The Political Psychology of Regime Change in Iran

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Ryan Vetticad


In the study of the 20th century's most infamous case of regime change, the 1953 Iranian coupd’etat, the role of political psychology played an increasingly vital role in how these revolutionspanned out. In these instances, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had analyzed specificindividuals, respectively being Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh, that were not adhering to policiesin conjunction with American interests. As a result, the CIA led an immense role in theorchestration of the revolution and handpicked Iran’s successor, Reza Shah Pahlavi. This essayworks to perform a nuanced psychological analysis of these two individuals discussing thecontested nature of why the CIA did not cooperate with Mossadegh, and why they pickedPahlavi to fill his place. Furthermore, it makes the invariable argument that while the U.S.Central Intelligence Agency is not a terrorist organization as a whole, it’s involvement in therevolution does constitute as a specific act of terrorism.

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