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CONFERENCE: The 19 August 1953 Sixty Years On: The Fall Of Mossadegh Revisited

6th - 7th September 2013
The University of Manchester

An international scholarly workshop aimed at re-evaluating Mossadegh's downfall.

Sponsored by

British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS), Iran Heritage Foundation, The University of Manchester.

Convened by

Drs Oliver Bast and Siavush Randjbar-Daemi on behalf of the Manchester Iranian History Academic Network (MIHAN) at the University of Manchester.


The 19 August 1953 (28 Mordad 1332) continues to be one of the most discussed moments of modern Iranian history. Sixty years on, historians' opinions about the reasons for the downfall of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh are divided. On the one hand, there is a majority of scholars who emphasise the role of foreign powers focusing on the activities of the CIA and their British helpers, while on the other hand, a smaller number of historians consider domestic factors, such as a truly genuine outbreak of anti-government sentiment or the autonomous action of hitherto unsuspected senior clergy, as having provided the decisive spark.

This international workshop brings representatives of these two historiographical strands (and others) together in one single scholarly event for the very first time. The workshop's participants, including renowned experts on the events of 28 Mordad 1332 Ervand Abrahamian, Darioush Bayandor, and Mark Gasiorowski, will debate the state of the historiography of this crucial episode in Iran's recent history. Longstanding bones of contention, such as the question of the involvement of Western intelligence services will be revisited. "The workshop will further address issues such as Soviet perceptions, the historical locus of the events in a chronologically and spatially comparative perspective, the question of the legality of Mossadegh's actions, as well as the facts and myths concerning the calls for a republic that emerged in Tehran following the Shah's hurried departure from Iran after his failed attempt at dismissing Mossadegh from office on 15 August 1953."

[Explanatory note: The question of the legality of Mossadegh's actions on the one hand and the issue of the calls for a republic on the other hand are (at our up-coming workshop at least) two separate issues to be addressed by two different speakers in separate talks.]


Programme information is available here.


Admission is free but pre-registration is mandatory since places are limited.

Please note: This workshop is a scholarly gathering aimed at providing the invited experts with a forum to freely discuss their research findings amongst themselves. As such it is neither public nor aimed at the public. Yet, given the considerable public interest in the topic, some of the workshop's activities will be open to the public.

To register online please visit the website of the Manchester Iranian History Academic Network (MIHAN).

Webcast: Friday talks will be streamed live on the conference website ( from 1.30pm UK time - free and no registration required.

Related Articles:

CIA Admits Role In 1953 Iran Coup Against Democratically-Elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosadeq - Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States' role in the controversial operation. American and British involvement in Mosaddeq's ouster has long been public knowledge, but today's posting includes what is believed to be the CIA's first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup. 8/19/13

Iran's lawmakers denounce 1953 coup led by US, UK

- Iranian lawmakers have slammed the "shameful and inhumane" 1953 coup against the government of then Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosadeq by the United States and Britain. The Iranian lawmakers also criticized Britain for orchestrating the 1921 coup d'etat that led to the establishment of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1925. 8/19/13

Aftershocks Of Iran's 1953 Coup Still Felt Around The World, 60 Years Later - Sixty years ago, on August 15, 1953, Iranian military officers backed by U.S. and British intelligence agencies initiated a coup d'etat whose aftershocks can still be felt around the globe. -Frud Bezhan, RFE 8/16/13

... Payvand News - 08/20/13 ... --

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