Tuesday, September 7, 2010
The code name applied to the Secret Intelligence Service operation to remove the radical Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh from power in Iran in 1953 and reverse his policy of nationalizing the country’s oil assets, exploited hitherto by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Executed jointly with the Central Intelligence Agency, BOOT initially faltered, but huge demonstrations, financed by the plotters, eventually turned the tide and enabled Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who had earlier fled to Rome, to return to Tehran and install a government acceptable to Great Britain and the United States. Undertaken with minimal bloodshed, the coup resulted in Mossadegh being placed under house arrest, where he remained until his death in 1967. In 1979 the shah was himself forced to flee Iran.