Dr. Ofer Israeli is a visiting researcher at the Center for Peace & Security Studies (CPASS), at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He is doing his postdoctoral research in the field of the Complexity of International Relations. The author gratefully acknowledge support from the Center of Peace and Security Studies (CPASS), at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and Prof. Daniel Byman. He is also grateful to Robert J. Lieber, Andrew Bennett, and Hadas Kroitoru for their most helpful comments.
The commercial disagreement between Iran and the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) was the motive behind the 1951 Anglo-Iranian Abadan Crisis.1 The Abadan plant and its facilities were the property of AIOC, a company in which the British government was the major shareholder.
The dispute was based on a gigantic clash of economic interests between British imperialism and Iranian patriotism. It began in May 1951, after the Majles, Iran's parliament, headed by Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh,2 passed a law that nationalized the AIOC and the oil refinery at Abadan under the new National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).3 From London's perspective, Mossadegh's nationalization of the AIOC was an outrage,4 since the AIOC refinery at Abadan was Britain's single largest overseas asset.5
In May 1951, the British minister of defense was quoted as saying, "If Persia was allowed to get away with it, Egypt and other Middle East countries would be encouraged to think they could try things on: the next thing there might be an attempt to nationalize the Suez Canal."6 A month later, before the Abadan Crisis had actually erupted, Churchill said, "It would be a disaster if our personnel were hustled and bullied out of Abadan."7
Writing on October 3, 1951, the day the British were evacuated from Abadan,8 Harold Macmillan recognized the Egyptian linkage as he predicted that the Suez Canal Zone would soon follow, consequently damaging British interests in the region.9 Two days after the British evacuation from Abadan, in an editorial published on October 5, The Times used Britain's withdrawal to warn London to learn from its mistakes and not to follow this attitude elsewhere in the future:
It is not a failure that Britain can afford to repeat. The lessons of a muddle have to be learned so what happened in Persia will not be allowed to happen — as it could easily happen — elsewhere.10
Although it occurred hundreds of miles away from the Nile River, the Abadan crisis had significant influence over Egypt.
"Mossadeghism,"11 the Iranian prime minister's challenge to British interests in Iran — also known as the Mossadegh Syndrome12 — boosted anti-colonial passions, inspiring other nations in the region. Egypt, which was deeply involved in a struggle of its own with Britain over control of the Suez Canal, was fertile ground for inspiration. "If Mussaddiq [sic] could get away with nationalizing the oil industry in Iran," wrote William Roger Louis, "might not Nasser be inspired to nationalize the Suez Canal Company?"13
Among the fundamental factors that brought about this situation were two similarities that Iran and Egypt shared in the early 1950s. They were both involved in anti-British struggles. In addition, anti-monarchical sentiment brought about the downfall of Egypt's King Farouk in July 1952 and, following Operation AJAX in August 1953, the victory of the Mossadegh forces over the shah of Iran.14 The preoccupation of both countries with struggles against a major Western power, Britain, and the monarchs, the shah and King Farouk, enabled the diffusion of what is called Mossadeghism from Iran to Egypt.
