The Iranian History 1951 AD

 


Shah Endorses Nationalization Of Oil

Jan, 5, 1951 AD

Workers of NIOC trying hard to construct Iranian oil pipeline.After withdrawal of the British workers in the fall of 1951, Iranians felt confident that they could easily run the industry and then quickly train their own nationals to replace them.On May, 1, 1951 Shah reluctantly signed the law revoking Anglo-Iranian Concession and establishing the National Iranian Oil Company. The law had been approved by Majlis on Apr, 28, 1951 and Dr. Mosaddegh was elected as Prime Minister.
After assassination of Prime Minister Razmara by Fada'iyan-e Islam on March, 7, 1951, Majlis rejected Shah's choice for successor and three weeks later voted for Hossein Ala as new PM.
The AIOC withdrew its management from Iran, and organized an effective worldwide embargo of Iranian oil. The British government, which owned the AIOC, contested the nationalization at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, but its complaint was dismissed.
By spring of 1953, incoming US President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to organize a coup against the Mosaddegh government, known as the 1953 Iranian coup d'tat. In August 1953, the coup brought pro-Western general Fazlollah Zahedi as the new PM, along with the return of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi from his brief exile in Italy to Iran. The anti-Mosaddegh plan was orchestrated under the code-name Operation TP-Ajax by CIA, and Operation Boot by SIS (MI6).
In 1954, the AIOC became the British Petroleum Company. The return of the shah did not mean that British Petroleum would be able to monopolize Iranian oil as before as Allied Pirates each wanted a share from Iran's wealth. Under pressure from United States, British Petroleum reluctantly accepted membership in a consortium of companies, founded in October 1954, to bring back Iranian oil to the international market. It was incorporated in London as a holding company called 'Iranian Oil Participants Ltd' (IOP). The founding members of IOP included British Petroleum (40%), Gulf (later Chevron, 8%), Royal Dutch Shell (14%), and Compagnie Franaise des Ptroles (later Total S.A., 6%). The four Aramco partners - Standard Oil of California (SoCal, later Chevron) - Standard Oil of New Jersey (later Exxon, then ExxonMobil) - Standard Oil Co. of New York (later Mobil, then ExxonMobil) - Texaco (later Chevron) - each held a 8% stake in the holding company.
IOP continued to operate until the Islamic Revolution in 1979 when he Consortium Agreement of 1954 and all regulations pertaining to it were annulled. The taking of power by Iranians led to the withdrawal of foreign employees from Iran's oil industry; domestic employees took full control of its affairs and despite new sanctions, embargo and several covert operations and hostile actions, Iranian people managed to stand against the colonial states; especially US and UK.
Since 1995, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has made significant oil and gas discoveries, standing for some 84-billion-barrel (1.341010 m3) of oil in place and at least 5,000 km3 of gas in place.
Iran ranks second in the world on Total hydrocarbon reserves (Combined reserves of Oil & Gas). Total hydrocarbon reserves of Iran comprising of both oil and natural gas measured in barrel of oil equivalent (boe) stands at 301.7 billion just after Saudi Arabia's 302.5 billion boe and ahead of Russia's 198.3 billion boe; Alternatively Iranian government puts the total reserve at 324 billion boe; Iran is the only country with large reserves of both gas and oil; Iran is also the only country with large hydrocarbon reserves which has the potential to massively increase its production due to its current low production levels. (Updated: Nov, 8, 2012)





Vosooghoddoleh Dies

Jan, 25, 1951 AD

Tehran Malek Museum Vosooghoddoleh Painting by KamalolmolkHossein Vosoogh or Vosooghoddoleh was the elder brother of Ghavamossaltaneh who became representative of Tehran for the first term of parliament in 1906. He later became minister of justice, then minister of foreign affairs before being appointed prime minister by Ahmad Shah. After resignation in May 1917, he served as minister of science for a short time and was chosen as prime minister again in 1918. He became known as Anglophile, when he was bribed to sign Anglo-Persian oil agreement in 1919 for which he was later forced to resign.
After the coup of Reza Shah, he was forced to pay back some of the money he took from the British.
Although he paid back some of the money he had taken from the British, for the rest of his life, he lived in disgrace and his name was associated with treason as an Anglophile overshadowing all his good qualities. On Jan, 25, 1951 he died at the age of 78 in Tehran and was buried in Qom. (Updated: Jan, 25, 2012)





Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Marries Sorayya

Feb, 12, 1951 AD

Iranian Queen SorayyaMohammad Reza Shah made his second marriage at the age of 32 with an 18 year old girl named Sorayya Esfandiari. Sorayya was born on June, 22, 1932 from an Iranian father and a German mother in Isfahan. Her entrance to the royal family coincided with Nationalization of Oil and a coup d'tat after which Shah could return to Iran. Like Shah's first wife, Sorayya could not give birth to a child and solve the long standing crown prince issue. In 1958 Sorayya went to Switzerland and finalized a divorce on March, 14 same year. Then she pursued her dream of becoming an actress and played in a movie called "Les trois visages d'une femme". Her autobiographies still sell well in Iranian bookstores. Sorayya died on Oct, 26, 2001 in Paris at the age of 69. (Updated: Feb, 17, 2008)





Demonstrations For Nationalization Of Oil

Mar, 3, 1951 AD

Iranian DemonstrationMounting protests against an unfair deal that gave Britain all rights over Iranian oil reserves led to street demonstrations on March, 3, 1950 and public gatherings of all groups of people including religious, national, and even communist movements were asking for Nationalization of Oil.
On the same day, PM Razmara appeared before Majlis oil committee warning of illegality of nationalization, of the unpredictability of British retaliation, and of the potential devastation to Iran's economy from retaliation. Four days later, in a speech, Mosaddegh expressed disdain towards Razmara and called his government illegitimate because of slave-like agreements he was trying to push. Razmara was trying to sweeten the deal by:
- A ten year nationalization Program
- Right to Iranians to examine AIOC books and determine their real share of profits
- Making oil prices in Iran equal to lowest possible
- Full information on destination of the exports
Prime Minister Razmara was assassinated by Fada'iyan-e Islam on March, 7, 1951.
Nationalization of Oil in Iran sparked many similar awakenings in the world. (Updated: Nov, 8, 2012)





PM Razmara Assassinated

Mar, 7, 1951 AD

Pahlavi era : Two friends atten Sepahbod Haji Ali Razmara's Funeral 1951. He was assassinated by Khalil Tahmasebi.Prime Minister Haj Ali Razmara came closer than any other politician to ratifying the Supplemental Oil Agreement between Iran and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). The Supplemental Agreement drew the ire of most Iranians and Majlis.
The new draft provided far less favorable terms compared to the agreement between the Standard Oil of New Jersey and the Venezuelan government, and the agreement between the Arabian-American Oil Company(ARAMCO) and the Saudi Arabian government. In addition, it gave continuous control of Iran's oil industry to a foreign company and country; the living and working conditions of its Iranian workers were extremely poor; AIOC refused to allow Iranians managerial jobs; and it denied them the right to audit its revenues.
Despite rising Anglophobia among public, the colonist attitude lingered on with AIOC offering minor improvements such as: a minimum royalty payment of 4 million pounds; reducing the area where it would be allowed to drill; and promising to train more Iranians for administrative jobs. Razmara asked AIOC to revise some of the agreement terms, the British refused and lost the golden opportunity.
The very reason General Razmara was in office was a direct result of the urgings of the British Foreign Office and the AIOC to the Shah who wanted a stronger figure than his predecessor, Prime Minister Hasanali Mansour, to ensure the success of the Supplemental Agreement. Only a military man with iron fist, they believed, would be strong enough to face down Mosaddegh and the National Front Party.
On March 7, 1951, Razmara went to a memorial service at Sepahsalar Mosque. The police opened a corridor through the inner courtyard for the Prime Minister. Khalil Tahmasebi , the assassin was waiting in the crowd. As soon as he got the chance, he fired three shots, fatally wounding Razmara. Razmara was announced dead at the hospital, he became the third Iranian Prime Minister to be assassinated.
Khalil Tahmasebi, a member of the militant Islamic group Fadayian Eslam, was arrested at the scene. Fadayian Eslam supported the demands of the National Front, which held a minority of seats in Parliament, to nationalize the assets of the British AIOC. As Prime Minister, Razmara was trying to convince the Majlis that nationalization would be unwise, and for that reason he was silenced.
At a public demonstration the following day attended by more than 8,000 Toodeh Party and National Front supporters, Fadayian Eslam distributed leaflets carrying a threat to assassinate the Shah and other government officials if the assassin, Khalil Tahmasebi, was not set free immediately. Threats were also issued against any Majlis member who opposed Nationalization of Oil.
In November 1952, the Parliament voted a full pardon for Tahmasebi. He was hailed as a hero and was granted an audience with Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. Mosaddegh barred photographers from the meeting.
Mohammad Reza Shah appointed Hossein Ala to succeed Razmara as Prime Minister. This move was met by further assassinations, riots, and demonstrations throughout the country. Ala ultimately resigned his post as Prime Minister. Shah opted to go with Anglophile Seyyed Ziaoddin Tabatabayi but the Majlis, led by the National Front, voted on a referendum naming Mohammad Mosaddegh to the post.
On March 12, 1951, Majlis unanimously passed the bill of Nationalization of Oil industry. A spectator at the gallery is reported to have shouted "Eight grains of gunpowder have brought this about." This was followed by a vote on March 28 to expropriate the AIOC properties at Abadan.
The Nationalization of Oil Industry was supported by the vast majority of the Iranian public. Prime Minister Mosaddegh and the National Front successfully led the charge to nationalize the oil and expel the AIOC. As this move dealt a severe blow to British interests in Iran, the US and Britain orchestrated the now well-known coup d'tat in 1953, code-named Operation TP-AJAX, removing Mosaddegh from power and reinstating the dictator. Mohammad Reza Shah was in power until the 1979 revolution, which led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic.
Iranians have a great historical memory and because of their hostilities, most Iranians regard US and UK as enemies. (Updated: Jan, 10, 2012)





