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14 December 2011


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To call Vernon Walters a "CIA asset" misuses the term as I understand it.



I agree. he was always essentially an Army officer. pl

Russ Wagenfeld

Hi Pat,
I agree with you and Basilisk. I encountered him directly or indirectly on several occasions. In the last of which he might have been characterized as a Moroccan asset. But I always found him to be "essentially an Army officer" as well.


Kinzer is wrong. Iran's first "Great Satan" was Russia, then GB and then the U.S., in that order, according to Richard Nelson Frye, American scholar of Iranic and Central Asian Studies and Aga Khan Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at Harvard University.

William R. Cumming

So the point is that Russia might well again show an avid interest in IRAN?
I believe the world's largest city by population existed in 13th Century central Iran on a major trade route.

The IRANIANS are not amateurs at court politics.


In a recent interview, Gen. Joe Hoar, former CENTCOM commander, reported some added background on the Mosadegh coup. Right after Eisenhower came in, Churchill went to him to get American support for the coup to overthrow Mosadegh, due to the nationalization of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Eisenhower refused, and then Churchill threatened to pull all the Commonwealth troops out of Korea. Ike was committed to ending the Korean War, and the pullout would have greatly complicated matters. He gave in to the Churchill demand. But 3 years later, Ike got back at the Brits, as well as the French and the Israelis when he demanded they pull out of the Suez Canal. FDR may have unhappily surrendered principle momentarily for the greater good of defeating Hitler, but his intention was always strong to end colonialism after the war. His untimely death left that committment untested. I have no doubt, if he had lived, things would have gone differently than they did under Truman.


Thank you all for the addition to this story. I have read Kinzer's "All the Shah's Men". It left a bad taste in my mouth about British Petroleum and the Brits. And also left me inclined to like the Iranians. Great Brittan and Russia used that country to spar over the great game. The US has never liked the fact that the Iranians overthrew the Shah and took the hostages.

David Habakkuk

Richard Sale,

One query about this absolutely fascinating story. Are you suggesting that the Truman Administration was fully aware, not simply of the fact that British troops, as well as Soviet, had not left Iran, but of a formal agreement between the two occupying powers providing for a long-term partition of the country – a kind of successor to the 1907 Anglo-Russian Convention?

Do you have more details of precisely how and when the pact was concluded, what its precise provisions were – and when and how the US government became aware of it, if in fact they did become aware of it?

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