Another similarity can be identified. Three months after Mossadegh's visit to the United States in November 1951, the U.S. State Department announced its rejection of the $120 million loan he had requested while in Washington.15 Almost five years later, in July 1956, President Eisenhower canceled the promised U.S. grant of $56 million for the construction of the Aswan High Dam, a project that was crucial to Egyptian economic development16 and central to Nasser's ambitions to modernize Egypt.17 Nasser had the Soviet Union fund the dam project18 and, on July 26, 1956, nationalized the canal. Nasser's official reason for the nationalization was that revenues from the canal would replace the promised Western aid and would be used to finance the construction of the Aswan Dam.19
For other postcolonial countries with anti-British sentiments, the surprising victory of the weak Iranian nation over the Abadan oil facilities was an example to be duplicated.20 Sir Roy Welensky, the former prime minister of Rhodesia, for instance, was quoted as saying,
I believe that the end of the British Empire really was signaled by that miserable old Persian Mossadeq, when he thumbed his nose at the British over the oil refinery at Abadan. A friend of mine who spoke to Nasser said that Nasser said to him: "You British from that moment no longer retained any respect. If Mossadeq could do that to you, why couldn't the rest of us?" and how right he proved.21
Within days after the Abadan evacuation, on October 8, London was confronted not only by Egypt's denunciation of the 1936 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty, which had given the British control of the valued Suez waterway,22 but also by serious unrest in the Suez Canal Zone.23 On October 9 and 12, demonstrators in Cairo celebrated the "liberation of Iran" together with Egypt's action on the treaty.24 On October 11, the Wafd government in Egypt, headed by Prime Minister Nahas Pasha, abrogated the 1936 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty, which had given the British control over the Suez Canal until 1956. This canceled the legal basis for a British presence in Egypt,25 and the Egyptian government demanded that British troops get off Egyptian soil.26 One former RAF officer complained to Attlee:
Every little nation just sticks its tongue out at us. Having made us the laughing stock of the world over the Persian Oil affairs, today brings us news of the first result of your government's weakness. Egypt is tearing up her treaty with us. Egypt will throw us out of the Suez region.27
The premier of Iran became a hero and leader who introduced the possibility of regional political and economic independence instead of subordination and submission to the dictates of imperial powers. More than all others, Mossadegh played an important role in promoting anti-British nationalism and anti-colonial sentiments, which started to bubble up under the surface during the 1950s within many previous colonies of Britain and other European powers. Circuitously, Mossadeghism had influence far beyond Iran and the Gulf region and inspired many, as is evident from Castro's conversation with Mohamed Heikal:
There we are in the mountains dreaming of revolution. And all of a sudden we saw you nationalizing the Suez Canal; we saw you fighting and winning. We could only tell ourselves, if the Egyptians have been able to face the Israelis, the Americans, the British and the French and win, how can we not defeat Batista?28
Although covered in only an incomplete fashion, the crises at Abadan and Suez were key events in postwar British foreign policy.29 The events in Iran played a critical role in shaping Gamal Abdel Nasser's challenge to British interests and the nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956.30 William Roger Louis identifies a causal relationship when arguing that Britain's decision to evacuate Abadan "became one of the root causes of the Suez Crisis five years later."31
During the nineteenth century, Egypt was very important for the British Empire; it was seen by London mostly through the lens of its commitment to the security of India, its "jewel in the crown."32 In the early 1950s, when London was deeply involved in the Abadan Crisis, Egypt was under Britain's quasi-control.33 The Egyptians were seething with anti-imperialist anger, which would produce the Suez Crisis a few years later.34 Mossadegh's visit to Egypt was, however, an important event that inspired Nasser in his plan to end British control of the Suez Canal.
After a six-week trip to the United States, during which he defended Iran's oil nationalization at the United Nations and met with U.S. President Harry Truman, Mossadegh stopped in Cairo. When he arrived on November 19, 1951, he was given an ecstatic welcome. Newspapers hailed him.35 During his visit, anti-British and pro-Mossadegh crowds filled the streets of Cairo,36 welcoming him as a hero and chanting "Long live Mossadegh," and "Long live the leader of anti-imperialism." The daily newspaper Al-Ahram wrote, "Mossadegh has won freedom and dignity for his country…," and "Iran and Egypt have taken up the sacred duty of freeing themselves from the shackles of colonialism."37
During Mossadegh's four-day visit, King Farouk embraced him and Premier Nahas Pasha welcomed him to Egypt as "the guiding light of the Middle East."38 The prime minister of Iran also met with feminist leader Doria Shafik and the entire cabinet of the Egyptian Parliament. Mossadegh also received an honorary degree at Fouad University, where he explained the importance of removing the foreign presence from the oil refinery at Abadan:
We have not nationalized our oil industry only for commercial interest and the amount of revenue it brings to us. The fact is that as long as the former oil company continues to operate [in Iran], our independence will remain severely tarnished.39
When Premier Nahas Pasha came to greet Mossadegh at his hotel, the enthusiastic crowd shouted "Long live Mossadegh." In response, Mossadegh told his counterpart, "Brother, with these people you must push the British out of the Suez Canal."40 Mossadegh finished his trip by signing a friendship treaty with the Egyptian premier.41 "A united Iran and Egypt," Mossadegh pledged, "will together demolish British imperialism."42 The two premiers also negotiated the coordination of their foreign policies vis-à-vis Britain.43 In November 1951, following Mossadegh's visit to Cairo, the Egyptian and Iranian governments showed signs of unity against "British imperialism."44
Mossadegh's visit to Cairo was a defeat for the British. London was terrified of the nationalist sentiments in the Middle East that were being inspired and strengthened by Mossadegh.45 The Egyptian masses learned from the example of Iran that British imperialism no longer could rely on force; a wave of revolution inspired the Egyptian anti-imperialist movement.46 Tehran's disobedience to the British encouraged nationalist sentiments that were already underway in Egypt. Mossadegh's visit broadened and strengthened these sentiments.
