September 22

Ep. 0031: Uncle Sam vs. Democracy Part 1: Operation Ajax

In this episode and the next, we’re going to look at two instances in the early Cold War of American-sponsored and -instigated overthrows of democratically elected governments, and their replacement by unpopular, USA-backed dictatorships.  Of course, I’m talking about Iran and Guatemala in the early-1950s.  This episode will set the context and cover Iran.  Next time we’ll cover Guatemala and consequences of these sorts of operations.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • A quick sketch of the Dulles Brothers (John Foster & Allen) who played such key roles in these sorts of operations in the 1950s
  • A look at the historical context (ie, early Cold War)
  • A sketch of Iranian PM Mohammed Mossadegh, and why the Dulles Bros (and the corporate interests they served) wanted him overthrown
  • How the CIA overthrew Mossadegh and replaced him with Shah Reza Pahlavi
  • The aftermath of this operation and its legacy, which is still being felt today

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Posted September 22, 2014 by profcj in category "American History", "Modern World History", "Podcasts


  1. By Edward Jones on

    Hello Prof CJ, I’ve just discovered your podcast and have done a little binge listening while working on my boats. I’d say your my 2nd favorite after Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, and possibly tied with Mike Duncan and The History of Rome.
    Ok now a small critique. A short introduction to how BP(then AIOC) got control of Iran’s oil in the fist place would really help set the stage for this era. Since the concession was bought in 1901 to search for and develop oil and billions of dollars were spent building the infrastructure to extract and export oil by the 1950s
    So by the time Mosaddegh nationalized the oil industry in 1950 there had been a lot of water under the bridge. For instance did he pay AIOC for the value of assets or was he just attempting to “steal” the industry.
    Thanks for a great podcast.


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