All the Shah's Men

Topics: Iran, United States, Iranian peoples Pages: 6 (2115 words) Published: April 18, 2005
In the novel All The Shah's Men we are introduced to Iran, and the many struggles and hardships associated with the history of this troubled country. The Iranian coup is discussed in depth throughout the novel, and whether the Untied States made the right decision to enter into Iran and provide assistance with the British. If I were to travel back to 1952 and take a position in the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) for the sole purpose of examining the American Foreign Intelligence, I would have to conclude that the United States should have examined their options more thoroughly, and decided not to intervene with Iran and Mossadegh. I have taken this position after great analysis, which is something that Eisenhower and his staff never did. By discussing the history of Iran, the Anglo-Iranian oil company, and Document NSC-68 I will try to prove once and for all that going through with the coup in Iran was a terrible mistake made by the United States.

There were many aspects concerning the history of Iran that showed that the coup was a bad idea. The role of religion played a very influential part in the history of Iran. Many people living in Iran still to this day believe in the Zoroastrian religion. The beliefs associated with this religion may account for many of the uprisings and political protests aimed at the Shah and his power. This religion taught Iranians that they "have an inalienable right to enlightened leadership and that the duty of subjects is not simply to obey wise kings but also to rise up against those who are wicked" (20). Many thought that the Shah was a terrible leader, and that he would continue to sell out his country to foreigners for the right amount of money. I believe that Mossadegh also believed this, and that he used this Zoroastrian belief to do so. The Shah did not have farr, because he did not act or behave morally. Even Shiism, which came about long after the religion of Zoroastrian, believes that rulers may hold the power of a country only as long as they are just. By looking over the history of Iranian religion, this alone should have set of alarms in the government that this coup may not be the right way to get Mossadegh out of power.

Not only did the religious history play a large role in Iran's beliefs but also foreign invaders have been imposing their power on the Iranian region for thousands of years. Iran's strong hatred towards foreigners began around 626A.D. after the passing of their greatest leaders, Cyrus and Darius. Iran was now unprotected, and a new power came into being. The Arabs invaded and the quality of life changed. "People fell into poverty as the greedy court imposed ever-increasing taxes. Tyranny tore apart the social contract between ruler and ruled that Zoroastrian doctrine holds to be the basis of organized life" (21). The Iranian people couldn't survive with a ruler who had no sympathy or respect for them. Their life was being over run by foreigners. This type of suffering also occurred in 1722 with the Afghan tribesmen and yet again during the late eighteenth century and lasted until 1925. The Qajars, a Turkic tribe that was established near the Caspian Sea, conquered Iran this time. The kings who ruled under the Qajar Empire also were mainly responsible for the country's poverty and resistance to modernity. The only difference between the Qajars and the Arabs is that now the people of Iran were not going to sit back and let these kings give foreigner powers the right to their country. The Qajars had "lost their right to rule, their farr. Armed with Shiite principle that endows the ordinary citizen with inherent power to overthrow despotism…Iranians rebelled in a way their forefathers never had" (28). Although the British and Russia never actually invaded Iran, I believe that the pull that they had on the country through all of their property, and industry that they owned including people (who they could influence) in some ways...
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