Nasser's nationalization of the British- and French-owned Suez Canal Company in July 1956 used Iran and the AIOC as a model.47 There are hints of the attraction of the Mossadegh analogy in Nasser's thinking.48 When Nasser informed ministers about the forthcoming nationalization decree, for instance, "More than one minister mentioned Mossadeq," and "everyone was making comparisons between Nasser and Mossadeq."49 Consequently, it is rational to assume that, while Mossadegh's popularity was not the sole factor driving Nasser's 1956 nationalization of the canal and the Suez War that followed, it played a primary role in explaining Egypt's attitude.
In the aftermath of the Abadan Crisis and Operation AJAX,50 an increasing number of Third World leaders apparently regarded Mossadeghism as a litmus test for the ability to achieve their national aspirations. One of them was Egypt's president. Mossadegh's success in nationalizing the AIOC proved that the demon was not so powerful.
After he was elected, Nasser needed a political success to solidify his control. Since he recognized that eliminating the British presence from Egypt would be a huge boost for him, he pursued it forcefully.51 On July 26, 1956, a month after his election to the presidency, Nasser gave a two-and-a-half-hour speech in Alexandria. The colonel announced the nationalization of the Suez Canal Company,52 in order to provide funding for the construction of the Aswan High Dam.53 In his speech, Nasser mentioned at least 13 times the name of the Frenchman who built the Suez Canal. "Ferdinand de Lesseps," it turned out, was the code word for the Egyptian army to start the seizure and nationalization of the canal.54
In response, Britain decided to confront Nasser.55 Following nationalization, Nasser quickly became the hero of the Arab world. He had stood up against two great powers, Britain and France, and gained complete control of the Suez Canal, which was reopened in April 1957.56 Nasser's action crippled the ability of Great Britain and France to trade internationally and, with the support of Israel, they attacked Egypt.
Egyptians considered British control of their bases within Egypt to be an illegal occupation.57 From a legal standpoint, Nasser had the right to nationalize the Suez Canal as long as he paid off its shareholders. Nasser also said, "120,000 Egyptians died building the Canal, but Egypt has received just a tiny proportion of the company's £35m annual earnings."58 However, France and Britain were the largest shareholders in the Suez Canal Company, and they saw it as yet another hostile measure targeted against them by the Egyptian regime. Nasser was aware that the canal's nationalization would instigate an international crisis and believed the prospect of intervention by the two countries was 80 percent.59 He thought, however, that the UK would not be able to intervene militarily for at least two months after the announcement, and he dismissed Israeli action as "impossible."60
By nationalizing the canal, Nasser created a diplomatic crisis that paralleled the Abadan Crisis five years earlier, when Mossadegh nationalized the British oil refinery. Both the canal and the Abadan refinery had been operated under long-term international agreements. Both properties were also scheduled to be given back to Egypt and Iran soon. But Nasser and Mossadegh chose to go the path of nationalization and anti-colonialism instead, in direct confrontation with Britain. Although London did not need or want the Suez Canal bases anymore, Britain wanted to withdraw on its own timetable and on its own terms. On July 27, 1954, an agreement was signed under which London would withdraw the British troops.61 By June 1956, the last British soldiers had left the Canal Zone.62
A detailed examination of the background to the Suez Crisis and the related political and diplomatic maneuverings is beyond the scope of this paper and has been provided elsewhere.
