Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Iran: The Overthrow of Mossadegh

In 1953 the United States as requested by the British would overthrow the elected Prime Minister of Iran Mohammad Mossadegh. Mohammad Mossadegh sought to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil company principally owned by the British. The Oil company extracted oil from Iran and gave most of the profits to the British and little back to Iran. Mossadegh wanted to nationalize it let Iranians benefit from their own land and help grow their economy instead of the British economy. Great Britain and the rest of the Western world's economy relied in large part to patroleum reserves. Mossadegh threatened their economic livelihood.

"A high standard of living depended largely on the oil it extracted from Iran... required it to pay Iran just 16 percent of the money it earned from selling the country's oil." (p. 117)

 John Dulles

John Dulles was the Secretary of State under President Eisenhower. In Kinzer's overthrow he is described as a man shaped by privileged upbringing, a career working with the worlds richest corporations and his religion. He was the number one corporate lawyer for big multinational corporations. He believed in the rights of corporations and the special obligation for those living the good way to bring it towards others and fight the evils of communism. He is described as being confrontational, stubborn, arrogant and hard to persuade. He would partly lead the way to the overthrow of Mossadegh.   

After WW2 nationalism and anti-colonialism was spreading in the world. Iran elected Mossadegh in 1951 who according to Kinzer sought to expel the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and nationalize the oil industry and use it to develop Iran. The parliament voted to nationalize the industry and it was celebrated in Iran. The British obviously were opposed. Mossadegh pointed out that the British recently nationalized their coal and steel industries and was just trying to do what his country what they did for themselves. The British took action to oppose it including sabotaging their own equipment to prove Iran needed them and eventually trying to overthrow him.                                                                                                         Zahedi
The British being unsuccessful proposed the U.S. under Eisenhower overthrow Mossadegh. The U.S. started taking action first by claiming Mossadegh was bringing communism to Iran. However this was not true. Dulles would enlist the CIA which had mainly been used for intelligence gathering to help overthrow the government. The US would bride officials to distance themselves from Mossadegh and pay journalists to create distrust of him and hire hugs to riot in the streets to crate disorder.

"The Americans would spend $150,000 to bribe journalists, editors Islamic preachers, and other opinion leaders to "create, extend and enhance public hostility and distrust and fear of Mossadegh and his government." (p. 123)

In Iran and the U.S. he would be referred to as a dictator and a communist and manufactured unrest came across Iran. The operation to overthrow him was called Operation Ajax. They would order the Shah of Iran to sign royal decrees known as firmans to dismiss him from office and appoint General Zahedi as Prime Minister.

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