Nationalization Of Oil Day

Mar, 20, 1951 AD

Iranian Politician Mohammad Mosaddegh at the military junta court after the CIA backed coup of 1953 that disrupted Iran's democratic course forever. He was convicted of treason and spent three years in prison and the rest of his life under house arrest.The Nationalization of Oil which passed as a law at the Iranian Parliament on March, 15, 1951 was later ratified by the Iranian Senate on March, 20, 1951 and Prime Minister Hossein Ala presented it to the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on May, 1st.
The first organized struggle against the British plundering of Iranian petroleum resources started in March, 1940 when workers at Abadan went on a strike for better housing, decent health care and enforcement of Iranian labor laws. British management brought in strike breakers and suppressed the decent by force.
However, the anti-imperial fight went on for almost a decade until the British submitted a Supplemental Agreement which was rejected unanimously on Nov. 25, 1950 as inadequate by Mosaddegh-chaired parliamentary commission because at the same time the British were offering a %16 share, Americans had made a deal to share profits with Saudis on a 50-50 basis.
The anglophile Prime Minister Razmara was assassinated on March, 7, 1951 only 4 days after appearing before Majlis oil committee warning of illegality of nationalization, of the unpredictability of British retaliation, and of the potential devastation to Iran's economy from retaliation.
The final nationalization plan was approved by the Majlis the day before Mosaddegh was asked to form his government, on April 28, 1951.
March 20 (29 Esfand) has since been named as the Nationalization of Oil Day. (Updated: Mar, 5, 2013)





Iranian Oil Industry Nationalized By Law

Apr, 28, 1951 AD

Painting from great Iranian politician and anti-imperialist fighter Mohammad Mosaddegh.Mohammad (May 19, 1882  March 5, 1967) He was a major figure in modern Iranian history who served as the Prime Minister of Iran.After half a century of exploitation of Iran's wealth, the parliament passed the bill that nationalized Iran's oil industry. After Mansour's cabinet unexpectedly resigned on June, 26, 1950, General Razmara formed his own cabinet. The regime was trying to impose an atmosphere of fear and pressure, but when the adjunct protocol to the 1933 agreement was presented to the 16th parliament, during a press conference,
Dr. Mosaddegh announced publicly that Iranians do not recognize neither the 1933 nor the D'Arcy agreement and therefore approval of the adjunct protocol was out of question. He iterated that all such agreements that stripped Iranians from their rights should be cancelled. On Thursday, Oct, 12, 1950 the government was interpolated by the parliament. While the government was defending the adjunct protocol, disagreements spread outside the parliament to the streets. During the next 5 months events led to parliament's approval of nationalization of oil as a Norooz gift to all Iranians.
Iranian Nationalization of Anglo American Oil Company was made law: The final nationalization plan was approved by the Majlis the day before Mosaddegh was asked to form his government, on April 28, 1951.
Dr. Mohammed Mosaddegh was democratically elected by the Iranian Parliament. Mosaddegh, who was not a Communist but received the support of Irans Communist Party, intended to nationalize Irans oil industry.
PM Mosaddegh acclaimed "respect, devotion, loyalty" by Iranians. His cabinet was noticeably conservative with royalists included, this was especially significant for his National Front Party which did not have enough seats in Majlis but had millions of supporters on the streets.
Opposition from US and Britain was immediate, with the CIA moving to destabilize the Mosaddegh regime and the British imposing an economic embargo on Iran. (Updated: Nov, 1, 2012)





