Sunday, June 25, 2017

New CIA/State Department Docs on the 1953 Iran Coup (Part 7)

This is part 7 of my series on the new CIA and State Department docs on the 1953 Iran Coup. 

So many questions still remain about the successful and unsuccessful Iranian coups in August, 1953. Many of them may never be answered, including the curious question why John Kerry's State Department delayed the release of the updated FRUS collection.

It has been established that Kerry himself, heavily involved in the Iran nuclear talks, was vehemently opposed to the release, even up to the inauguration of President Trump. President Obama may have also been involved, but this isn't clear from the record.

In 2014 the delay was credited to the sensitivity of the ongoing nuclear talks, yet through 2017, almost two years after the nuclear agreement was finalized, they still worked to keep it from being released. What were they concerned about?

Others have theorized that this was because of the hidden British role in the 1953 coup attempts, or perhaps details over the United States role. I have argued that this doesn't make sense as (despite the reporting on this release) the role of the United States, and the UK has been well-known for decades. Two different American presidencies admitted a role (Clinton, and Obama), and the CIA formally acknowledged its role in 2013.

I asked:
What would be more infuriating for the regime, to show that the US was involved (which is what they are already furious about), or that major regime figures, or their direct influences played a role in fomenting the coup?

As the evidence shows, the role of Ayatollah Kashani, was exactly as I theorized, and perhaps even more damning than I expected. His work collaborating with key coup figures like Zahedi, encouraging quietist clerics to back the Shah, working to make his own coup as early as September 1952, hints that this is what Kerry (and Obama?) hoped to keep hidden from the Iranian public. There was backlash on Twitter especially from Iranian reformists who tweeted about the "Kashani Coup", demanding removing his name from a Tehrani street.

Others may still argue that the details of role of the United States and Britain are the reason why Kerry was so concerned about the release. However, the documents are still classified in key points, so these details are obscured. Additionally, the declassification review was completed in 2014, so there were no changes made to this latest edition. It would not have been the case that Kerry personally went in and classified British or American involvement in the coup.

Did Kerry not know what was in the documents? Was he mistaken in thinking parts that remain classified were to be released? Or was he protecting the Iranian regime, trying to keep them from being insulted by proving a direct connection to the coup which the regime and its apologists point to as the source of Iranian/American animosity?

There will be a part 8 and probably 9, but they won't happen until I thoroughly read sections 1, 2 and 4. 

1 comment:

  1. I urge you to read my book 'Iran and the CIA; the fall of Mosaddeq Revisited (Palgrave-2010)' then understanding FRUS 2017 including questions you have raised might became easier to fathom. The CIA in Iran failed when their AJAX coup unraveled on 16 August but managed to steal the victory by clerics on 19 August. FRUS 2017 documents this. Kashani's role was not as important that it has been made out. Behbahani-Boroujerdi axis is a different story.
    darioush bayandor