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Operation Ajax

Operation Ajax was the Anglo-American plan developed in 1951 to for the covert overthrow of the Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq in response to his nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, as well as general fears that he was a Communist.

The leader of the operation was Kermit Roosevelt (1916-2000), a senior CIA agent, and grandson of the former President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt.

He convinced Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to depose Mossadeq. Shah, who had previously been the only political figure in Iran who out-ranked the Prime Minister, tried to do it. But Mossadeq Rejected the Shah’s order and Shah had to leave Iran for Italy temporally.

The agents of Operation Ajax thus involved returning the Shah back to power in Iran, and convincing him to fire Mossadeq.

Approved in late June, 1953, the Shah returned to Tehran and fired Mossadeq on 22 August.