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Doomed to Fail : A Century of Oil, Incompetence, and Ignorance in the Middle East - Part I Iran

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posted on Jan, 29 2011 @ 07:50 PM
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Iran From Anglo Persian to the Rise of Mohammad Mosaddegh.
 


Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana

 


As events unfold in what many perceived as one of our most stable allies in the Middle East, one has to wonder how we got to this point yet again. What advice would the ghost of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi have for embattled Muhammad Hosni Mubarak? How could we (The West) fail YET again and perhaps set in motion the Islamic Republic of Egypt some 32 years after precipitating the same result in Iran? How could we supply unconditional support to another dictator, strongman, (whatever the euphemism du jur) all the while turning a blind eye to the corruption, brutality, and hubris such leaders all seem to posses.

To understand the events in Egypt we need to take a hard look at almost a century of failed United Kingdom and United States policies in the Middle East with a particular focus on Persia and as it was later known, Iran.

The Beginning

“The Persian monarchy itself was an old, long mismanaged estate, ready to be knocked down at once to whatever foreign power bid the highest” - Sir Arthur Hardinge, British Minister (1)

Such was the assessment of Hardinge, the son of a British General, when evaluating the state of the Persian monarchy in 1900. Hardinge, concerned by Imperial Russia’s aggressive expansion into Central Asia, sought to actively curb it. He was a strong proponent of William D’Arcy’ attempt to extract an oil concession from the Persian Shah in 190. This concession would eventually after years of exploration become the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (The forefather of BP). On the eve of the First World War, the British government would invest over 2 million pounds in the venture and thus own a controlling share of Anglo-Persian.

World War I was the first global conflict that used petroleum to power the efforts on both sides. The use of the airplane, the invention fo the tank, mechanized land forces and supply, and of course the epic struggle at sea (which saw both oil and coal powered vessels) dramatically underscored the importance of securing supplies. These supplies for most of the allies war efforts had come from the United States. With 335 million barrels of oil produced in 1917 American production accounted for 67% of the total world output (2). Of this almost a quarter went to Europe for the war effort.

Recognizing the importance of oil supplies countries began scrambling to carve up the Middle East to protect their supplies. British Prime Minister Lloyd George and French Premier George Clemenceau met just days after the Armistice and began the first in a series of deals intended to cave the region into areas of influence. The British coveted the area known as Mesopotamia (now modern Iraq) and in turn for France giving up its claim for Mosul, would recognize their control over Syria. (3) Not to be excluded the United States also became more aggressive in the region as well.

The Rise of the Pahlavi Dynasty

By 1925, a new monarch had taken control of Persia. Weakened by perpetual Russian (now under the firm grip of Communism) and British occupation, Reza Shah Pahlavi overthrew the Qajar Dynasty and installed himself as the new Shah. en.wikipedia.org...
The new King embarked upon a modernization plan for Persia. In a situation that his son decades later would find himself in, the poorly planned and implemented reforms caused intense friction within Persian society. Particularly alienated was the clergy who’s opposition and subsequent suppression would set in motion a series of events that lead to the rise of Shia fundamentalism in Iran (By 1935 The Shah had decreed that the country would be referred to as Iran). By 1932 Iran was a full fledged oil state with the majority of its revenue derived from the concession with Anglo-Persian. (4). However, this also coincided with a huge glut in oil which resulted in a vast decrease in royalties. On November 16, 1932 he announced he was unilaterally cancelling Anglo-Persian’s oil concession. The subject of royalties and profit sharing had been the subject of negotiations between the countries for several years but no agreement had been reached. No doubt this announcement was intended to send a message. The Shah was also sending a message to the British government regarding conflicting claims over Bahrain. (5) Eventually by April of 1933 a new deal was reached. The Iranian government would receive greater royalties, more influence, and profit sharing. By 1939 the onset of World War II and Reza Shah’s preference for using German workers resulted in an invasion by both British and Soviet forces to “secure” a supply route. Reza Shah was arrested and forced into exile. en.wikipedia.org... Reza Shah would die in 1944 in South Africa . The invading forces (also including the United States assumed total control of Iran’s oil resources. They did permit the son of Reza Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, to assume the throne.

