“What the imperialists cannot forgive us is that we have made a Socialist revolution under their noses.”

–Fidel Castro

An image of the chaos during the 1953 coup.


The political events in the second half of the 20th century partially explains that the most influential and extraordinary historian of Britain, Eric J Hobsbawm, called it “the Age of Extremes.” Even before winning the war against Hitler’s Germany and its partners, the United States and the then Soviet Union (USSR) embroiled in a struggle to dominate the world. The struggle that lasted more than four decades shaped many countries, often for worse. One such country was Iran where the Anglo-American coup d’état overthrew the elected government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. Instead, the US and Britain reinstalled the Shah.

Historians are divided on what would have Iran become had it not experienced the inorganic change in the political set up. Some argue that the Islamic revolution that paved the way for the hardliners would not have occurred had the Anglo-American conspiracy not materialised. Others argue otherwise. Nonetheless, Iran’s revolution cannot be understood without finding its link with the said coup. Coup 53, a 2019 documentary, not only lifts the lid on secrets buried for more than six decades. The documentary can also help researchers and historians to find the underlying reasons behind the Islamic revolution of 1979.