Iranian Flag Waving On Abadan Refinery

Jun, 20, 1951 AD

Nationalization of oil:1950 Iranians hanging a sign that reads Interim board of directors of Nationalization of Oil industry.In July, 1951, Mosaddegh sent a committee of five (including four National Front deputies) created by Majlis to Khuzestan to take over the oil installations and implement the nationalization law.
Iranians struggled hard to put an end to the infamous D'Arcy agreement that gave the British exclusive rights on Iranian oil industry. On the other hand, the enemy had a network of spies that was able to bribe some Iranian authorities. On July, 17, 1949, an Iranian minister signed a deal with the British that improvised 6 shillings instead of 4 shilling per barrel as Iran's share of the sales of oil. In return, the Iranian government was to ratify the 1933 agreement. Prime Minister Saed took the agreement to the parliament. Despite all expectations the parliament did not approve the deal and instead paved the way for nationalization of oil that was signed into law on Apr, 28 1951.
On June, 20, 1951 the colonial Britain's nightmare which was "the Iranian flag flying on top of the Abadan refinery" happened while Britain was shuttling the doors of international courts and pursuing an active policy of combined threats and tricks to which Iranians responded strongly.
In July, 1951, Mosaddegh broke off negotiations with AIOC when the latter threatened "to pull out its employees," and warned "tanker owners that the receipts from the Iranian government would not be accepted on the world market." (Updated: Aug, 1, 2008)





US Mediation Between Iran-Britain

Jul, 15, 1951 AD

Mossadegh, being assisted by his son, enters the Peace Palace, seat of the ICJ during the proceedings.On July 22, 1952 by a 9-5 vote, the ICJ declared that the 1933 agreement could not constitute a treaty between the two states as the UK claimed(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) - A US diplomat named W. Averell Harriman arrived in Tehran on July, 15 1951 to mediate between Iran and Britain in the wake of the Iranian Nationalization of Oil Industry and negotiate an end to the Iran-Britain crisis. Harriman was a high-ranking and experienced American diplomat who had served as US ambassador to Moscow until 1946. He was then in Paris, where he was put in charge of the Marshall Plan. In a June 11, 1951 personal letter to President Harry Truman, Mosaddegh described the reasons why Iran had to nationalize the oil industry.
In those times what was propagated as the Truman Doctrine gave Americans pretext to mediate in countries like Greece, Turkey, and Iran, protecting them from Communism. This important diplomatic communiqu was drafted at a time when most Iranians looked to the US as a model Western power that stood for self-determination and democracy devoid of colonial intervention in their country. Yet the Truman administration opposed military action against Iran and appears to have sympathized with its position.
However, Harriman was greeted by angry protestors shouting "Death to Harriman". During clashes that followed between the police and demonstrators, around 20 were killed and scores were injured.
Nonetheless, US-Iran diplomacy had prevailed for the time being and relations remained cordial while the legal battle between the UK and Iran proceeded. But Britain referred back to the ICJ, this time seeking an injunction against Irans nationalization plans pending a final judgment of the court on the jurisdiction and, potentially, merits of the case. The court granted the British request for an injunction as an interim measure of protection, ordering both parties to take no further action that might prejudice a potential subsequent decision by the court on the cases merits, aggravate the dispute, or hamper the companys operations. It further ruled that the two countries must establish a board of supervisors to ensure that AIOCs operations continued unabated.
In autumn 1951 with the case before the ICJ being litigated, the British government attempted to increase the mounting international pressure on Iran by concurrently bringing the case before the Security Council, complaining of Irans refusal to abide the order of the ICJ for provisional measures. It was suggesting, in effect, that Irans decision to nationalize was a threat to international peace and security and hence a breach of the UN Charter.
The Iranians found the Security Council referral most peculiar, questioning if a dispute between a private oil company and Iran what should have been a purely domestic matter was a question of maintenance and restoration of peace and security (Chapter VII of the UN Charter). And this at a time when it was British ships which were stationed in the Persian Gulf, making military threats against Irans territorial integrity. In the context of the Cold War, the Soviet Union and China capitalized on the dynamics at hand and sided with Iran at the Security Council.
Mosaddegh also led the Iranian delegation before the Security Council in New York as he had done in The Hague. He declared the United Nations to be the ultimate refuge of weak and oppressed nations, the last champion of their rights.In challenging Britains draft resolution, he charged that it requires a deficient sense of humor to suggest that a nation as weak as Iran can endanger world peaceIran has stationed no gunboats in the Thames . He emphasized that Iran is not prepared to finance other peoples dreams of empire from our resources. The move to engage the Security Council was a diplomatic debacle for the UK, and on October 19, 1951, the council postponed the discussion on the draft resolution until the ICJ had rendered its final judgment.
In response to the British complaint before the ICJ, Iran ultimately filed an objection before the court on February 4, 1952 challenging the courts jurisdiction.
Finally on July 22, 1952 by a 9-5 vote, the ICJ declared that the 1933 agreement could not constitute a treaty between the two states as the UK claimed, but merely a concessionary contract between a private company and the government of Iran to which the UK was not a party. The court declared it lacked jurisdiction as contended by Iran to rule on the merits of the case. (Updated: Nov, 30, 2012)





