On Aug. 19, 1953, 70 years ago this week, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammad Mosaddegh—who had seized Iran’s vast oil fields from the British and put them under Iranian control—was removed from power in a coup organized and financed by the British and US governments. He was replaced by the dictatorial Shah, who immediately signed over 40% of Iran’s oil fields to US companies. The coup ushered in a long nightmare of repression, buttressed by Iran’s brutal secret police, SAVAK, trained and equipped by the CIA. The Shah not only crushed the democratic aspirations of Iranians, but enriched US oil companies and purchased billions of dollars of weapons from US weapons manufacturers. The dictatorship of the Shah fueled the virulent anti-American backlash that led to the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of a militant Islamic government. The Iran coup also became the template used by the CIA to overthrow other governments around the globe that challenged US hegemony and the exploitation by global corporations. While the CIA has acknowledged its role in the 1953 coup, to this day, the British government has not confessed to its imperialist crimes in Iran.
Joining ‘The Chris Hedges Report’ to discuss his documentary, ‘Coup 53,’ is Iranian filmmaker Taghi Amirani. Amirani’s film uses newly discovered archival material to expose how the CIA and British intelligence worked clandestinely to overthrow Mosaddegh.
Studio Production: David Hebden, Cameron Granadino, Adam Coley
Post-Production: Adam Coley
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