In declassified document, CIA acknowledges role in '53 Iran coup
Shortly after Mossadegh's election, the CIA began to plan his overthrow. The goal of the coup was to elevate the strength of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and appoint a new prime minister -- Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi.
Before the coup, the agency -- along with the British Secret Intelligence Service -- helped foment anti-Mossadegh fervor using propaganda, according to CIA documents. "In Iran, CIA and SIS propaganda assets were to conduct an increasingly intensified effort through the press, handbills and the Tehran clergy in a campaign designed to weaken the Mossadeq government in any way possible," Wilber wrote.
On August 19, 1953, the coup swung into full effect as the CIA and British intelligence agency helped pull pro-Shah forces together and organized large protests against Mossadegh.
"The Army very soon joined the pro-Shah movement and by noon that day it was clear that Tehran, as well as certain provincial areas, were controlled by pro-Shah street groups and Army units," Wilber wrote. "By the end of 19 August ... members of the Mossadeq government were either in hiding or were incarcerated."
In order to provide Zahedi, the country's new prime minister, with some stability, the "CIA covertly made available $5,000,000 within two days of Zahedi's assumptions of power."
In declassified document, CIA acknowledges role in '53 Iran coup - CNN.com