Britain Imposes Economic Sanctions on Iran

Aug, 22, 1951 AD

Ship seen at sunrise at the Abadan port/harbor 1951(Werzit) - Iranians, under their national leader Dr. Mosaddegh were determined to end a long-term British robbery that had been institutionalized after the occupation of the country in 1943. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) was practically stealing Iran's natural resources for free.
After the final Nationalization of Oil plan was approved by the Majlis on April 28, 1951 Britain warships blockaded the Iranian Port of Abadan by invading Iranian waters, and threatened the occupation of Abadan by paratroopers for the ostensible pretext of protecting British interests. Abadan was the site of the world's largest oil refinery, part of Anglo-Iranian Oil Co.
On 22 August, the British cabinet imposed a series of economic sanctions on Iran. It prohibited exports of key British commodities, including sugar and steel, directed the withdrawal of all British personnel from Iranian oil fields and all but a hard core of about 300 administrators from Abadan and blocked Iran's access to its hard currency accounts in British banks.
After withdrawal of the British workers in the fall of 1951, the Iranians felt confident that they could easily hire non-British technicians to run the industry and then quickly train their own nationals to replace them. Unfortunately, this did not prove to be the case; the United States, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany all refused to make their technicians available to the nationalized Iranian industry. Only Italy complied, demonstrating that most industrialized countries supported Britain over Iran in the nationalization dispute.
In July 1952, the British Navy intercepted the Italian tanker Rose Mary and forced it into the British protectorate of Aden on the grounds that the ship's petroleum was stolen property. News that the Royal Navy was intercepting tankers carrying Iranian oil scared off other tankers and effectively shut down oil exports from Iran.
Although most of Iranians braced for a confrontation with the British imperialism, some political fractions betrayed the national cause and elements within the army co-operated with the American spies in destabilizing the country and finally toppling the democratic government of Dr. Mosaddegh on Aug, 19, 1953 by a notorious coup d'etat.
The CIA-MI6 operators re-installed the puppet king Mohammad Reza Shah in power. He reigned as the last dictator of the Pahlavi Dynasty until the Islamic Revolution of 1979 under the leadership of Imam Khomeini.
Historically, the Iranian quest for independence and freedom has never stopped and the challenge against a world order created by slave-traders and sea-pirates has been continuing in every field including; economy, culture, military and politics stretching the battleground to cyberspace today. (Updated: Nov, 8, 2012)





UK Files Complaint Against Iran

Oct, 1, 1951 AD

Dr. Mosaddegh and Dr. Fatemi during a speech at the United NationsThe UNSC receives a complaint filed by the UK against Iran after a brief meeting. Britain was using every possible means to counter a the nationalization of petroleum industry in Iran, a movement that could mark the end of colonial era in Iran. The Iranian government called this action outside of the context of UNSC, however PM Dr. Mosaddegh personally travelled to New York to defend Iran's rights. He arrived in New York on Oct, 7 and was greeted by many supporters of the Iranian cause. The U.S., at that time was not yet totally consumed by the AIPAC lobby. Mosaddegh made his great historical speech at the UNSC three days later, that can be used as a case study for all developing nations that seek to break free from imperialism. (Updated: Oct, 1, 2008)





English-Persian Glossary

Latest Additions to Iranian History Chronicle: