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Final Bibliography

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Abrahamian, Ervand. “Iran in Revolution: The Opposition Forces.” MERIP Reports, Number 75/76, Iran in Revolution. March-April 1979. Middle East Research and Project Information.

 Afkhami, Gholam Reza. The Life and Times of the Shah. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2009.

 Ansari, Ali M. Modern Iran Since 1921. London, New York, Toronto, Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, Milan: Pearson Education Limited, 2003.

 Byrne, Malcolm and Mark J. Gasiorowski, eds. Mohammad Mossadeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 2004.

 Byrne, Malcolm and Mark J. Gasiorowski, eds. Mohammad Mossadeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran. The National Security Archive. http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB126/index.htm. Accessed September 13, 2011.

 Central Intelligence Agency. Importance of Iranian and Middle East Oil to Western Europe Under Peacetime Conditions, NIE 14. January 8, 1951. http://www.faqs.org/cia/docs/128/0000010474/THE-IMPORTANCE-OF- IRANIAN- AND-MIDDLE-EAST-OIL-TO-WESTERN-EUROPE-UNDER-PE-ACETIM.html. Accessed September 14, 2011

 Democracy Now: The War and Peace Report. “50 Years After the CIA’s First Overthrow of a Democratically Elected Foreign Government We Take a Look at the 1953 US Backed Coup in Iran.” August 25, 2003. http://www.democracynow.org/2003/8/25/50_years_after_the_cias_first#transcript. Accessed September 12, 2011.

 Executive Secretary. “United States Policy Regarding the Present Situation in Iran.” A Report to the National Security Council. Washington, November 20, 1952. Accessed September 13, 2011.

 Fatemi, Nasrollah Saifpour. Oil Diplomacy: Powderkeg in Iran. New York: Whittier Books, Inc., 1954.

 Fawcett, Louis L’Estrange. Iran and the Cold War. Cambridge, New York, Port Chester, Melbourne, Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

 Gasiorowski, Mark J. “The CIA Looks Back at the 1953 Coup in Iran.” Middle East Report, Number 216, Autumn 2000.

 Gasiorowski, Mark J. “The 1953 Coup D’Etat in Iran.” International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 19, No. 3, August 1987.

 Keddie, Nikki R. Roots of Revolution: An Interpretive History of Modern Iran. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1981.

 Kinzer, Stephen. All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2003.

 Koch, Scott A. “Zendebad, Shah!”: The Central Intelligence Agency and the Fall of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq, August 1953. History Staff, Central Intelligence Agency, June 1998.

 Loftus, John A. “Middle East Oil: The Pattern of Control.” Middle East Journal. Volume 2, Number 1. January 1948. Middle East Institute. Accessed September 15, 2011.http://www.jstor.org/stable/4321941

 The Modern Law Review. Anglo-Iranian Oil Company Case. Volume 15, Number 1. January 1952. Blackwell Publishing. Accessed September 15, 2011. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1090221

 The New York Times, Secrets of History: The CIA in Iran, “Britain Fights Oil Nationalism,” http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/041600iran-cia- chapter1.html.Accessed September 14, 2011

 Saikal, Amin. The Rise and Fall of the Shah. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980.

 State Department. “First Progress Report on Paragraph 5-a of NSC 136/I, U.S. Policy Regarding the Present Situation in Iran.” Memorandum for Executive Secretary. Washington, March 20, 1953. Accessed September 13, 2011.

 State Department. “Measures which the United States Government Might Take in Support of a Successor Government to Mossadeq,” Top Secret Memorandum. Washington, March 1953. Accessed September 13, 2011.

 State Department. “Proposed Course of Action with Respect to Iran,” Top Secret Draft Memorandum. Washington, August 10, 1953. Accessed September 13, 2011.

Stempel, John D. Inside the Iranian Revolution. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1981.

Final Paper!

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

At the start of the 20th century, the oil industry in the Middle East was beginning to make a profound impact on the global economy. Powerful Western countries, namely Great Britain and the United States, sought to bring Middle Eastern oil under their control in their pursuit of economic independence and national security. Unsurprisingly, Iran, which has a vast oil supply, became entangled in this conflict. Britain in particular became very dependent on Iranian oil. “The interests of Britain and the Anglo-Persian Oil Company became one and inseparable.”1 As the British drilled more, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (formally the Anglo-Persian Oil Company) became richer. This wealth not only benefited Britain, but also her allies, including the United States. American reliance on cheap Iranian oil was so important that when it was threatened in 1953, the United States infamously organized a coup to protect American interests in Iran. Scholars have presented a number of reasons as to why the United States and Britain overthrew Mohammad Mossadeq; however, evidence suggests that heavy reliance on foreign oil was the main reason that the United States and Britain organized the coup.

The long conflict over oil in Iran began in earnest in 1901 when George Reynolds, a British national, travelled to Iran to prospect for oil. Three years later, he succeeded in finding vast oil reserves.2 This discovery marked the beginning of American and British infatuation with Iran and the preservation of their interests there. Several years later, British leaders organized for a group of investors to organize a corporation to continue to search for oil and to develop the oil industry in Iran. This newfound company was called the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. The Anglo-Persian company was very successful in its early years. It grew into a major corporation with filling stations throughout the world. The company sold oil throughout the world and later began construction on what would become the world’s largest oil refinery on the desert island of Abadan in the Persian Gulf. 3 Britain extracted enormous profits from the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. Because of those profits, the Shah of Iran demanded the name of the oil company be changed to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1932 to reflect his desire that Persia was henceforth known as Iran. The Shah felt that Britain was exploiting Iran’s natural resources and Britain was profiting immensely from that exploitation. Indeed more than half of the profits that Britain made from the oil company in Iran went directly to the British government. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company also provided oil to the Royal Navy at a fraction of what the oil actually cost.4 The Iranians felt that not only was a valuable resource being stolen, but was fueling British imperialism.