The Iranian events served as a kind of dress rehearsal for the 1956 Suez War63 and largely explain the British withdrawal from Egypt. Ultimately, the British plan to maintain control over Iran's oil industry from 1951 to 1953 spawned losses to its economic and strategic interests in Egypt a few years later, in 1956. Therefore, if we are to understand the situation created by Mossadegh's nationalization of the AIOC, we should keep in mind the question, whom did it profit? In my opinion, although Mossadegh lost, Mossadeghism ultimately won.
Britain's final intentions following Iran's nationalization of Abadan in 1951 and Operation AJAX in August 1953 to remove Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh from power were successfully achieved. London recaptured its shares of the AIOC, effectively reinforcing Britain's hold on Iran's oil industry.
In 1953, according to CIA and SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) perspectives, the plot seemed to have a happy finale.64 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, for instance, said that the coup was "the finest operation since the end of the war."65 In the short term, London achieved its intended consequences: the AIOC continued to exploit Iran's oil resources.
The operation, however, also had wide unintended consequences from London's perspective. The lesson to be learned is clear: no matter the potential direct result of an action, there might be surprising unintended outcomes elsewhere that would be almost impossible to predict.
From the British perspective, the Abadan Crisis and Operation AJAX seemed successful at the time. Ultimately, however, London's role in overthrowing Prime Minister Mossadegh, and in constructing and sustaining the regime of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1953,66 had unintended, in fact counterproductive, consequences, for British interests in the region.
In the long term, the Iranian events, from London's perspective, were detrimental to British interests, resulting in growing anti-colonial sentiments in the Middle East. In this manner, the Suez Crisis of 1956, pitting Israel, Britain and France against Egypt, was a negative side effect of the Iranian events of 1951-53. Mossadegh's main objective of ending British control over the Iranian oil industry was a failure. Unintentionally and circuitously, however, Mossadegh's failed attempt succeeded in inspiring further aspirations for nationalization in the region. It contributed to strengthening anti-colonial attitudes and led to the outbreak of the anti-imperialist movement in Egypt.67
From a vantage point six decades later, the Iranian events seem to be more of a mistake, even a catastrophic one. Their repercussions extended far beyond Iran. In many ways, it was also the beginning of the end of British influence in the Middle East.68 Therefore, it is not far-fetched to draw a line from the Abadan Crisis through Operation AJAX to Nasser's challenge to British interests, the nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956, and Britain's losses in the Middle East. Thus, a plan to stave off the loss of the Iranian oil fields led to the British loss of the Suez Canal and perhaps even the loss of its status as a world power.69 In many ways, the Suez crisis marked the end of the colonial era and the demise of Britain and France as the greatest world powers since the seventeenth century.70 The plot also concluded almost half a century's struggle between London and Tehran over Iran's oil.71
Eventually, though Mossadegh lost, Mossadeghism succeeded, following Nasser and Egypt. Mossadegh's successful campaign to nationalize the AIOC represented the forefront of Third World economic nationalism. Although its mastermind was tucked away in an Iranian jail, Mossadeghism continued to spread. As an unintended consequence of the 1953 coup, the Suez Canal in Egypt became a focus of nationalist sentiment. Unintentionally it also boosted other anti-colonial movements in the region, especially in Egypt, where London held many political and economic interests.72
1 Norman Kemp, Abadan: A First-Hand Account of the Persian Oil Crisis (Wingate, 1953).
2 Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, 1882-1967, was the prime minister of Iran 1951-53 and the leader of the National Front, a reformist, nationalist party.
3 On May 1, 1951, immediately after taking office, Prime Minister Mossadegh signed the nationalization bill into law. Ervand Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions (Princeton University Press, 1982), Chapter 5.
4 James H. Bamberg, The History of the British Petroleum Company: The Anglo-Iranian Years, 1928-1954 (Cambridge University Press, 1944); and Mary Ann Heiss, Empire and Nationhood: The United States, Great Britain, and Iranian Oil, 1950-1954 (Cambridge University Press, 1997).
5 William R. Louis, Ends of British Imperialism: The Scramble for Empire, Suez and Decolonization (I.B. Tauris, 2006), 731.
6 COS (51) 86 mtg, 23-5-51; PRO:DEFE 4/43, in Ian Speller, "A Splutter of Musketry? The British Military Response to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Dispute, 1951," Contemporary British History 17, no. 1 (2003): 1-46, at 15 fn. 47.
