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In 1953 Iran's prime minister Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, was removed from power in a plot orchestrated by British and US intelligence agencies to protect their oil interests (dubbed "Operation Ajax"). The operation was conducted following the Prime-Minister's nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. It reinstated the Iranian monarchy, handing power back to former Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Following Dr. Mosaddegh's fall, the Shah's rule became increasingly dictatorial, particularly in the late 1970s. With strong support from the USA and the UK, the Shah further modernized Iranian industry but crushed civil liberties. His autocratic rule led to the Iranian revolution in 1979. An Islamic republic was soon established under the Ayatollah Khomeini.