Source: The New York Times

Donald Wilber was a principal planner of the initial joint U.S.-U.K. coup attempt of August 1953. This 200-page account is one of the most valuable remaining records describing the event because Wilber wrote it within months of the overthrow and provided a great deal of detail. Like any historical document, it must be read with care, taking into account the author's personal perspective, purpose in writing it, and audience. The CIA routinely prepared histories of important operations for use by future operatives. They were not intended to be made public.

The CIA 1953 Coup in Iran - CIA Declassified Files


June 18, 2000

Editor's Note:

The C.I.A.'s history of the 1953 coup in Iran is made up of the following documents: a historian's note, a summary introduction, a lengthy narrative account written by Dr. Donald N. Wilber, and, as appendices, five planning documents he attached. On April 16, 2000, The New York Times on the Web published the introduction and several of the appendices.

The Times has now decided to publish the main body of the text after removing certain names and identifying descriptions. The editing was done after consultations with historians who believed there might be serious risk that the families of some of those named as foreign agents would face retribution in Iran.

The introductory summary and the main body of the document are inconsistent on a few dates and facts. In its reporting on the document, the Times has relied upon details presented in the main body of the text.

The table of contents provides navigation throughout the document. Each entry is linked to the relevant section of this file. The table of contents page appears at the end of each chapter.

Source: National Security Archive