• The C.I.A. begins drafting a plan to bring to power, through covert action, a government in Iran that would be preferred by the United States.
April 16, 1953
• A C.I.A. study entitled "Factors Involved in the Overthrow of Mossadegh" is completed. The study concludes that a coup in Iran is possible.
May 13, 1953
• C.I.A. and British intelligence officers meet in Nicosia, Cyprus, to draft plans for the coup. Meanwhile, the C.I.A.'s Tehran station is granted approval to launch a "grey propaganda" campaign to discredit the Mossadegh government.
June 10, 1953
• C.I.A. officers meet in Beirut for a final review of the coup plan.
June 19, 1953
• The final operation plan for the coup, agreed upon by both the C.I.A. and British intelligence, is submitted to the U.S. State Department and the Foreign Office in London.
July 1, 1953
• Britain's prime minister gives final approval to the operational plan for the coup.
July 11, 1953
• President Eisenhower gives final approval to the operational plan for the coup.
July 23, 1953
• A British Foreign Office memorandum is presented to an Under Secretary of State, reassuring the U.S. that the British would be flexible on the issue of controlling oil in Iran.
July 25, 1953
• Under pressure from the C.I.A., Princess Ashraf, the Shah's sister, flies to Tehran from France in order to convince the Shah to sign the royal decrees that would dismiss Mossadegh.
fail to go along with the U.S. representative or fail to produce the [legal] documents for General Zahedi, Zahedi would be informed that the United States would be ready to go ahead without the Shah's active cooperation..." C.I.A. Document, Appendix B, page 10
July 29, 1953
• The C.I.A. intensifies a propaganda effort, which included planting stories in major American newspapers, to weaken the Mossadegh government.
Aug. 1, 1953
• In a meeting with Gen. H. Norman Schwartzkopf, the Shah refuses to sign the C.I.A.-written royal decrees firing Mossadegh and naming Gen. Zahedi as the new prime minister of Iran.
Aug. 4, 1953
• Mossadegh, suspecting that British and American governments were plotting against him, holds a referendum calling for the Iranian parliament to be dissolved.
Aug. 13, 1953
• The shah signs a royal decrees dismissing Mossadegh. Word of the shah's support for the coup spreads quickly in Iran.
Aug. 15, 1953
• The coup begins, but falters and then fails because Mossadegh received advanced warning of the plans. Zahedi goes into hiding.
Aug. 16, 1953
• The shah flees to Baghdad.
Aug. 17, 1953
• Gen. Zahedi announces that he is the prime minister. To support this claim, C.I.A. agents disseminate a large quantity of photographs of the royal decrees dismissing Mossadegh and appointing Zahedi. The shah announces that he indeed signed the decrees.
Aug. 18, 1953
• The C.I.A., discouraged by the failed coup, sends a message to Tehran ordering the operations against Mossadegh to be halted.
Aug. 19, 1953
• Several Tehran newspapers publish the Shah's decrees. As a result,
supporters of the Shah begin gathering in the streets, and another coup begins. Gen. Zahedi comes out of hiding to lead the movement. By the end of the day, the country is in the hands of Zahedi and members of the Mossadegh government are either in hiding or incarcerated.
"From the fact
certain actions provided for in the military plan failed to materialize ... it was obvious that something had gone wrong." C.I.A. Document, Part VII, page 44
April 4, 1953, approved a budget of $1,000,000 which could be be used by the Tehran Station in any way that would bring about the fall of Mossadegh." C.I.A. Document, Part I, page 3
be to create, extend, and enhance public hostility and distrust and fear of Mossadegh and his government." C.I.A. Document, Appendix B, page 15
Shah Flees Iran After Move to Dismiss Mossadegh Fails
Statues of Shahs Torn Down in Iran
or what reaction ... caused the pro-Zahedi officers to falter in their duties is not clearly known." C.I.A. Document, Part VI, page 42
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