Iran approves bill to sue US over 1953 coup

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s parliament gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill requiring the government to sue the U.S. for its involvement in the 1953 coup that overthrew the country’s democratically elected prime minister.

The bill follows the release of newly declassified documents offering more details of how the CIA orchestrated the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh 60 years ago.

It calls for setting up a committee to study the issue and provide a report within six months before legal action is launched against the U.S. government in an international court.

Of 196 lawmakers attending the session of parliament, 167 voted in favor of the bill while five opposed it. The session was broadcast live on state radio.

The coup restored the despotic regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. He was overthrown in the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Lawmaker Mahdi Mousavinejad said Iran should take legal action and make the U.S. take responsibility for its actions.

“America’s oppressive behavior (in 1953) shows that the Iranian nation has to stand up and pursue its trampled rights,” he said.

But Mohammad Mahdi Rahbari, another lawmaker, opposed the bill, saying it won’t bring anything tangible for Iran.

“Pursuing this bill has no benefits for our country. It will waste the parliament’s time,” he said.

Lawmakers said the documents prove that the U.S. has a history of bad intentions toward Iran and that the admission was sufficient evidence to get compensation.

In a document revealed earlier this month titled “The Battle for Iran,” the CIA reveals the coup plan was called “Operation TPAJAX.”

The unnamed author of the history writes that previously published accounts miss the point that “the military coup that overthrew Mossadegh … was carried out under CIA direction as an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government.”

The U.S. cut off diplomatic relations with Iran after militant students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran to protest Washington’s refusal to hand over the toppled shah back to Iran for trial.

The two countries are now at loggerheads over Iran’s disputed nuclear program. The West says Iran aims at weapons development but Iran denies this, saying the program is for peaceful purposes.

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