Oil Nationaliazation and the 1953 Coup in Iran: A Conversation with Ervand Abrahamian

  Demonstrators in Iran during the 1953 coup, Frank Walsh Creative Commons. Demonstrators in Iran during the 1953 coup, Frank Walsh Creative Commons.

In August 1953, the U.S. and British governments overthrew the popular government of prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh and paved the way for the autocratic rule of Mohamad Reza Shah Pahlavi.

In his latest book, The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations, Distinguished Professor of Iranian and Middle Eastern history and politics at City University of New York Ervand Abrahamian reveals how the United States reaped a substantial share of Iran’s oil wealth and became a dominant player in the Middle East and North Africa following the coup. Many also argue that the 1979 Iranian Revolution – which brought to power Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in a shift that reverberated throughout the Middle East and the world – was a direct blowback from the 1953 coup.

Ervand Abrahamian spoke with VOMENA’s Shahram Aghamir about the significance of the 1953 coup d’état in Iran, and how the coup has shaped Iran’s modern political landscape.

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