The Last Shah

February 26, 2021
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In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Paul Edgar, associate director of the Clements Center, sits down with Ray Takeyh to discuss his book, The Last Shah: America, Iran, and the Fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty. Takeyh argues that, contrary to popular belief, the 1953 coup against Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq was not the most pivotal event in shaping Iran’s destiny. He argues that Mossadeq’s expulsion was the result, at least in large part, of disapproval of fellow Iranian elites rather than a strictly successful CIA coup. Instead, Takeyh states that understanding the rise of the revolution and the downfall of the Shah should focus more on the period in the early 1960s when Pahlavi became increasingly autocratic and separated from his advisers.