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Consider the Iranian Interference History
When I read history I always imagine how I would feel had I been blogging during the time about which I’m reading. For example, it was not THAT long ago that Texas belonged to Mexico . The Texas Revolution
was fought from October 2, 1835 to April 21, 1836 . I wonder, if I had been a Mexican citizen in say 1901 would I feel the state of Texas should be returned to Mexico ? Why wouldn’t I? The land would have been taken from the sovereign nation of Mexico only 65 years before. Remember that Alsace-Lorraine
was in dispute by France and Germany for many years and there is a history of war over possession of this coal rich area of land.
Historic events may exceed the time of an individual, yet the collective memory of a nation may remember foreign interference and political wrongs for many generations. Part of the problem in Iran is a reaction of their people to a long history of foreign interference and criminal acts against their nation. Consider the following Iranian Historic Timeline:
1. The Iranian ruler Karim Khan, in 1763, granted the British East Indian Company the right to build a base and a trading post at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf . It may be hard for us to realize it now, but in those days The British East Indian Company was like the oil industry of today. This act falls into that “give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile” situation. This foothold of the British East Indian Company leads to:
2. In 1795 the British help a Turkish tribe to claim the throne of Persia ; In exchange, the Qajar family literally handed Iran to Britain . Now the big business of Great Britain no longer had to ask permission to exploit the commercial opportunities they found in Iran. This is foreign intervention.
3. There was a Persian-Russian war in Georgia in 1804 and at the end of that conflict, Russians, because they were winners, they forced the Iranians to cede all of their lands in the Caucasus and Russia also forced Iran to give up the right to maintain any naval forces in Caspian Sea. This is foreign intervention.
4. British envoys signed a protectorate agreement with Iran called the Definitive Treaty of 1814 pledging British support for Persia in return for Persian promises that no other foreign troops would be allowed into Iran . The treaty also had a stipulation that stated that only British officers would be allowed to train the Persian army. The results of this is the early steps of colonialism, or, at the very least, this treaty made Iran a Pawn in the hands of Great Britain.
5. The Treaty of Turkmanchai of 1828 forced Persia to grant economic concessions and extraterritorial privileges to Russian citizens and saddled the Shah’s government with enormous war reparations.
6. Then there was the 1907 Anglo-Russian Agreement divided Iran between Russia and Britain . Russia and Britain granted each other complete rights to sign agreements and to apportion revenues from the Iranian government customs, its postal and telegraph services, and its fisheries, to pay off Persian loans to their banks.
7. The British sign a secret treaty with Russian ally in 1915 giving Britain control of the formerly neutral band of territory in central Iran where the new oil fields were located. Foreign intervention for oil? This can’t be good.
8. By WWI’s end (1918) Iran had become a bloody battleground. Northern Iran had been the country’s breadbasket. The farmland of Northern Iran was trampled and made un-tillable because of the acts of invading armies. The peasants who farmed the fields were forced to serve in the armies and so the shortages of food in Iran grew critical. Irrigation works that required careful upkeep were destroyed. Cultivated areas and livestock were pillaged and left to rot. What followed was a famine that killed as many as 2 million Iranians out of a total population of 10 million (this works out to be about 20% of the population). By the end of World War I the only clear governing power of Iran was Britain
9. In 1919 there was an Anglo-Persian Agreement which made Iran a British protectorate and this gave Britain the exclusive rights to provide all expert advisors to Iran, to make decisions on all officers and to be the sole supplier of the Army, to build railroads and other infrastructure, and to develop a joint committee to revise the Persian tariff system. In return, Britain agreed to recognize Persian sovereignty and territorial integrity. Although the Iranians did not ratify the treaty, the British ignored this fact and simply acted as if the treaty had been ratified, taking over the Iranian Army, imposing tariff law giving themselves Iranian imports at very favorable rates.
10. In 1927 the Reza Shah tried to get a new oil deal with British but his own Parliament scuttled his efforts because it was rigged by the British.
11. In 1932 the Reza Shah unilaterally canceled the Anglo-Persian Oil Company’s contract because it was bilking Iran . The original concession was 85:15% split with Iran getting the 15%, but even this obscene arrangement was not good enough for the British. The British used creative accounting to swindle the remaining amount of oil profit from the Iranians
12. In 1939, with the beginning of WWII, Reza Shah declared Iran a neutral country. This was a smart move by a weak country, however, in 1941, without warning, Russian and British forces invaded the country, the British Air Force bombed Iran’s military targets in Ahvaz, Bandar Shapur, and Korramshahr, NO BOMBS landed on any petroleum plants; while the Russian Air Force bombed Tabriz, Ghazvin, Rasht, and Fezajeh. Reza Shah had tried to contact British government but they did not reply. After this British Russian invasion, Reza Shah was forced into exile under the false pretext that he is a Nazi sympathizer and he was harboring German Nazis. The truth was that the Reza Shah distrusted Hitler and was deeply suspicious of Germany’s intent. Once Reza Shah was ousted the British and Russians occupied Iran and rigged elections to Parliament.
13. The US CIA , in 1953 orchestrated the Iran coup, they worked directly with royalist Iranian military officers, they handpicked the prime minister’s replacement, sent a stream of envoys to bolster the shah's courage, directed a campaign of bombings by Iranians posing as members of the Communist Party, and planted articles and editorial cartoons in newspapers.
14. The 1979 Iranian takeover of the US Embassy has its roots in the 1953 CIA coup but the scales were tipped when, on New Year's Day 1979, President Jimmy Carter angered anti-Shah Iranians when he was seen on television toasting to the Shah, declaring how beloved the Shah was by his people. The Shah was a US stooge, and a brutally repressive dictator.
After all this, is it any wonder that the Iranian people are defensive and suspicious of the rest of the world? Put yourself in their place, and imagine how you would feel if you lived in a country that had a similar history of foreign intervention and oppression.
Article submitted Friday, June 26, 2009 & read 1560 times.
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