University of Delaware
British journalist Christopher de Bellaigue to discuss his new book on Iran's former prime minister Muhammad Mossadegh at a presentation at UD on May 17. Photo by Farhad Ahrarnia

May 17: 'Struggle for Iran'

British journalist Christopher de Bellaigue to speak on Iranian political history


3:03 p.m., April 9, 2012--British journalist Christopher de Bellaigue, who has worked in the Middle East and South Asia since 1998, will present “The Struggle for Iran: Muhammad Mossadegh and the Anglo-American Coup” on Thursday, May 17, at 6 p.m. in 127 Memorial Hall on the University of Delaware campus in Newark.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the University's Center for Global and Area Studies and the Islamic Studies Program

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De Bellaigue, the Tehran correspondent for The Economist from 2000-05 and a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, will discuss his new book on Iran, Patriot of Persia: Muhammad Mossadegh and a Tragic Anglo-American Coup

A review in the British newspaper The Independent describes the book as follows:

“As international tension over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions continues to grow, it is more important than ever to examine Iran’s national history and find clues to this complex and perplexing country. Christopher de Bellaigue's superbly timed biography of Iran’s former prime minister, Mohammed Mossadeq, helps us to do so. A Persian scholar who has lived in Iran for more than a decade, he has combed through archive material to add to the existing literature about Mossadeq and his defining act – the nationalisation of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1951.

"His book is a reminder of the dangers of foreign intervention in Iran. He points out that British, and later American, hostility towards Mossadeq proved counter-productive, provoking a deep nationalist wrath that played into his hands. When, in August 1953, the CIA colluded with MI6 to topple him, their actions left a lasting legacy of mistrust and bitterness.”

A reception will be held prior to the talk, at 5 p.m. in the Memorial Hall dome room on the third floor.

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