The volume of Iranian oil exports has seriously declined, as sanctions were taken against Britain at the initiative of Britain against Iran. World oil corporations strictly observed the conditions of sanctions against Iran’s oil. In addition, the situation was exacerbated by a military blockade of the Iranian state by the UK. Revenues to the country's budget from foreign trade have been seriously reduced. The Iranian government was forced to pursue its policy without oil revenues. The government abolished the old feudal system in the village. In general, the government of Mohammed Mosaddyk was able to rebuild the economy - the country's budget was balanced, and the economic policy of 1952-1953. was successful. Iran has increased domestic production, reduced imports and at the same time increased exports of other goods that did not fall under the oil embargo (fish, Caspian caviar, carpets, rice, tobacco, cotton, etc.).
It was difficult for the government to industrialize the country, not having significant revenues from the sale of oil and Western investment. However, Tehran was able to organize the production of many goods within the country, developing its industry. The production of building materials grew rapidly, houses and large shopping centers were built, the production of sugar and cement plants, textile and mining and processing enterprises increased. Workers were able to put forward their demands. Volumes of craft production increased. Due to the fall in imports of foreign goods, artisans increased production and earned significant profits. A slight increase was observed in agriculture. In general, the crowding out of foreign capital from the country improved the economy of the Iranian state.
Import cuts hit customs. The government was forced to increase indirect taxation, especially on tobacco and tobacco products. At the initiative of London, Iranian foreign exchange reserves, 26 million pounds, were frozen. The government, in order to stabilize the financial situation in February, 1952 issued a national loan in the amount of 25 million USD. What is interesting is that these bonds were mainly acquired by representatives of middle and lower social groups; wealthy people did not acquire them, as the government was unhappy with the policy, fearing that Iran could turn into a “communist” country. However, despite unfavorable external circumstances, the state budget of Iran in 1951 — 1954. increased 6 times. The state was able to maintain the fulfillment of obligations regarding the payment of salaries to the workers of the oil industry.
Thus, although the economic situation of the country under the government of Mossadegh was unstable, it showed quite good indicators and tendencies to further growth. The downturn in foreign trade stimulated the growth of domestic goods production. The standard of living of the urban and rural population remained at the same level. It should also be borne in mind that the Mosaddyk government inherited many socio-economic problems from its predecessors. In particular, citizens suffered from high inflation, workers had low wages, and unemployment remained high.
However, the main reason for the coup were not economic difficulties, but the political situation. Mossadek embarked on liberal-democratic reforms and the restriction of the Shah’s government. The press received more freedom; the People’s Party of Iran acted more freely and conducted an amnesty for political prisoners. The identity of Mohammed Mossadegh himself was popular. This elderly man - 1882 year of birth, led a modest lifestyle, did not like luxury, was irreconcilable to corruption. The government began to reform the judicial, electoral and educational fields.
In January 1952, a political crisis erupted. Because of disagreements with the Shah on the issue of control over the armed forces, Mosaddyk was dismissed in July. The National Front protested to the monarch and promised to launch a general strike and uprising in Tehran. 22 July 1952, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was forced to reappoint Mossadeh as head of government. Mosaddyk received a vote of confidence in the Majlis and began a struggle to strengthen its influence and achieve full control over the activities of state bodies. In February, 1953, M. Mosaddyk proposed that the Shah leave Iran, saying that the monarch should reign, and not rule the state. Mohammed Reza Pahlavi left for Baghdad and then Rome.
Foreign policy situation and coup
It is quite natural that such a sharp turn of events did not suit Britain at all. Nationalization of AINK was a dangerous precedent that could shake the position of the British in the Middle East. London organized an international boycott of Iranian oil. And the British Secret Intelligence Service (UIC) began planning a coup d'état in Iran. Fortunately, it was possible to rely on the Shah and the military elite. However, the UK could not alone solve so many important world issues. After the end of the Second World War, two superpowers, the USSR and the USA, were leading in the international arena. Therefore, to implement their plans, the British had to ask for help from the Americans. The British tried to cover up their vested interests with arguments about the struggle against the "communist threat", allegedly Mossadegh wants to enter the socialist camp. The Americans agreed to support the British, forcing England to accept the sharing of oil profits with them.
