The Iranian ambassador to London said the British government must apologize to Iran for its role in the 1953 coup against the government of then Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq.
In a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Hamid Baeidinejad said it’s time for London to apologize as it contributed heavily to the coup which toppled the democratically-elected prime minister of Iran in 1953.
“67 years have passed since the US-engineered coup against the government of Dr. Mosaddegh. Britain had an effective role in the coup d’état, and numerous documents are available to prove that,” he added.
“The British government has, to date, even refused to make a simple and official apology to the Iranian nation,” the ambassador deplored.
“Isn’t it time (for the UK) to apologize and make up for the past,” the envoy asked rhetorically, the Iranian government’s website reported.
In June 2017, the US State Department released a long-awaited volume of declassified US government documents on the 1953 coup in Iran, including details of Britain’s role in the coup.
London had previously denied any role in the coup but the new evidence confirmed Britain’s involvement in it.
In August 1953, the British and American intelligence agencies initiated a coup by the Iranian military, setting off a series of events, including riots in the streets of the capital, Tehran, which led to the overthrow and arrest of Mosaddeq.
Mosaddeq, who was convicted of treason by a court martial, served three years in solitary confinement and then died under house arrest in 1967.
His overthrow, which is still given as a reason for Iranians’ mistrust of the UK and the US, consolidated the Shah’s rule for the following 26 years until the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, led by Imam Khomeini, which toppled the US-backed monarchy.
The Iranian premier had played a key role in the country’s 1951 movement that resulted in the nationalization of Iran’s oil industry, which had been mainly controlled by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), now known as BP.
Experts say the 1953 coup, known as the 28 Mordad coup, was aimed at making sure the Iranian monarchy would safeguard the West’s oil interests in the country.