|Birth: ||Feb. 16, 1916|
Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Death: ||Jun. 8, 2000|
Senior Central Intelligence Agency Officer and Author. He was the son of Kermit Roosevelt and the grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt. In the 1950s, when Iran voted unanimously to nationalize their oil wells and created an international crisis, Kermit was a senior officer in the Central Intelligence Agency's Middle East division. Nationalization of the oil wells caused the British government to lose the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company which provided them with tremendous profits and political clout. Dr Mohammed Mossadegh, leader of the nationalization movement was elected Prime Minister of Iran and when the British responded with an embargo on Iran's oil exports, neither side would make any compromises. President Harry S. Truman would not cooperate with Britain in a coup against Iran, and Britain, without an embassy in Iran felt powerless to act alone. When Dwight D Eisenhower succeeded Truman as President, anti communist forces convinced him that that the communists in Iran might take this as an opportunity to seize control and ally Iran with Russia. John Foster Dulles, the Secretary of State, and his brother Allen Welch Dulles, Director of Central Intelligence, convinced Eisenhower that an overthrow of Mossadegh might be in the best interest of both the United States and Britain. Kermit Roosevelt, operating under the cover name of James Lockridge slipped into Tehran, Iran and became a regular tennis player at the Turkish Embassy. Roosevelt set up a coup d'état, known as Operation Ajax that was funded by the CIA and British Intelligence that was designed to dismiss Mossadegh and replace him with General Fazlollah Zahedi. The coup was a failure and the Shah fled to Iraq where he lived in exile for a brief time. The CIA ordered Roosevelt to return home, but he refused and instead organized a second coup which was successful, but very controversial. The Shah was restored to power and said to Roosevelt, "I owe my throne to God, my people, and to you." It was even reported, but not verified, that Roosevelt held a gun to Mossadegh's head and forced him to sign the resignation papers. He broke tradition with the CIA and wrote a book, "Countercoup", twenty-six years later to explain how the coup was carried out and why it was essential in stopping communism from taking over Iran. (bio by: Tom Todd)
Kermit Roosevelt (1889 - 1943)
Belle Wyatt Willard Roosevelt (1892 - 1968)
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Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Tom Todd
Record added: Jul 22, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28453409
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Added: Apr. 15, 2013
Added: Apr. 9, 2013
Kermit Roosevelt, Jr.: Sir, you will be remembered as an American intelligence officer who coordinated the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Operation Ajax, which orchestrated the coup d'état against Iran's Mohammed and also the grandson of American pre...(Read more)|
Added: Feb. 16, 2013
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