The 1000-page archive document that was published by the U.S. State Department last June revealed for the first time, with all its details, the role that the CIA played in the toppling of the Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953. This led to the revelation of some matters regarding the direct interference of the U.S. in Iranian politics which had been known, but not yet confirmed.
The steps leading to the coup known as Operation Ajax started with Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh nationalizing the Iranian oil industry in early 1951. Taking the U.S., who has oil privileges in Saudi Arabia, sharing its oil revenue with Arabs as an example, Mossaddegh requested the same thing from the British, who gave almost no share of Iranian oil to the Iranians, which caused tension. After finding no grounds to reach a deal, Mossaddegh declared that the nationalization of Iranian oil. Under the Cold War conditions, Washington worried that Iran might shift to the Soviet Union camp and decided to remove Mosaddegh from office with a joint plan with London.
On Aug. 15 1953, Mossaddegh foiled the coup attempted by the extensions of the U.S. in Iran after hearing about it. General Fazlollah Zahedi, who planned the coup, disappeared and Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi left the country and went to Italy’s capital, Rome. However, CIA’s Tehran Chief Kermit Roosevelt, who was also the grandson of the former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, was not someone who would give up easily. On Aug. 18, the chaos created by hundreds of protesters, who were bought from outside of Tehran and moved to the capital, turned into a large scale anarchy environment which Mossaddegh failed to control. Then, Mossaddegh was removed from office and put under house arrest as the Shah returned to his country took his throne once again.
According to many historians, this interference, which the caused a feeling of shame in the minds and hearts of the Iranians, was also the starting point of the protests that led to the overthrow of the Shah in 1979. Seen by Iranians as the puppet of the coup planners, the Shah had been ruling his country with an iron fist since 1953; he imprisoned and murdered tens of thousands of Iranians with the intelligence agency SAVAK that he founded and closed his eyes to the poverty of his people as he handed Iran to the U.S. This sentimental context and subconscious played a huge role for Ayatollah Khamenei in emerging as a savior and gaining the support of all fractions of society.
Having witnessed a U.S. conspiracy and real revolution process where masses took to the streets in recent history, Iran is once again experiencing protests. At this stage, it would not be correct to paint the protests as “America is stirring up trouble in Iran.” Because what we have here are people who, tiring of poverty and being politically let down, are protesting issues that have accumulated over the decades. It is natural that the U.S. and Israel declare their hostility toward Iran or try to deepen the chaos by taking advantage of the situation. In fact, we can even say that by overtly displaying their hostility, they are trying to terrorize the innocent protests of the people and strengthen the Iranian government in doing so.
Iran is currently ruled by an administration that finances conflict/war in at least four countries (Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon) and organizes the opposition in at least two countries (Bahrein, Nigeria). Of course, this expansionist policy of a country where the “Islamic Revolution” claim has been expeditiously turning into a Shia fanaticism puts a financial burden on ordinary people. Adding in the factors of the mullah class, which has been getting richer, the restriction of freedoms under the pretext of religion and the corruptions that have been revealed; the revolt of masses, whose only share in all this was poverty, is inevitable. Before saying “Foreign powers are stirring up trouble in Iran,” it is useful to take this picture into consideration.
Interpreting the situation over the foreign powers who wish to take advantage of this situation anytime anything happens in a Muslim country might cause us to miss the bigger picture. These blind comments are merely predictions when they are made without considering the sociology, conditions and the state of that country. Especially if this country is Iran, which we know very little about and where those who like and hate it, do so blindly, Iran needs to be placed in the right context by taking into consideration the multivariate equation in the Middle East.
The notion that “The U.S. and Israel want change so things are good as they are” might mislead us in the Iran issue. Interpreting the situation in Iran based on the 1953 coup might mislead us as well. Because the prejudice that the U.S. always beats the one who opposes it was invalidated by the toppling of the Shah in 1979. He was overthrown despite the U.S. and its support. So not every protest is a “conspiracy.” In fact, using the word conspiracy for every event might be a “conspiracy” itself.