Iran Seeks Compensation From US for 1953 Coup that Replaced a Democracy with a Dictator
May 18, 2016
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & John Bacon / USA Today
Iran's parliament today voted on a bill requiring the government to request compensation from the US for damages caused by the CIA's coup d'etat against Iran's democratically elected government. In August 1953, Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh sought to change the terms of the existing oil monopoly of British Petroleum in Iran. The British government responded by secretly "inviting" the CIA to force Mosaddegh from office and install the Shah of Iran.
Iran Seeks Compensation From US for 1953 Coup
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(May 17, 2016) -- Iran's parliament today voted on a bill requiring the government to request compensation from the United States for damages caused by the CIA's 1953 imposition of a coup d'etat against Iran's democratically elected government.
In August 1953, Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh sought to Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP) and change the terms of the existing oil monopoly of the British company in Iran. The British government "invited" the CIA to force Mosaddegh from office, and they did so, restoring the monarchy which ruled Iran until the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Though at the time it was a "covert" action, albeit a poorly kept secret, US officials have publicly conceded that the coup was carried out, and the CIA has released some of the documents related to it, though they insist most were destroyed.
The move is unlikely to seriously secure money for Iran, but is rather a retaliatory talking point after the US Supreme Court approved seizing some $2 billion in Iranian central bank assets to pay for the 1983 Beirut bombing, an act which Iran insists they didn't do.
The Iranian parliament also passed a bill calling for a complaint to be filed with the International Court of Justice over the US seizing those assets, arguing it violates international norms on sovereign immunity.
Iran Seeks Money from US over 1953 Coup
That Empowered American-backed Shah
John Bacon / USA Today
(May 17, 2016) -- The Iranian parliament wants the US to compensate the country for damages from a series of events dating to the 1953 coup that increased the power of the pro-American shah.
The parliament on Tuesday passed a bill requiring its government to demand compensation from the United States for "spiritual and material" damages.
Also Tuesday, Iran's Supreme National Security Council voted to file a complaint with the International Court of Justice against the US over last month's Supreme Court ruling that approved confiscation of Iranian assets.
The cases reflect Iran's frustration with the pace of integration into the global trade and banking community since some international sanctions were lifted in January. Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, last month accused the United States of creating "Iranophobia" to slow economic progress.
The compensation bill does not determine a monetary amount for the damages, the Islamic Republic News Agency reports. The CIA has acknowledged directing the 1953 coup, which drove out Iran's democratically elected prime minister during a bitter dispute over control of oil.
Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi remained in power until the Islamic Revolution in 1979, months before the start of the iconic hostage crisis at the US embassy in Tehran.
The parliament is also seeking compensation for, among other things, 17,000 victims of assassination, the "martyrdom" of 223,600 soldiers in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and more recently for damages for "blocking, confiscating or seizing of assets belonging to Iranian government, organizations or public and state-owned organizations and officials of Iran."
A series of international boycotts have battered the Iranian economy. Last year, Iran reached an agreement with the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany to limit its nuclear program to peaceful activities in return for lifting crippling international sanctions.
The deal did not end US sanctions on other Iranian activities, however, such as its support for terrorism, developing ballistic missiles and human rights violations. And last month the US Supreme Court ruled that families of victims of a 1983 terrorists strike in Lebanon linked to Iran can collect reparations from $2 billion in Iranian assets frozen in US banks.
That ruling is the basis for Iran's complaint to the International Court of Justice. Iranian Justice Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi said bringing a complaint against the US at The Hague was just one way Iran will pursue the case. He said unexplained "overt and covert political" efforts also would be pursued, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported.
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