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Stephen Kinzer: All The Shah’s Men – The CIA’s First Coup: Iran 1953

New York Times Correspondent Stephen Kinzer, speaking at The Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, CA, Sept. 2003

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All The Shah’s Men – The CIA’s First Coup: Iran 1953

A fascinating talk. Kinzer discusses the seminal impact of Mossadegh’s nationalization of the Iranian oil industry throughout the world, and in particular on anti-colonialist movements. He deals with Britain’s failed attempts to get U.N. sanction to attack Iran in the wake of this nationalization of the industry, and how Mossadegh used the same process and argument as that used internally in Britain, which was at the time nationalizing many of its own private concerns. Details how the CIA engineered the coup, and how it initially was a failed attempt. The story is strikingly similar to the recent failed coup attempt in Venezuela. Finally, Kinzer makes the claim that the U.S.’s actions at that time informed a generation around the world about U.S. preferences in the choice between democracy and client dictators.

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