Queen Elizabeth II may have played an important but ignorant role in the coup against the Iranian Prime Minister because newly discovered documents have resulted in a messed up telegram.
Messages found in the Washington DC archives show that botched US officials accidentally informed the Shah of Iran that the monarch had asked him to stay in his country to successfully complete the coup, but was not involved at all.
In 1953, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden organized a coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq.
Mossadeq had unanimously voted two years earlier for the nationalization of the country's oil fields, which had been built by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, later known as British Petroleum (BP).
Messages found in the Washington DC archives show that botched US officials accidentally informed the Iranian Shah that the Queen had asked him to stay in his country to successfully complete the coup, but had had no participation at all. Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visit Queen Farah and the Shah in Iran in 1961
To restore British control, Eden wanted to replace him with the Shah, an ally of the Western powers such as France, the United States, and Britain.
But the Shah was not convinced by the idea and instead preferred a more comfortable life in exile after living in Italy after his removal.
To persuade the king otherwise, Eden sent a telegram to Washington DC asking them to put pressure on the Shah to remain in Iran so that the coup could be carried out.
At that time, Eden was on board the RMS Queen Elizabeth, a luxury liner that traveled across the Atlantic.
A US telegram will then be sent to her ambassador in Tehran, Loy Henderson, saying: "The State Department has informed us this afternoon of Queen Elizabeth's Eden of Eden message, expressing concern about the latest Expresses developments related to Shah and there is great hope that we can find a way to dissuade him from leaving the country. & # 39;
In 1953, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden organized a coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq and sent a RMS Queen Elizabeth telegram to the Americans asking them to put pressure on the Shah to stay in Iran
It is believed that U.S. officials misunderstood the message so much that they spoke through Eden in the name of Queen Elizabeth and not the fact that he was on board the ship that bore her name.
Richard Aldrich, one of the two historians who discovered the most important documents in Washington's archives, told The Times: "In 40 years as a historian, this is the most amazing collection of documents I have ever seen."
Henderson then met with the Shah's retinue while the leader was preparing to flee, and later described in a telegram how he told the Shah's senior minister that he had to remain in the "interests of the country."
He added that he had received a message from a "very important person Shah had the friendliest feelings for" that also implied that the Shah was better off staying.
Professor Aldrich said there was no doubt that the Shah had taken this to refer to the Queen.
But crazy officials misinterpreted the message as the Queen's views. After informing the Shah that the monarch wanted him to stay in place, he committed. The 1953 coup was successful
The Shah met the Queen as a princess during a visit to Buckingham Palace in 1948, and the couple developed a good bond.
Without hearing her words, the Shah decided to stay and the coup was carried out successfully. Mossadeq was overthrown in August 1953 and sentenced to three years in solitary confinement. He remained under house arrest before dying in 1967.
The Americans quickly realized that they had made a major diplomatic mistake, but tried to cover up mistakes instead of addressing them.
A later telegram was sent by officials to John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State under President Eisenhower, who said they "deeply regret" the mistake.
The Shah remained in power during the Iranian Revolution in 1979, where he was replaced by Ayatollah Khomeini, who lived his life in exile in Egypt.
The story can be seen in The Queen and the Coup, which airs on Channel 4 on Sunday at 9 p.m.
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