The 1953 Coup d'Etat
In 1953 the U.S. and Britain supported a coup against the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammad Mosaddegh. The Prime Minister wanted to audit the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company books (now BP), which they refused to hand over. So the Iranian parliament decided to nationalize the company. That did it—oil equals national security in developed countries and Britain and U.S. weren’t about to give up their stash. Democracy in Iran was replaced by a government headed by Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, who ruled the country for 26 years until he was deposed in 1979.