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A nation must think before it acts.
Access the Winter 2021 issue of Orbis here
The 1953 coup in Iran that toppled the nationalist Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq stands as one of the most controversial episodes of the Cold War. It is often referred to as the original sin where U.S. meddling poisoned relations between the two sides and even made the Islamist revolution of 1979 possible. But recent evidence suggests that America’s role in the coup was a minor one and the key actors determining the course of events were the Iranians themselves. It was Iranian generals, clerics and everyday citizens who put an end to Mossadeq’s premiership. All the Western lamentations aside, this was very much an Iranian affair.