The coup was a joint plot between Britain and the US to oust democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohamad Mosadeq. Appointed in April 1951, the prime minister was a very popular figure in Iran but much hated in the West, particularly in London, for his landmark decision to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (later BP).
This decision, which immediately created a crisis in relations with the United Kingdom, prompted the British authorities to get rid of Mosadeq. To this end, British Military Intelligence (MI6) planned Operation Boot to overthrow the Prime Minister. However, the operation was renamed Ajax in the spring of 1953 when the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) worked with MI6 to plan the coup attempt.
The conspiracy seemed to have failed. The CIA was ready to pull the plug on the operation, but a 28-year-old British intelligence officer named Norman Darbyshire, who was monitoring events from a secret base in Cyprus, insisted on persevering.
The prominent MI6 spy, who spoke fluent Farsi and had already spent nearly a decade in Iran, had turned the tide of the coup in London’s favor, he said on Tuesday. The guard. As a result, Mosadeq was arrested, and the Shah of Iran, Mohamad Reza Pahlavi, flew back to Tehran, strengthened.
According to the report, Darbyshire maintained close ties with the Iranian political establishment, particularly the Shah. “They met twice a month and played squash occasionally,” he adds.
Thanks to the success of the attempted coup, the report states, “British interests were restored in the short term, but the Shah became a despised dictator who paved the way for the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the state of hostility between Iran and the West. “It’s held up ever since.”
Taqi Amirani, director of a documentary about the coup called “Coup 53″, considered Darbyshire to be the leader of the conspiracy. “Norman Darbyshire co-authored the plan for the coup and took the leading role in directing the operation that overthrew Mosadeq and restored the Shah. That was his show,” he said.
On Monday, former British Foreign Secretary David Owen said Britain should recognize its leading role in the 1953 coup in Iran.
Finally, in 2013, the CIA officially admitted its involvement in the incident. A declassified document further explains how US spy agents, along with those from the UK, carried out the operation.