CIA takes credit for role in Iranian coup


Perfect timing.

On the eve of the 60th anniversary of a coup in Iran that would irrevocably change its relationship with the United States, the CIA for the first time takes credit for helping to install the shah, Foreign Policy reports.

The “military coup (on Aug. 19, 1953) was carried out under CIA direction as an act of U.S. foreign policy,” an internal CIA report says. Because Iran was “open to Soviet aggression,” the United States was “compelled” to plan and execute the removal of Tehran’s prime minister and Cabinet.

By releasing this  information now to the National Security Archive through a Freedom of Information Act request, the CIA is only confirming what has long been known. But certainly the timing could prove troublesome.

The document only highlights the controversial decision by the Obama administration not to call the Egyptian military’s actions a coup, and could stir up tensions with hardline Iranians making it more difficult for the new president to ease tensions with the West.