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Rethinking Iran: Primary Source Materials

Primary Sources

Digital National Security Archive

Created in collaboration with the National Security Archive, this database is the most comprehensive collection available of significant primary documents central to U.S. foreign and military policy since 1945. Within this database, there are three sub-databases focused on Iran.

National Security Archive

Freely available as compared to the Digital National Security Archive.  An independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University, the Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States. Includes a link to The Secret CIA Briefing of the Iran Coup, 1953 and related documents, as well as a compilation of documents entitled “20 Years after the Hostages.” 

Foreign Office Files for the Middle East, 1971-1981

A collection of diplomatic correspondence, minutes, reports, political summaries and personality profiles.

U.S. Dept. of State. Foreign Relations of the United States

1964-1968. Volume XXII: Iran, 1964-1968. - The official documentary historical record during the Johnson Administration of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government.  

New York Times Special Report: The CIA in Iran 

On June 16, 2000, the New York Times published on its Web site PDF files of a secret CIA report: "CLANDESTINE SERVICE HISTORY, OVERTHROW OF PREMIER MOSSADEQ OF IRAN, November 1952-August 1953," an operation planned and executed by the CIA and British SIS. 

FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data) 

This database has global economic data including datasets on Iranian oil exports and production, GDP growth, national debt, birth rates, employment and population data among many other topics.

World Bank Portal to Iran

The World Bank has a specific Iran portal which includes many datasets including ones on life expectancy, poverty, school enrollment, and climate change and includes many other topics.

Hathi Trust

The Iran Hostage Crisis: A Chronology of Daily Developments. A report prepared for the Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives by the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division.