CIA: 1953 Iranian coup “approved at the highest levels of government”
posted at 9:35 am on August 19, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
The CIA declassified a memo two year ago that admitted its leading role in the 1953 coup that overthrew an elected government in Iran in favor of the Shah, but it just got published today — and only after a FOIA fight. According to the memo, it was no rogue operation, either:
The independent National Security Archive research institute, which published the document Monday, says the declassification is believed to mark the CIA’s first formal acknowledgment of its involvement.
According to Foreign Policy, which reviewed the document, this is the key passage:
“The military coup that overthrew Mosadeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government.”
Be sure to follow the link to FP and read the document itself. The CIA’s version insists that the US had no other choice but to intervene, because the British were about to do so in a way that would have brought on a Soviet invasion. That’s perhaps new context for some, although the admission of CIA involvement isn’t. The big deal is that the CIA got permission to run this operation from “the highest levels of government,” which sounds as though the order came from Dwight Eisenhower himself.