Documents Prove US Involvement in 1980 Nojeh Coup Plot in Iran
The documents are related to the confessions made by Nasser Rokni, a pilot, who had collaborated with the coup plotters.
In his confessions he admitted the US role in the coup and its financial assistance to the coup plotters in Iran.
The Nojeh coup plot was a plan to overthrow the newly established Islamic Republic of Iran and its Revolution Leader Ayatollah Khomeini.
The plan involved officers and servicemen from the infantry, air force, army and secret service, and was largely halted by the arrest of hundreds of officers on 9–10 July 1980 at Nojeh Air Base, near Hamedan, although substantial sabotage damage had already been carried out, with only 28 tanks (of 159) operational in the frontline Khuzestan Province.
The plan was organized by Colonel Muhammad Baqir Bani-Amiri, a retired Gendermerie officer, with the Shah’s last Prime Minister, Shahpour Bakhtiar, contributing financial support and providing his contacts and authority.
Bakhtiar’s liaison with the conspirators in Iran was the businessman Manucher Ghorbanifar, who headed the logistics branch of the Niqab network which organized the civilian part of the plot.
Bakhtiar told the plotters the United States “had given [the coup] its blessing”.
According to then-President Abolhassan Banisadr, the government discovered eight major cells, and exposed the plotters’ plan, leading to the arrests.
“Their plan was to give the appearance of a coup d’etat to restore the Shah, while the real aim was to provide a pretext to cover the Iraqi invasion. According to the information we received, the conspirators had set up a military camp in [the Iraqi city of] Suleimanieh and planned to ignite a Kurdish revolt and organize demonstrations throughout Iran. Their strategy was simple: internal disorders would first disperse Iranian military forces, so that on the very first day of the Iraqi attack Saddam could occupy the whole Western part of the country,” he said at the time.