Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954, Iran, 1951–1954

15 Jun 2017

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954, Iran, 1951–1954

United States Department of State

Office of the Historian

Bureau of Public Affairs

June 15, 2017

[...] This volume is part of a sub-series that documents the foreign policies of the Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower administrations. However, this volume is a retrospective volume that is meant to supplement Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, Volume X, Iran, 1951–1954, published in 1989. The 1989 volume provided significant documentation on the oil dispute between the United Kingdom and Iran following the latter’s decision to nationalize the assets of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) in March 1951. It represents a thorough, accurate, and reliable account of the role the United States played in mediating the dispute. However, it did not provide any documentation on the role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the formulation of U.S. policy toward Iran or documentation on the covert action that led to the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mosadeq on August 19, 1953. The lack of such documentation prompted a sharply critical reaction from concerned academics, the media, and other interested members of the public. In 1991, this reaction prompted the introduction and passage of congressional legislation, updating the Foreign Relations statute and affirming the requirement that the Foreign Relations series “shall be a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity.” Furthermore, the legislation required U.S. Government departments and agencies to provide Department of State historians with “full and complete access to the records pertinent to United States foreign policy decisions and actions.” In order to fulfill this congressional mandate, Department of State historians were charged with compiling a “retrospective” volume, utilizing materials previously unavailable to the Foreign Relations series, to address the remaining gaps in the historical narrative left by the 1989 volume on Iran.

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