Iran 1953: MI6 plots with Islamists to overthrow democracy

by Mark Curtis, Declassified UK, 1 August 2023 Declassified British files highlight a little known aspect of the joint MI6/CIA coup against Iran’s democratically elected government in August 1953 – UK covert action in support of leading radical Shia Islamists, the predecessors of Ayatollah Khomeini. In many accounts the CIA is regarded as the prime […]

How BP’s interests drive UK support for wars, coups and dictators

by Mark Curtis, Declassified UK, 19 July 2023 The Foreign Office is largely captured by global climate polluter BP.  From Iran to Azerbaijan, Iraq to Nigeria, Russia to Venezuela, the UK prioritises the corporation’s profits over a decent foreign policy. Declassified recently revealed that BP has pumped Iraqi oil worth £15bn since the UK and US militaries invaded […]

Judge who ruled against Assange built career as barrister defending UK government

by Mark Curtis, Declassified UK, 16 June 2023 Jonathan Swift, the High Court judge who has just rejected Julian Assange’s attempt to halt his extradition to the US, is the government’s former top lawyer and previously defended the Defence and Home Secretaries. Jonathan Swift, the High Court judge who has rejected Julian Assange’s appeal against […]

How UK media mislead us about Britain’s leading military ‘think tank’

by Mark Curtis, Declassified UK, 15 June 2023 The British press has quoted the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) hundreds of times in the past two years without informing readers it is funded by the UK military, US government and arms corporations, and that it’s a bastion of establishment interests. RUSI has been cited in […]

UK armed Pakistan knowing it was supplying the Taliban, files show

by Mark Curtis, Declassified UK, 14 June 2023 When the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 1996, UK officials knew Pakistan was directly aiding it, but continued to arm the government in Islamabad. British policy aided Osama Bin Laden who was then setting up his terrorist infrastructure in Afghanistan. In October 1996, UK prime minister John […]

Business over apartheid: When Thatcher met Mandela

by Mark Curtis, Declassified UK, 31 May 2023 As soon as Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years, and with apartheid still in place, UK officials were lobbying him for their business interests in South Africa, declassified files show. British officials feared Nelson Mandela would nationalise South Africa’s economy and lobbied him to […]

James Cleverly: The UK’s dictatorships man

by Mark Curtis, Declassified UK, 16 May 2023 The foreign secretary claims his role is ‘defending democracy and freedom’ around the world. In fact, he’s Whitehall’s point man for backing several of the world’s most repressive regimes, as his own tweets show. When James Cleverly was reappointed foreign secretary last October, he tweeted he was “honoured” to […]

David Lammy: Washington’s man in Labour

by Mark Curtis, Declassified UK, 12 May 2023 The likely future foreign secretary has been attending elite gatherings in the US while courting MI6 and displaying his establishment credentials on Labour’s foreign and military policy, which is likely to be near-identical to the current government. “If I become foreign secretary I will not hide my […]

How Tony Blair sealed UK relations with Egypt’s dictatorship

by Mark Curtis, Declassified UK, 20 April 2023 Tony Blair’s visit to Egypt in April 1998 was his first trip to the Middle East since being elected prime minister the previous year.  In Cairo, Blair promoted British arms exports, attended the signing ceremony of a new energy deal with British Gas and announced the creation […]

Blair misled parliament over 1998 Iraq bombing, files show

by Mark Curtis, Declassified UK, 17 April 2023 Declassified documents from 1998, when the UK and US bombed Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, show Tony Blair was consistently informed military action was unlawful without UN authorisation. But he told parliament Britain had “the proper legal authority”. Tony Blair and his closest advisers were consistently informed by British […]