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If a global war with the Soviet Union was ever to be fought, oil would be needed in order to keep the supply trucks rolling and the tank treads greased. For this reason the fate of Iran's Abadan oil fields were of supreme interest to both East and West and when the Iranian Parliament voted to nationalize the oil industry (an enterprise that was fully developed by the West) in 1953, a coup d'etat was swiftly launched by both the CIA and MI5 to bring down Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosadegh (1882 1967). The results of of this joint effort ("Operation Ajax") were fruitful in the short run, but set in motion a series of events that created the Iran we enjoy today.

As a statesman, Mosadegh was believed to be weak; CIA director Allen Dulles (1893 1969) feared that he would be unable to withstand Soviet coercion and before too long Stalin would have a naval installation on the Persian Gulf. However, this was not to be the case, for Mosadegh really never trusted the Soviets.

Additional magazine and newspaper articles about Cold War spies can be read on this page.

     


Fears of a Stalin/Mosadegh Alliance...  (People Today, 1951)

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