6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

The 1953 Coup 60 Years On: A Symposium

Podcast available

Event Co-sponsors

Podcast (Audio only)

August marks the 60th anniversary of the coup against Mohammad Mosaddeq, one of the pivotal events of modern Iranian – and Middle Eastern – history.  The coup and the conditions surrounding it continue to spark academic and political debate due to their significance for subsequent developments in Iran as well as for the Islamic Republic’s relations with the United States and the West.  

Organized by the History and Public Policy Program and the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center and the National Security Archive at George Washington University, The 1953 Coup 60 Years On: A Symposium will serve as a forum for the introduction of new evidence and fresh analysis by some of the top experts in the field. Participants will discuss their latest findings and their assessments of the most recent published works about the coup.  The conference seeks to identify new as well as lingering historical questions about this critical period for future research.  In addition to deliberating the history, the sessions will treat the coup’s role in current discourse over US policy toward Iran.

Location: 6th Floor Board Room, Woodrow Wilson Center


9:00-9:15 a.m.  Introductory remarks

9:15-10:45 a.m. Panel 1: The Domestic Context for the Coup

   Malcolm Byrne, National Security Archive will chair this panel
   Mohammad Amini, son of former Tehran mayor Nosratol-lah Amini
   Ahmad Ashraf, Columbia University
   Ali Rahnema, University of Paris (presentation delivered by Dr. Ashraf)

10:45-11:00 a.m. Break

11:00-12:30  Panel 2:  The International Component of the Coup

   Christian Ostermann, director of the History and Public Policy Program will chair this panel.
   Mark Gasiorowski, Tulane University
   Ervand Abrahamian, Baruch College
   Wm. Roger Louis, University of Texas at Austin
   Malcolm Byrne, National Security Archive (Discussant)

12:30-12:45  Closing remarks