7 Draft letter from Churchill to Clement Attlee, prepared on July 9, 1951, CHUR/2/126, Persia Political, Churchill papers. In Sue Onslow, " 'Battlelines for Suez': The Abadan Crisis of 1951 and the Formation of the Suez Group," Contemporary British History 17, no. 2 (Summer 2003): 1—28, at 6.
8 James Cable, Intervention at Abadan: Plan Buccaneer (Macmillan, 1991), 100.
9 MS Macmillan, dep. C.13/1, 3 October 1951, fol. 79, in Peter J. Beck, "Britain and the Suez Crisis: The Abadan Dimension," in Simon C. Smith, ed., Reassessing Suez 1956: New Perspectives on the Crisis and Its Aftermath (Ashgate, 2008), 53-66, at 63 fn. 63.
10 Editorial, The Times (October 5, 1951), in Beck, "The Lesson of Abadan and Suez for British Foreign Policy Makers in the 1960s," The Historical Journal 49, no. 2 (2006): 525-547, at 526-527.
11 Mossadeghism was a symbol of nationalism. On this issue, see Bertrand Badie, (Translated by Claudia Royal), The Imported State: The Westernization of the Political Order (Stanford University Press, 2000), 30.
12 Mohamed H. Heikal, "A Moment of Revelation," Al-Ahram Weekly Online, No. 818 (November 1-7, 2006). A 1996 interview of Mohamed H. Heikal with founding editor Hosny Guindy, http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2006/818/sc21.htm.
13 Louis, Ends of British Imperialism, 731.
14 Shahram Chubin and Sepehr Zabih, The Foreign Relations of Iran (University of California Press, 1974), 140-141. Besides the similarities we could note one main difference between the two cases: the non-use of military force by Britain during the Abadan Crisis in 1951 is the opposite of the British (along with Israeli and French) use of force five years later against Egypt. Speller, "A Splutter of Musketry?" 40.
15 L. P. Elwell-Sutton, Persian Oil: A Study in Power Politics (Lawrence and Wishart, 1955), in Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh Biography, Prime Minister of Iran, 1951-1953, http://www.mohammadmossadegh.com/biography/.
16 James P. Jankowski, Nasser's Egypt, Arab Nationalism, and the United Arab Republic (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002), 68; and "Egypt Seizes Suez Canal," BBC News (July 26, 1956), http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/26/newsid_2701000….
17 "The Suez Crisis: An Affair to Remember," The Economist (July 27, 2006), 1-6, at 2.
18 John L. Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (Penguin Press, 2005), 127; and Douglas Little, American Orientalism: The United States in the Middle East since 1945 (University of North Carolina press, 2002), 170-172.
19 "The Suez Crisis," 2.
20 Kemp, Abadan, 238.
21 Sir Roy Welensky to Sarah Millin, February 15, 1964, 760/4. Fol. 27 (Welensky Papers: Boldleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House, Oxford), in Beck, "Britain and the Suez Crisis," 57 fn. 24.
22 The Suez Canal, which lay wholly within Egyptian territory, was a critical link to the Middle East, India, and Southeast Asia. As one of the world's important maritime transportation routes, the Suez Canal became vital to British trade, especially oil imports. For the strategic importance of the Suez Canal, see Ofer Israeli, "Blocking World Oil Transit by Sea," in Ophir Falk and Henry Morgenstern, eds., Suicide Terror: Understanding and Confronting the Threat (Wiley, 2009), 318-324.
23 Michael T. Thirnhill, Road to Suez: The Battle of the Canal Zone (The History Press, 2006), 32-70. The Suez Canal Company was legally Egyptian, but in 1869 a 99 years' concession was granted to the British. It was due to revert to the Egyptian government on November 16, 1968. See "Egypt Seizes Suez Canal."
24 S. Munier, "Anti-imperialist Struggle in Egypt," Fourth International 13, no. 2 (March-April 1952): 47-52, at 48.
25 Said K. Aburish, Nasser: The Last Arab (St. Martin's Press, 2004), 32-34.
26 "Person of the Year, 1951: Mohammed Mossadegh," Time, January 7, 1952.
