POLITICAL HISTORY OF IRAN
- 1908: Oil is discovered in Persia.
- 1914: Russian, British, and German troops occupy the country during WWI.
- 1935: Reza Shah had the official name of the country changed from Persia to Iran.
- 1941: During WWII, Reza Shah is forced by the Allies to grant the throne to his son, Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi due to his alleged pro-German sentiments.
- 1951, the Majlis (Parliament of Iran) named Mohammad Mossadegh as new prime minister by a vote of 79–12, who shortly after nationalized the British-owned oil industry (see Abadan Crisis). Mossadegh was opposed by the Shah who feared a resulting oil embargo imposed by the West would leave Iran in economic ruin. The Shah flees Iran.
- 1951: Prime Minister Mosadegh nationalizes Iran’s oil industry.
- 1953: With British and U.S. help, Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi returns to Iran via CIA’s Operation Ajax.
- 1953-1979: Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi makes Iran a rentier state (economy based on the selling of some commodity) based on oil and import substitution industrialization (focus on capital-intensive industry) which led to the neglect of agriculture and small-scale production.
The 1953 Iranian coup d’état was the first time the U.S. used the CIA to overthrow a democratically elected, civil government. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, encouraged by his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, a defender of transnational corporate power, agreed to send the Central Intelligence Agency in to depose Mossadegh ending democracy in Iran.
The operation – code name “Operation Ajax” – took less than a month in the summer of 1953. Continue reading