The Mosaddyk government could not stand alone against the predatory interests of the United States, it had to rely on the Soviet Union. However, Mosaddyk proclaimed its intention to adhere to a policy of neutrality and non-alignment in the Cold War. His main goal was to strengthen national independence. At the same time, Mosaddyk tried to play on US interest in Iran. Initially, Washington supported the Iranian government in its struggle against the British, planning to replace the British presence with their own. The US administration even promised assistance to Iran and a loan of 25 million dollars. In November, 1952 Mr. Mosaddyk asked Harry Truman for a loan. Later, Mosaddyk and Kashani approached Dwight Eisenhower with a request for a loan of 100 million dollars and suggested that the Americans buy Iranian oil. The US administration said that the United States currently does not have the opportunity to assist Tehran and buy Iranian oil. Eisenhower informed Mossadegh that the United States can provide assistance only on the development of the Iranian army and police. But Mosaddyk refused to accept such assistance, since the Iranian military elite were already under the strong influence of the West.
At the same time, contacts with the United States delayed the coup. In October 1951, Mossadegh visited the United States on an official visit and personally convinced Truman that he was a "staunch anti-Marxist." As a result, American intelligence director Walter Bedell Smith and his 1 alternate Allen Dulles were forced to inform their British colleagues that nothing could be done until Truman was the head of the United States. Thus, the joint Anglo-American operation against Iran was postponed.
The fate of the Mossaddyk government was sealed when Eisenhower replaced Truman in 1953. In addition, Stalin’s death in March 1953 radically changed the political situation in the world. Moscow’s policy has become less decisive. The policy of non-alignment, which was supported by Iran, was evaluated by Washington as pro-Soviet. Washington did not arrange a neutral Iran; it had to firmly enter the sphere of US influence. The situation on the planet was too complicated to allow such an important power as Iran to be neutral. Equally significant was the establishment of United States control over Iranian oil. 23 June 1953, the new US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles held a meeting. It was attended by his brother Allen Dulles - Director of the CIA, Deputy Secretary of State, General Walter Bedell Smith, as well as other government and military leaders. The meeting concluded that in the interests of the United States it is necessary to organize a coup in Iran and restore the authority of the Shah.
The operation was assigned the code name "Ajax" (TP-AJAX, Operation Boot). In England, the operation was called easier - "Kick". The resident of American intelligence in Iran, J. Cuvier, doubted the feasibility of the upcoming coup, so he was replaced by Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of US President Theodore Roosevelt. Kermit acted in Iran under the guise of a teacher stories and the head of the Association of Friends of America in the Middle East, an organization established by the CIA as a “roof” for its employees. His assistant was a professor at Yale University R. Black, sent to Tehran to "teach history." Black had contacts with the Iranian secret services, ensuring the involvement of a number of their members in cooperation with the CIA. Roosevelt also focused on building contacts with the military, from among the aristocratic elements, in collaboration with Shah Reza Pahlavi. Roosevelt held a meeting with the Shah in July, assuring him of the full support of the United States and Great Britain. The shah and armed forces of Iran acted according to a plan that was developed by foreigners. From the UK acted scout "Monty" Woodhouse. He provided the delivery weapons and financing of the Rashidian brothers, who at the right time should have brought crowds of declassed elements to the streets of the capital.
In August 1953, Shah Pahlavi announced the removal of Mossadegh from his post as head of government and the appointment of Fazlollah Zahedi in his place. Zahedi went a long way - he served in the Persian Cossack brigade, in the gendarmerie, for taking a pro-German position during World War II, was arrested by the British and expelled to Palestine, and lived in France. In 1949, he became the head of the Iranian police, in 1951, he became Minister of the Interior. Mosaddyk refused to resign. Unrest began on the streets of the capital, a massacre of leftist and democratic forces was committed in Tehran. "Popular demonstrations" in support of the Shah were paid for by the Americans and the British. The case came the military, which 19 August 1953, the year removed from power the government Mossadegh.
Mosaddyk was arrested and until the end of his life he was in exile under the supervision of the authorities. Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi returned to the country the sovereign ruler. He remained loyal to the West until the end of his life. He paid for the help with "black gold". 19 September 1954, the new Iranian government has signed an agreement with the International Oil Consortium. According to it, 95% of MNK's shares belonged to 8 to foreign companies: British Petroleum (former AINK) owned 40%; 14% from the British-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell; 35% of the shares belonged to the “Big Five” - Standard Oil of New Jersey, Socone Mobil Oil, Standard Oil of California, Texaco, Gulf Oil Corporation and 6% from the French Company Française de petrol. In addition, the Iranian government was forced to pay the British 25 million pounds in compensation for the damage done by AINC by the nationalization of the 1951 of the year. With the help of the CIA and the Mossad, the infamous secret political police SAVAK was established in 1957. Iran remained an ally of the United States until the Islamic revolution 1979.