"The military coup that overthrew Mosaddeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government," reads a previously excised section of an internal CIA history titled The Battle for Iran.

The Department of State yesterday released a long-suppressed volume of historical records documenting the role of the United States in the 1953 coup against the Iranian government of Mohammad Mosadeq.

“This retrospective volume focuses on the evolution of U.S. thinking on Iran as well as the U.S. Government covert operation that resulted in Mosadeq’s overthrow on August 19, 1953,” the Preface says. See Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), 1952-1954, Iran, 1951-1954.

“This volume includes National Security Council and Presidential materials that document the U.S. decision to proceed with the operation against Mosadeq, and the operational files within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that document the implementation of the operation, codenamed TPAJAX.”

Some of the relevant records were destroyed long ago.

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Last month, the State Department finally released a cache of documents that John Kerry had embargoed as he pursued his arms control ambitions with Iran. It is unlikely that the former secretary of state actually read the documents, but always mindful of the mullahs’ sensibilities, he chose to suppress history in the name of diplomacy. Those skeptical of the standard account of the coup will find in the files more evidence that the mythmakers were wrong. The newly declassified records provide valuable insight into the confused atmosphere that permeated the U.S. intelligence community that fateful summer. It is hard to read these cables and come to the conclusion that America overthrew Mossadeq.