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"1953 US-backed Coup d'etat in Iran"
1953 US-backed Coup d'etat in Iran
Gelinde Cobbs
What was the motivation behind US policy with respect to the government-sanctioned overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Iran in 1953?

On August 19, 1953, the United States sanctioned its first, peacetime use of covert action to overthrow the constitutional government of a sovereign nation, successfully orchestrating the overthrow of Iran's popular Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadegh, and restoring the Shah to his throne. The question is -- why?


This paper will argue that the Marxist framework of international relations -- namely that economic interest determines politics and political structure, and that the goal of economic (and political) activity is the redistribution of wealth and power -- provides the most effective explanation as to the driving force behind the US government's fateful decision. The paper will reconstruct the information available to the Eisenhower administration up to the planning and execution of Operation Ajax, as the coup came to be called by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), so as to ascertain the key elements that would have factored into the government's foreign policy decision-making process prior to the event. It will then illustrate the aptness of Marxist theory, first, of its own accord, as well as through offering a comparative analysis of an alternative Realist theory. Finally, the paper will conclude by distinguishing between the US government's motivation versus its justification for the coup, thereby demonstrating not only why but also how this particular foreign policy decision was undertaken.

Two prevailing theories have been posited to explain the rationale behind the US government's decision to topple the Iranian government in 1953. The first is a Realist notion, a key proposition of which is the balancing of power between states. This argument proposes that US decision makers concluded that the regime of Mohammad Mossadegh posed a sufficient threat to US national interests to merit overthrow. This...

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"1953 US-backed Coup d'etat in Iran." Sep 22, 2018
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