Just as the tragic events of September 11 2001 are forever branded in the minds of Americans, Iranians find it difficult to forget
August 19 1953. It is fair to assume that most Americans are unaware of the significance of that day let alone how the two dates
might be historically connected.
that fateful day in
the popularly elected government of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq and installed Reza Shah Pahlavi, who brutally suppressed
Iranians for decades and set in motion forces that
eventually threatened the national security of the
When he assumed power, Mossadegh was passionate about two causes, nationalism and democracy. To him the former meant taking
created two enemies: The British, whose Anglo Iranian Oil Company since 1901 had held a monopoly on the extraction, refining and
sale of Iranian oil and the reigning monarch Reza Shah.
depose Mossadegh, the British had begged
The elections of 1952 brought to power Dwight Eisenhower whose Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, had accused
Truman of weakness in the face of Communist advances and promised that a Republican White House would
"roll back" its 'despotism and godless terrorism' . Dulles was eagerly searching for an opportunity to project American power
and the British, watching their fortunes change for the better,
came calling about the threat of communists in
Dulles had taken the oath of office.
With the help of pro Shah dissidents, eager to restore the power of the monarchy, and the British, whose oil contracts
Mossadegh had drastically renegotiated, the CIA would
overthrow the only democratic regime
chose the 37 year old grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, Kermit Roosevelt to execute the coup de etat. Norman Schwarzkopf Sr,
whose son made a name for himself in the first Gulf
power. He later helped organize the Shah's feared secret police SAVAK notorious for its brutality and torture techniques
budget for Operation Ajax was only $1 million, no American lives were lost but
was violently interrupted and a beloved leader was replaced by a ruthless monarch whose rule fanned the flames of anti- Americanism
laying the groundwork for the explosion known as the Islamic Revolution. Most Iranians believe it was the reign of the Shah that helped
produce an anti American theocracy whose radicalism
inspired anti Western fanatics in many countries, most notably
al Qaeda found a home and eager support. There is no better example of 'blowback' in recent history.
talk of yet another attack on
Reagan and Richard Nixon had the vision and
the courage to turn former enemies,
stability and prosperity through cultural exchanges,
business relations and above all security guarantees.
areas and could serve as a starting point for dialog: the threat
of al Qaeda and stability in
By Hadi Jawad.
" End the Occupation of