Hot on the heels of admitting that Area 51 really does exist, the CIA has finally admitted to another widely known secret: that the agency played a key role in the 1953 overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq after he sought to nationalize the Iranian oil industry.
Like the Area 51 non-revelation, we have George Washington University’s National Security Archive to thank for this. The Archive was able to get a new, less-redacted version of a 1970s official CIA history of the coup, which gives a clear indication of CIA involvement.
While the history had previously been released in 1981 after a lawsuit from the ACLU, many of the key points — especially a section labeled “Covert Action” — were redacted. The new version, declassified in 2011, includes this key line: