The Problems With Coup 53


Watch this short video to hear how Coup 53 peddles false information about the End of Empire: Iran programme and its makers.

Darbyshire research interview
Meade film transcript

Humphry Trevelyan

Stephen Dorril


Heda Matin-Daftary





Excerpt from the original 1985 Observer Article
















Helena Kennedy QC

The Issues in a Nutshell
Read a summary of our issues with the Amirani Media’s film ‘Coup 53’


The Darbyshire Transcript – A Research Interview
Read about the difference between our audio-recorded research interviews, and our film transcripts here.


Our Film Transcripts – Which Look Very Different
Contrast the Darbyshire research transcript with an End of Empire film transcript such as this transcript of a  filmed interview with CIA operative Stephen Meade.  Professionally typed , double spaced with roll numbers. 


How Coup 53’s Witnesses Were Set Up:

1. The Cameraman
Cameraman Humphry Trevelyan has described how he was assured by Amirani that he had filmed Darbyshire. He has requested Coup 53 to remove his contribution from the film. Read his letter here.

2. The MI6 Expert Witness Stephen Dorril
Dorril has denounced the film as “essentially fraudulent”. He too was told categorically by Amirani that the Darbyshire transcript was of a filmed interview. Which is why he says in Coup 53 that the government would have intervened. “MI6 agents never went on camera in 1983”. Read his letter here.

3. The Consultant – Heda Matin-Daftary
We dispute the statement from the End of Empire Iran consultant who describes, second hand, a screening which he did not attend. He claims we told him that Darbyshire had attended  the screening and asked to be removed from the film. We categorically deny this. When challenged, Amirani dated this screening to late 1983/ early 1984.  However editing on the Iran film did not begin till Autumn 1984.  Read more here about the shaky basis of Coup 53’s false claims


How Coup 53 Misuses the Observer
Our Darbyshire research transcript was leaked to the Observer in 1985 . The article published the day before transmission of End of Empire: Iran, makes it completely clear that the unnamed MI6 agent had declined to be filmed and is not in the film.  Coup 53 fails to state this. Instead the hazy memory of reporter Nigel Hawkes is used to back up the bogus conspiracy theory that Darbyshire had been filmed.  Read a full transcript of the Observer article, or view the original here.


How Coup 53 Fakes the Facts
Coup 53 alleges that we, End of Empire, filmed an interview with MI6 agent Norman Darbyshire (we did not), that we colluded with government to censor it, and that we continue to engage in a cover-up, as Walter Murch has asserted on several public occasions. Read how they justified faking the facts here.


How Coup 53 Dumps on End of Empire Iran
In suggesting that End of Empire filmed Darbyshire and then removed his interview under government pressure,  Coup 53 strongly implies that our programme failed to hold Britain accountable for the overthrow of Mossadegh. The contrary is the case. End of Empire: Iran revealed in detail how MI6 and British officials conspired to remove Mossadegh.  Watch our film here.


Why Coup 53’s Fake Facts Must Not Go Unchallenged
Helena Kennedy QC writes, “We are living in a climate of misinformation and disinformation and untruths. It is absolutely vital that we do not collude in distortion to add excitement to a film which is about telling historic truth. That is why this matters. It is not about ego or competing documentaries. It is about trying to restore sanity to a world being destroyed by lies and conspiracy theories.”


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