August 20, 2013 - 11:32 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The CIA has released documents which for the first time formally acknowledge its key role in the 1953 coup which ousted Iran's democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadeq, BBC News said.
The documents were published on the independent National Security Archive on the 60th anniversary of the coup. They come from the CIA's internal history of Iran from the mid-1970s.
"The military coup... was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy," says one excerpt.
The US role in the coup was openly referred to by then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 2000, and by President Barack Obama in a 2009 speech in Cairo. But until now the intelligence agencies have issued "blanket denials" of their role, says the editor of the trove of documents, Malcolm Byrne.
This is believed to be the first time the CIA has itself admitted the part it played in concert with the British intelligence agency, MI6.
The documents were obtained by the NSA under the Freedom of Information Act.
Iranians elected Mossadeq in 1951 and he quickly moved to renationalise the country's oil production, which had been under British control through the Anglo-Persian Oil Company - which later became British Petroleum or BP.
That was a source of serious concern to the US and the UK, which saw Iranian oil as key to its post-war economic rebuilding. The Cold War was also a factor in the calculations.
The documents show how the CIA prepared for the coup by placing anti-Mossadeq stories in both the Iranian and US media.
The coup strengthened the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi - who had just fled Iran following a power struggle with Mossadeq and returned following the coup, becoming a close ally of the US.
The US and UK intelligence agencies bolstered pro-Shah forces and helped organise anti-Mossadeq protests.