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HIS343 Lecture 1-22.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Peter King

HIS343 1/22/13 ● OSS - involved in different conflicts, including Vietnam War and assisting the Viet Minh ● in WWII covert affairs were used as “last ditch” efforts rather than first choices, used to complement military campaigns ● CIA filled with emerging sense of confidence after increasing success - launching more operations beyond the iron curtain (these initial plans were failures) ● 1949 - emergence of People’s Republic of China - seems like Communism is on the march in Asia, North Korea invades South Korea ● covert operations became a way to scope out nuclear warfare - could also be traditional warfare of gaining allies, toppling enemy governments, etc. - trying to break a stalemate, an agreed game between Soviet Union and USA - to affect short term change in the international system ● increased globalization of covert operations to gain allies and change regimes, under the Eisenhower administration to advance US influence around the world ● Eisenhower’s New Look policy - attempt to reduce American military spending - bring the budget down in the Dept of Defense ● 1941 - Iranian leader takes over and rules until 1979 - British are dominating Iranian political sphere and economics, including oil industry - Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC, now BP) - dominate player in Iranian politics ● nationalization of BP - Iranian government claims that the profits should go to help the Iranian citizens ● Mohammed Mossadeq, Iranian PM, furthers these claims - Americans begin to see him as either a Communist himself or a tool of Iranian Communism ● 1946 - crisis between US and Soviets, Soviet troops that US wants to remove, already tension - US thought Soviets had eye on US oil reserves ● Mossadeq wants US assistance, in 1952 he negotiates with Soviets to sell oil to Moscow ● 1952 - Mossadeq accepts political support of Iranian Communist party (Tudeh) - starts to openly associate himself with them - confirms US suspicions that he is Communist supporter ● he dissolves the Iranian parliament, takes more control in the defense dept. - becomes more dependent on support of Tudeh party ● Americans believe the previous tension in Czechoslovakia is now repeating in Iran ● US want to use the dissenting views of other Iranians to their advantage ● Operation Ajax - joint op between US and British - CIA had very few assets in Iran at the time so relied on MI6 connections - MI6 invited Kermit Roosevelt to discuss op, leader of CIA’s Near East Division ● shah of Iran still in power - get the shah to issue 2 decrees - that he will fire Mossadeq as PM, and name General Fazlollah Zahedi as replacement (pro-American, pro- Western) ● create support networks for the shah, anti-Mossadeq, go onto the streets and start protests - 2 agents try to get members of the Iranian parliament and army on their sides, and religious figures ● Roosevelt goes to Iran and convinces shah to act, naming Zahedi as replacement - but Ajax quickly goes awry ● power struggle between Mossadeq and Shah - rumors spread that foreign power are trying to control Iran ● groups protesting as pro-Mossadeq ● Mossadeq sends his police to break up demonstrations under US threats, now pro-shah demonstrations fill the streets, march on his house and call for his retirement ● different factions fighting in the streets, Iranian army are sick of the fighting and tell Mossadeq to step down because the shah decreed it ● Zahedi steps up as PM ● Shah has private meeting with Roosevelt and thanks him, British government immediately gives $42 million to Zahedi ● British has hand back in the AIOC ● Mossadeq faces a trial and is under house arrest until he dies in 1967 ● what does this mean? CIA characterizes this as a huge success - only took a couple of months and $2 million, Roosevelt only had a few agents under him - no direct trails leading back to the US, no proof who was involved, plausible deniability (can deny American involvement) - on the surface a short term success ● BUT Americans broke their commitment to support democracy, overthrew a democratic government ● blow-back theory - later triggers the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Irani
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