Iran Essay

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The United States and Iran (then Persia) relations began in the late 1800’s. King Nasser-al-Din Shah sent an ambassador to Washington D.C. although Americans had been traveling to Iran since the mid 1800’s (1,1). From the late 1800’s till World War II, relations were very friendly and many of the representatives for Iran saw the United States as a “third force” in there drive to break free from the British and Russian dominance in Persian affairs (1,1). The United States relations with Iran led was very costly as it led to many highly appointed officials to be killed by those affiliated with the British and Russian influence (1,1). Although relationships with the United States were very friendly for more than half a century, many changes were made in Iran that led to a turning point in Iran’s and United States’ relationship (1,1).

In 1950 Ali Razmara becomes prime minister, who was very sympathetic to the West (9,1). Less than 9 months later he is assassinated and on April 28, 1951 the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) appointed the nationalist, Muhammad Mossedeq the prime minister (3,2). Mossedeq began his reign by enforcing the Oil Nationalization Act which was backed up by the Iranian Parliament (9,1). The Oil Nationalization Act was to nationalize the oil industry, which was then controlled by Britain (3,2). Britain was against the Mossedeq reign and tried to influence the United States to take action but the United States was not persuaded under the Truman administration (5,3). The British government announced that it would not allow Mossedeq government to export any oil produced in the factories formerly controlled by the British (9,3). Britain put up a blockade to stop any oil from leaving Iran. In the process it caused Mossedeq’s economy to go from a profit of over $100 million to debt of $10 million Mossedeq to gain power because of his stands for the common people (9,2). Mossedeq moved to limit foreign interests in Iran and limit the power of the shah (9,2). The nationalist leader was receiving a lot of support from the Tudeh party (communist) (5,3). Mossedeq was voted a second term as the Prime Minster by the Majlis, he quickly resigns because the Shah would not grant him full control of the military and Ministry of War (9,2).

He was then reappointed and granted full control of the military by the shah because of the pressure by the Iran Parliament and people (9,2). Mossedeq took advantage of his popularity and convinced the parliament to increase his powers and appoint Ayatollah Kashani, followed by the radical Muslims and Tudeh Party, as the house speaker (9,3). Mossadeq began to enforce more socialist reforms by abolishing Iran’s feudal agriculture sector and replacing it with a system of collective farming and government land ownership (9,2).In 1953 under Eisenhower, The United States joined Britain in overthrowing Mossadeq because the United States was worried that his nationalist beliefs would eventual change into a communist takeover (3,2). At first the brilliant strategy, called Operation Ajax, seemed to fail and the Shah fled the country (3,2). But after help from the CIA and British intelligence services Mosseadeq is defeated (9,3). The Shah retakes the power assuring the support of Western oil interest, ending the threat of a communist expansion, and reopens talks with Britain about oil agreements (8,1). The leader of Operation Ajax, General Fazlollah Zahedi, becomes prime minister (3,2). The United States immediate helped out the struggling economy of Zahedi’s government by giving them $45 million (8,1).

“In 1955, Iran joined the Baghdad Pact, it brought together “northern tier” countries of Iraq, Turkey, and Pakistan in an alliance that included Britain, with the United States serving as a supporter of the pact but not a full member”(8,1) (later renamed the Central Treaty Organization after Iraq’s withdrawal in 1958). With the regional turmoil, the relationships with Soviet Union not very...
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