The Rise of Mohammad Mosaddegh.

In the post World War II era Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was seen as been pressured by multiple sides. Islamic fundamentalist led by Ayatollah Seyed Kashani were on one side and the Pro Soviet, Pro Communist Tudeh party on the other. The middle was a mass of competing interests all keen on carving out their own power base and relentless foreign involvement and interference. Despite all of this chaos there was one topic that would unify the people: A hatred of the British. This hatred extended to the point that droughts and crop failures were blamed on them and any politician was obligated to accuse his opposition of being a British agent. (6) This “hatred” was fueled by the situation at Anglo-Iranian. Between 1945 and 1950 the company posted a profit of over 250 million pounds. By comparison, the royalties paid to the Iran amounted to only 90. (7). From this chaos and turmoil emerged Mohammad Mosaddegh.

Mohammad Mosaddegh had been one of the voices of opposition to Reza Shah’s attempt to consolidate power. From the 1920's onward he would be periodically detained and arrested by the Shah for this opposition. When Reza Shah was deposed in 1941 he began to move back into the political arena. His lengthy history of opposition quickly made him a man of significant support and influence. Mosaddegh was not without his eccentricities. He often spend the day in pajamas and had a habit of greeting foreign diplomats while lying in bed. In the late 1940's Mosaddegh was instrumental in founding the National Front Of Iran. This opposition party not only opposed to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi , but also to oppose British rule and interference in the country. The Americans at first believed that Mosaddegh could be used to forestall Soviet advances into Iran (However, that opinion would change following intense pressure from the British). Indeed Iran was one of the first Cold War battlefront’s between the two superpowers. The Shah placed on the throne with the assent of the Americans, British, and the Soviets was increasingly being marginalized in favor of the Mohammad Mosaddegh and his National Front party. In March 1951, The National Front achieved its goal and nationalized Anglo Iranian creating the National Iranian Oil Company.

 

In part two we will take a close look at the fall of Mosaddegh, Operation Ajax (The CIA backed coup) that installed The Shah back in power, The rise of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the hostage crisis, and the Iran Iraq war.



(1) The Prize, The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, Daniel Yergin, 1992 pg. 136
(2) The Prize, The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, Daniel Yergin, 1992 pg. 178
(3) The Prize, The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, Daniel Yergin, 1992 pg. 184
(4) The Prize, The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, Daniel Yergin, 1992 pg. 269
(5) The Prize, The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, Daniel Yergin, 1992 pg. 271
(6) The Prize, The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, Daniel Yergin, 1992 pg. 451
(7) The Prize, The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, Daniel Yergin, 1992 pg. 452

other referecnes

The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations, James Bill
Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq War, Robert Jervins
Crisis and Crossfire: The United States and the Middle East Since 1945, Peter Hahn
A Cubic Mile of Oil: Realities and Options for Averting the Looming Global Energy Crisis, Edwin Kinderman et al.
edit on 1/29/11 by FredT because: Changed title to fit

edit on 1/29/11 by FredT because: (no reason given)

edit on 1/29/11 by FredT because: (no reason given)

edit on 1/29/11 by FredT because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 29 2011 @ 08:04 PM
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reply to post by FredT
 


You do know that almost the same things happened in Central and South America. All these places have been victims of colonialism and now globalism. Western Governments used assassination to eliminate duly elected officials all over the globe in favor of despotic regimes that reduced the average citizen to a slave to the Western world.

To keep certain parts of the world in poverty and to keep certain parts of the world in control.



posted on Jan, 29 2011 @ 08:29 PM
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...well done, fred, and very much needed if we are to better understand whats really happening over there... can hardly wait for your next section... thx...



posted on Jan, 29 2011 @ 08:55 PM
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S & F

Great start.
Will you be touching on some of the other lesser known but highly contested history and agreements from that period of the region as well? This period in the Middle East is not very well known. The subject of Palestine/Israel are closely tied to the topic.