27 S. H. Cottis to Attlee, October 9, 1951, TNA, FO 371/90142/JE1051, in Beck, "Britain and the Suez Crisis," 58 fn. 30.
28 Heikal, "A Moment of Revelation," 2.
29 H. W. Brands, "The Cairo-Tehran Connection in Anglo-American Rivalry in the Middle East, 1951-1953," The International History Review 11, no. 3 (1989): 434-456; and Beck, "Britain and the Suez Crisis," at 54.
30 On August 2, 1956, following Nasser's action a month earlier, Herbert Morrison, the British Foreign Secretary, was among the first to remind Eden about the Suez-Abadan dimension. Hansard, 557, (August 2, 1956): Cols 1654-8, in Beck, "Britain and the Suez Crisis," 64 fn. 67.
31 Louis, The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945-1951: Arab Nationalism, the United States and Postwar Imperialism (Clarendon Press, 1984), 668.
32 Stephen P. Cohen, Beyond America's Grasp: A Century of Failed Diplomacy in the Middle East (Farrar, 2009), 33.
33 Egypt had never formally been a British colony, but Great Britain had controlled it, one way or another, from 1882, when the protectorate gained nominal independence, and continued to influence Egyptian affairs thereafter, maintaining troops there and propping up the decadent monarchy overthrow by Nasser in 1952. A. G. Hopkins, "The Victorians and Africa: A Reconsideration of the Occupation of Egypt, 1882," The Journal of African Studies 27, no. 2 (1986): 363-391; and John S. Galbraith and Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid-Marsot, "The British Occupation of Egypt: Another View," International Journal of Middle East Studies 9, no. 4 (November 1987): 471-488. For the British positions in the economies of former British colonies, in a way that led some commentators to describe these territories as "neo-colonies," see Sarah Stockwell, "Trade, Empire, and the Fiscal Context of Imperial Business during Decolonization," The Economic History Review, New Series, 57, no. 1 (February 2004): 142-160.
34 Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (Wiley, 2008), 131.
35 For Egyptian newspapers hailing Mossadegh, see Mostafa Elm, Oil, Power and Principle: Iran's Oil Nationalization and Its Aftermath (Syracuse University Press, 1992), 193.
36 Ebrahim Norouzi and Arash Norouzi, "Mossadegh in Egypt: A Hero's Welcome," The Mossadegh Project (February 18, 2011), http://www.mohammadmossadegh.com/biography/egypt/.
37 Gholamreza Nejati, Mossadegh: The Years of Struggle and Opposition (Tehran, 1998; Farsi), 1. Quoted in Norouzi and Norouzi, "Mossadegh in Egypt."
38 Farhad Dība, Mohammad Mossadegh: A Political Biography (Croom Helm, 1986), 135.
39 Bahram Afrasiabi, Mossadegh and History (Mossadegh va Tarikh) (Nilfur, Tehran, 1360/1981). Quoted in Norouzi and Norouzi, "Mossadegh in Egypt."
40 Gholam-Hossein Mossadegh, In the Company of My Father. Quoted in Norouzi and Norouzi, "Mossadegh in Egypt."
41 For the statement of Mossadegh and Egyptian Prime Minister Nahhas Pasha, see George McGhee, Envoy to the Middle East World: Adventures in Diplomacy (New Harper & Row, 1983), 404.
42 Kinzer, All the Shah's Men, 131; and Alan W. Ford, The Anglo-Iranian Oil Dispute of 1951-1952 (University of California Press, 1954), 154.
43 Chubin and Zabih, The Foreign Relations of Iran, 140-141.
44 McGhee, Envoy to the Middle World, 404; and Ralph Skrine Stevenson to Eden, December 3, 1951, FO 371/91474/EP10316, in Beck, "Britain and the Suez Crisis," 58 fn. 31.
