By: Mir M.Hosseini
Ten years after first attempts by American companies to enter the Iranian petroleum market, as they were challenged by Britain and Russia; the Sinclair Company was forced to leave Iran for good. In 1933, a new contract with the British South Oil company limited the operation domain of that company to 100,000 square Miles and exclusive rights to construction of pipelines to the Persian Gulf were taken back; thus opening the way for a subdivision of the American Seaboard company to gain exploration rights to East and Northeast oil reserves of Iran.
A letter sent by the Charge d'Affaires in Iran to the US Secretary of State on Jan, 21, 1937, expressed worries about possible US publications that could jeopardize the accepted concessions before ratification by Parliament representatives adding that Reza Shah was sensitive to printed words, obviously referring to a recent recall of the Iranian Minister at Paris after a French press articles mocked the word Shah on Jan, 18, 1937.
The deal with this company which was founded as American-Iranian or Amiranian Oil Company for a period of sixty years was ratified by the parliament on Feb, 2, 1937. Amiranian Co. also gained non-exclusive rights to construct pipelines to the Persian Gulf by Iranian Pipeline Company operating under Seaboard Co. However, after doing some research in the region, Amiranian Co. informed the Iranian government that it was terminating the contract.
On Aug, 30, 1941 while occupying the Iranian soil, the Soviets sent a note to Iran asking permission to oil exploration in the Khurian Desert referencing the 1921 Iran-USSR agreement. The Iranian government in a letter on Sep, 1 replied that there was no item related to Khurian Oil in that agreement but added that Iranians were ready to negotiate if Soviets were willing to discuss an agreement on that issue. This was an indication of Iranians better understanding of International politics and trade rules. Until 1946, the USSR used all means to get a concession from the Iranian government under the name North Oil which was in fact a pretext for an unwanted Soviet presence that would lead to separation of Northern provinces from Iran.