Emir Faisal's party at Versailles, during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. At the center, from left to right:Rustum Haidar, Nuri as-Said, Prince Faisal, Captain Pisani (behind Feisal), T.E. Lawrence, Faisal's slave (name unknown), Captain Tahsin Qadri


How France sank the original Mideast peace


Every day politicians and pundits talk of another chance at Middle East peace missed, delayed or subverted. The focus is always on Palestinians and Israelis as the keystone to a global settlement with the West and across the region. But in the original peace arrangement between the Jews, Arabs and the Western powers, it was not settlements and Jerusalem that were at the heart of the problem. In fact, the Arabs originally agreed to a Jewish state complete with massive Jewish immigration. For Arabs, the prize was not Palestine, it was Syria.
Zionist Organization...

This is the story of how the original Middle East peace plan crafted among all sides in the aftermath of World War I was subverted - not by Jews or Zionists, but by the French.

It begins at the Paris Peace Conference in January 1919, in a flag-bedecked, battle-scarred but victorious Paris. There, the great top-hatted Allied men of vision and illusion gathered to remake the world and invent the post-Ottoman Middle East. At those fateful meetings, the Arabs and Jews formally agreed to mutually endorse both their national aspirations and live in peace.



British Mandate for Palestine

In 1916, Britain and France concluded the Sykes–Picot Agreement, which proposed to divide the Middle East between them into spheres of influence, with "Palestine" as an international enclave. (Pappé 1994, p. 3)

The British made two potentially conflicting promises regarding the territory it was expecting to acquire.[7] Britain had promised Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, through T. E. Lawrence, independence for an Arab country covering most of the Arab Middle East in exchange for his support, while also promising to create and foster a Jewish national home in Palestine in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in return for Jewish support.




Map showing boundaries of the proposed Jewish state, as outlined by the Zionist representatives at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, superimposed on modern boundaries


edit on 29-1-2011 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2011 @ 09:02 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Your post says France messed it up but then I read this..

The British made two potentially conflicting promises regarding the territory it was expecting to acquire.[7] Britain had promised Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, through T. E. Lawrence, independence for an Arab country covering most of the Arab Middle East in exchange for his support, while also promising to create and foster a Jewish national home in Palestine in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in return for Jewish support.


Seems everyone were doing deals they could never keep..
Normal Governments, what a mess.......



posted on Jan, 29 2011 @ 09:04 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 



Map showing boundaries of the proposed Jewish state, as outlined by the Zionist representatives at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, superimposed on modern boundaries

They were giving them parts of Jordon and Lebanon too???



posted on Jan, 29 2011 @ 09:09 PM
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reply to post by backinblack
 



Saudi Arabia was going to receive a Lions share and could have cared less about Palestine at the time. They had their eyes set on the Jordanian area....


Long and little known history of the region.




posted on Jan, 29 2011 @ 09:11 PM
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Originally posted by backinblack
reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Your post says France messed it up but then I read this..



I've posted a couple of perspectives on the topic. Also notice no matter who said what to whom the Jews were offered the territory back in 1919...



posted on Jan, 29 2011 @ 09:12 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
reply to post by backinblack
 



Saudi Arabia was going to receive a Lions share and could have cared less about Palestine at the time. They had their eyes set on the Jordanian area....


Long and little known history of the region.



We live in a corrupt world and only hear half the truth..
Obviously I have a lot to learn about the ME..
Too may hands in the cookie jar is what I'm getting..



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 04:23 AM
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reply to post by backinblack
 


My thoughts exactly. Even historians now a days are all trying to rewrite history through their political perception..

Even this little tidbit of history that Slayer brought us, who knows what facts might be lacking.



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 04:45 AM
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Originally posted by Eliad
reply to post by backinblack
 


My thoughts exactly. Even historians now a days are all trying to rewrite history through their political perception.


