An international scholarly workshop organised by the Manchester Iranian History Academic Network (MIHAN) at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom)

sponsored by

British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS)

Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF)

University of Manchester

Friday, 6 and Saturday, 7 September 2013


Start: 1.30 pm

1)     Keynote Lecture by Professor Ervand Abrahamian (CUNY): The 28 Mordad 1332 – 60 Years On
2)     The Fall of Mossadegh and the CIA: Talks by Professor Mark Gasiorowski (Tulane University) and Darioush Bayandor (Geneva)
3)     Debate between Mark Gasiorowski and Darioush Bayandor moderated by Professor Michael Axworthy (University of Exeter)

End: 6 pm


The 19 August 1953 (28 Mordad 1332) continues to be one of the most discussed moments of modern Iranian history. Sixty years on, historians’ opinions about the reasons for the downfall of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh are divided. On the one hand, there is a majority of scholars who emphasise the role of foreign powers focusing on the activities of the CIA and their British helpers, while on the other hand, a smaller number of historians consider domestic factors, such as a truly genuine outbreak of anti–government sentiment or the autonomous action of hitherto unsuspected senior clergy, as having provided the decisive spark.

This international workshop brings representatives of these two historiographical strands (and others) together in one single scholarly event for the very first time. The workshop’s participants, including renowned experts on the events of 28 Mordad 1332 Ervand Abrahamian, Darioush Bayandor, and Mark Gasiorowski, will debate the state of the historiography of this crucial episode in Iran’s recent history. Longstanding bones of contention, such as the question of the involvement of Western intelligence services will be revisited. The workshop will further address issues such as Soviet perceptions, the historical locus of the events in a chronologically and spatially comparative perspective, the question of the legality of Mossadegh’s actions, as well as the facts and myths concerning the calls for a republic that emerged in Tehran following the Shah’s hurried departure from Iran after his failed attempt at dismissing Mossadegh from office on 15 August 1953.

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