Iran Timeline


Mohammad Mossadeq Rule

28 April 1951 - 19 August 1953

Mosadeq appointed by the Shah and confirmed by the Majlis and held power through popular elections and emergency power until the 1953 coup

Anglo Iranian Oil Company Nationalized

May 1 1951

This causes British and Iranian oil relations to break apart as Mossadeq says British involvement is hurting Iran; causes UK to want coup

Mossadeq Resigns

July 17 1952

Resigns due to growing friction between him and the Shah over oil, Ahmed Ghavan takes over as prime minister

Mossadeq Returns to Power

July 22 1952

After 3 days of rioting in the streets, the Shah is forced to reappoint Mossadeq as Prime Minister

CIA Begins Plotting

Approx. March 1953

CIA begins to create plan, through covert operations, to build a pro US Iranian government; April 16, 1951 they decide that a coup is possible

CIA and MI6 Agents Meet in Nicosia Cyprus

May 13, 1953

Agencies meet to create plan for coup, given $1,000,000 budget by CIA, start a "grey propaganda" campaign to discredit his govenment

CIA and MI6 Agree on Final Coup Operation

June 19, 1953

"The purpose will be to create, extend, and enhance public hostility and distrust and fear of Mossadegh and his government." — C.I.A. Document, Appendix B, page 15; July 1, 1953 British Prime Minister approves; July 11, 1953 President Eisenhower approves

Shah Refuses to Sign Royal Decree Firing Mossadeq

August 1, 1953

CIA written decree to put Gen. Zahedi as Prime Minister isn't signed

Mossadeq Holds Referendum

August 4 1953

Mossadeq calls for referendum to dissolve Parliament when he hears about the British and American plot

Shah Signs Royal Decree Dismissing Mossadeq

August 13 1953

Shah officially supports coup

Coup Fails

August 15 1953

Mossadeq gets advance notice and coup fails; Zahedi goes into hiding and Shah flees to Baghdad

General Zahedi Announces He Is Prime Minister

August 17 1953

CIA spreads pictures of royal decrees to prove the claim; supporters of the Shah begin to demonstrate in the streets and another coup begins

Mossadeq Removed from Power

August 19 1953

Second Coup succeeds and Zahedi is in charge with members of Mossadeq government in hiding or jail

Shah Works to Neutralize Zahedi

Aug 19, 1953 - 7 April 1955

When Zahedi and the Shah returned, Zahedi was seen as the one with power and the Shah as a figurehead monarch so the Shah worked to stop this

Mohammad Reza Shah Returns to Power

Approx. 21 August 1953

Zahedi helps bring the Shah back from hiding in Rome and the Shah demonstrates newfound power after the fall of Mossadeq

Mossadeq Sentenced to Prison

December 21 1953

Sentenced to 3 years solitary confinement in military confinement and then kept on house arrest for rest of life

Shah Dismisses Zahedi

April 7 1955

Zahedi is dismissed as Prime Minister and the Shah appoints Hossein Ala'

Shah Works to Become Progressive Leader

Approx. May 1955

The Shah works to gain support of left wing intellectuals and gain public support through economic programs like Mossadeq was able to; he gains power and goes from a figurehead to a ruler that stays until the revolution in 1979