45 Dība, Mohammad Mossadegh, 135.
46 Munier, "Anti-imperialist Struggle in Egypt," 47-48.
47 Sandra Mackey, The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation (Plume, 1998), 199.
48 Laura M. James, Nasser at War: Arab Images of the Enemy (Basingstoke, 2006).
49 Mohamed H. Heikal, Cutting the Lion's Tail: Suez through Egyptian Eyes (Andre Deutsch, 1986), 124, 133.
50 Also known by its Persian date as "28 Mordad 1332," Operation AJAX was a military coup d'état on August 19, 1953, that deposed Iranian Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh and returned the monarch, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, to power. While the military campaign was officially a joint U.S.-UK mission of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the M16, the overseas arm of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), Washington largely dominated the plot. Ofer Israeli, "The Circuitous Outcomes of Operation AJAX," Middle Eastern Studies (forthcoming); and Kinzer, All the Shah's Men. Donald Wilber and Norman Derbyshire originally developed Operation AJAX. The plan was completed by June 10, 1953. Kermit Roosevelt, Countercoup: The Struggle for the Control of Iran (McGraw-Hill, 1979), 12. The coup plan was originally known as TPAJAX rather than simply AJAX, while the TP prefix indicated the operation was to be carried out in Iran. During the Cold War years, and beside Operation AJAX, the CIA fomented several coups and destabilized governments, including a successful coup in Guatemala in 1954 and the catastrophic Bay of Pigs intervention in Cuba in 1961.
51 Cohen, Beyond America's Grasp, 37.
52 Aburish, Nasser, 105-107; and Jankowski, Nasser's Egypt, Arab Nationalism, and the United Arab Republic, 68.
53 "Egypt Seizes Suez Canal."
54 Eugene Rogan, The Arabs: A History (Basic Books, 2009), 487; "The Suez Crisis," 1; and Heikal, Cutting the Lion's Tail, Chapter 11.
55 Amy L. S. Staples, "Seeing Diplomacy through Bankers' Eyes: The World Bank, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Crisis, and the Aswan High Dam," Diplomatic History 26, no. 3 (Summer 2002): 397—418.
56 Jankowski, Nasser's Egypt, Arab Nationalism, and the United Arab Republic, 68; and "Egypt Seizes Suez Canal."
57 Cohen, Beyond America's Grasp, 36.
58 "Egypt Seizes Suez Canal."
59 Rogan, The Arabs, 299.
60 Heikal, The Cairo Documents: The Inside Story of Nasser and His Relationship with World Leaders, Rebels, and Statesmen (Doubleday, 1973), 91.
61 Cohen, Beyond America's Grasp, 36-37.
62 "The Suez Crisis," 2.
63 David Goldsworthy, "Keeping Change within Bounds: Aspects of Colonial Policy During the Churchill and Eden Governments, 1951—1957," Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 18 (1990), 81—108, at 103.
64 Donald N. Wilber, "Overthrow of Premier Mossadeq of Iran, November 1952-August 1953," Clandestine Service History; CS Historical Paper, no. 208 (March 1954).
65 Wilber, "Overthrow of Premier Mossadeq of Iran," 81.
66 Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, 1919-1980, replaced his father, Reza Shah, on the throne on September 16, 1941. He briefly fled the country in 1953. On January 16, 1979 he fled Iran never to return.
67 Munier, "Anti-imperialist Struggle in Egypt," 48.
68 Moyara Ruehsen, "Operation 'Ajax' Revisited: Iran, 1953," Middle Eastern Studies 29, no. 3 (July 1993): 467-486, at 467.
69 During the 1950s, many European politicians still believed their countries had a right to run the affairs of others. The Suez Crisis of 1956 marked the humiliating end of imperial influence for two European powers — Britain and France. "The Suez Crisis," 1. It also readily claimed that the crisis marked the end of the British Empire. A. J. Stockwell, "Suez 1956 and the Moral Disarmament of the British Empire," in Simon C. Smith, ed., Reassessing Suez 1956: New Perspectives on the Crisis and Its Aftermath (Ashgate, 2008), 227-238, at 227.
70 Gordon Martel, "Decolonisation after Suez: Retreat or Rationalisation?" Australian Journal of Politics and History 46, no. 3 (2000): 403-417.
71 Mark J. Gasiorowski, "The 1953 Coup D'état in Iran," International Journal of Middle East Studies 19, no. 3 (August 1987): 261-286, at 261.
72 Ultimately the invasion of the Suez Canal was also a disaster for Britain. Cohen, Beyond America's Grasp, 49. In the short term, Nasser was the chief victor of Suez, since the Nasserist dream inspired a wave of pan-Arab nationalism and liberation movements across the Third World. "The Suez Crisis," 5.