However, total fabrications are amazingly difficult, when one is writing a history book of any sort; any text worth reading is going to have notes, references, bibliographies, and such. The author can present the facts and then offer an interpretation, but a total editorialist fake is hard to do in a qualuty book. What little is squeezed out is almost instantly countered by the squeezings of people on the opposite end of things.

It's a long study, to be sure, but by taking all the sources together, you can get a pretty constant narrative. Of course, this narrative is completely the opposite of what most Americans get in the news.


Even this little tidbit of history that Slayer brought us, who knows what facts might be lacking.


Considering that he delivered about two paragraphs of a library's contents? There's a lot unsaid there. But what he provided was factually correct.



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
S & F

Great start.
Will you be touching on some of the other lesser known but highly contested history and agreements from that period of the region as well? This period in the Middle East is not very well known. The subject of


That may be a bit down the road and there are tons of side deals agreements etc in every facet of the ME. This series was intended to draw parrallels with Iran, iraq, and Egypt in terms of the West backing leaders, toppling others and ALWAYS with a poor result. In Iran we have the Shah and Operation Ajax, Egypt we have Nasser etc. and its this ongoin pattern that interests me.



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by FredT
 


Thank you...

I appreciate the work you have done and look forward to your next installments. I feel this is a very important thread covering a very important topic. Hopefully it will be received well.

I have been fascinated with the history of the region and how it has influenced and set forth the pattern for the modern world/present day situation. In my younger years I had a friend who was a photographer for one of the local papers in Los Angeles, He went to cover some local Iranians protesting at the residency of the Shah and his family after they went into exhile here in the US. Being completely unaware of the contributing factors I went along for the ride out of morbid curiosity. I was fairly ignorant in my younger years of the history behind the protests and the soon to follow Embassy hostage situation.

The protesters were very passionately animated and disgusted over his arrival. Suffice it to say things got ugly fast. My friends car as well as a few other vehicles took the brunt of their anger. The next day my friend found himself shopping for a replacement rear window. I can honestly say witnessing this first hand set me on the path of research into the whole debuckle and the greater history of the region.

Also I noticed you briefly touched on the Cold War angle and on how Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh arrived on the scene. Will you be going into more detail about the two in your next installments?



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 12:57 PM
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Part II

www.abovetopsecret.com...

I kept it to just Operation Ajax to keep the size down.

Enjoy



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Im not sure about the cold or alot of detail at this time but I have always been facinated by the cold war battlefronts that history forgot and may explore this at a later time. There is a huge backstory that I did not want to delve into less it distracts from the issue of Egypt that I hope to head towards. The Soviets post WWII controlled the Northern part of the country and had to be forced out by the determined US and British. it represents one of the early defeats for the Soviets.



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 01:09 PM
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reply to post by FredT
 


Fair enough.


I'm reading your latest thread. Fascinating stuff, well worth the time to read....



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 01:14 PM
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Excellent. S+F

Essential background for whats going on now. Please continue the thread.



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 04:06 PM
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Thank you for all the time and effort you have put in to bring us all this information. lt helps to know the history of the middle east. Please continue to inform us. Peace starchild.



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


l never knew the jews were offered that territory in 1919, thanks for that info slayer. Your hangout looks like a little bit of heaven by the way. Peace star.



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by TheWalkingFox
 


You'd be surprised how easy it is to fabricate "historical facts" and make them wide known.. This forum shows this perfectly.
What's even easier is selecting a couple of facts that correlate with your world view and passing them off as "the complete truth", suggesting that there isn't much more to the story.
The thing I've noticed is that people would often take to whatever fits their world view, whether or not they have all the facts, and most of the time regardless of contradicting facts.

In regards to Slayer's info- What he provided us may have been completely true, but there might be much more to the story, what we're getting is that France is an evil colonialist nation, but other facts may suggest it was the Jews' fault for it not working, or the Brits' fault, or the Arabs', or whoever.

Non the less it's interesting information, and good to know.



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