Mosaddegh rides on the shoulders of cheering crowds in Majlis Square after reiterating his oil nationalization views, Sept. 27, 1951.
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Once expunged from its official history, documents outlining the U.S.-backed 1953 coup in Iran have been quietly published by the State Department, offering a new glimpse at an operation that ultimately pushed the country toward its Islamic Revolution and hostility with the West.The papers released this month show U.S. fears over the spread of communism, as well as the British desire to regain access to Iran's oil industry that had been nationalized by Mosaddegh. It also offers a cautionary tale about the limits of American power as a new U.S. president long suspicious of Iran weighs the landmark nuclear deal with Tehran reached under his predecessor.It exposes "more about what we know about this milestone event in Middle East history and especially U.S.-Iran history. The CIA also described hoping to use "powerfully influential clergy" within Iran to back the coup, something that would be anathema by the 1979 Islamic Revolution.To this day Iran's religious leaders portray the U.S. as a hostile foreign power bent on subverting and overthrowing its government.
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