The Iranian labor movement was angered by the British monopolization of Iranian oil. “In 1947 it passed a bold law forbidding the grant of any further concessions to foreign companies and directing the government to renegotiate the one under which Anglo-Iranian was operating.”5 This law foreshadowed a drawn out struggle over who would control and profit from Iranian oil. The Iranian labor movement was seeking to protect the interests of the Iranian people, which they felt that the Shah was not doing. Although most Iranians were displeased with the British control, Reza Shah allowed the British to maintain a significant amount of control over the oil company. Many Iranians were displeased with Reza Shah because they felt that he was aiding the British in exploiting the natural resources of his own country with the belief that the Western powers would work to preserve his rule, particularly given his capitalist leanings in an increasingly bipolar world.

Initially America was immune from the resentment directed at the British, as they were seen as the “friendly balancer.”6 However, as time elapsed, Americans became dependent on British control of the Iranian oil industry and it became clear that America was not protecting the interests of Iranian citizens. The tension between Britain, the United States and Iran led to a rise of nationalism in Iran and more friendly relations with Moscow. As a result, Mohammad Mossadeq was popularly elected.

Mossadeq was a very passionate and charismatic leader. He was an Iranian nationalist who ran on a promise to retake Iranian oil and end imperialist meddling in Iran.7 For precisely this reason, American and British policymakers wanted Mossadeq ousted and the pro-Western Shah restored. In 1951, Mossadeq pledged to “throw the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company out of Iran, reclaim the country’s vast petroleum reserves, and free Iran from subjection to foreign power.”8 He had publicly espoused the view that the British had been exploiting Iran through the Anglo-Iranian Oil company and had exerted political control over Iran since the start of the 20th century. Therefore, he felt that “there could be no compromise with the British.”9 Immediately after his coronation, the British commenced plans to overthrow him. The British wanted Reza Shah put back into power because he had compromised with the British about the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and had been a stable and predictable puppet for British and American interests.

The United States and Britain undertook Operation Ajax in 1953 with the hope of returning to the status quo, which most importantly meant having control over Iranian oil. Access to oil was viewed not only as being vital to the U.S. economy, but a key national security concern. In a 1952 report the National Security Council argued that the United States should: “continue to assist in every practicable way to effect an early and equitable liquidation of the oil controversy, be prepared to take the necessary measures to help Iran set up her oil industry and to secure markets for her oil so that Iran may benefit from substantial oil revenues.”10 Although the United States publicly claimed to support the interests of the Iranian people, the key reason that the United States wanted relations with Iran was because of access to cheap oil.

Mossadeq posed a serious threat to American reliance on cheap Iranian oil. He rose to office because he wanted to end British imperialism in Iran and he wanted to end the domination of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.11 This was a great cause of concern for the United States and Britain. Although the Anglo-Iranian Oil company was a British owned company, the United States had companies which worked with it. “Though Iran would receive 50 percent of the profits, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of California, Texaco, Socony-Mobil, and Gulf Oil acquired a 40 percent share of the oil production.”12 The United States knew that the nationalization of Iranian oil would cause a tremendous decrease in profits.

British leadership agreed with American policymakers about the importance of restoring the Shah: “Although Mossadeq was very popular in Iran, the shah and his foreign advisors wanted him out, as did the AIOC and the new British conservative government under Churchill.”13 Churchill wanted to overthrow Mossadeq because his goal as Prime Minister of Iran was to lead a movement to nationalize the British-controlled oil industry. The United States and Britain felt threatened by this. After months of careful planning, the CIA and British Secret Intelligence Service carried out Operation Ajax, also referred to as Operation TPAJAX, in which they aided Iranian opposition in overthrowing Mossadeq and reinstating the Shah.

In 1951, immediately after taking office as Prime Minister, Mossadeq signed the nationalization bill into law. This law nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and took power away from the British and gave the oil company to the Majlis (Iranian Parliament).14 The British knew that they had to act because Mossadeq was unwilling to compromise about the oil company with the British. Mossadeq felt a duty to the Iranian people to end all imperialist control in Iran and to end British exploitation of Iran. The loss in profits for Britain were staggering. In the table below one can see how the British were suffering without control of the oil company.15 None of the exports within the year after nationalization to a few months before the ousting of Mossadeq were to Britain. After Iran nationalized their oil, Britain urged their citizens to stop working for them, further hurting the British economy.

Not only did the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company anger the British, it also angered the United States. The Truman administration felt that the United States had a duty regarding Iran. He felt that he needed to protect the nation from the Soviet Union and the influence of communism, having recently witnessed China revert to Communism while the fate of the volatile Korean peninsula was unclear. He also felt obligated to secure the global oil market.16 Obviously, having the British control the Anglo-Iranian oil company, and not a nationalized Iranian oil company, benefited the United States as it spelled a dependable source of cheap oil from a valuable ally in addition to a bulwark against communism in a region with immense geopolitical significance. However, when Mossadeq became Prime Minister and challenged that, the United States and Britain felt forced to act.

There are several reasons presented in the research as to why the CIA organized a coup which ousted Iran’s Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadeq in August 1953. Indeed, Mossadeq’s closeness to Moscow should not be completely disregarded as a factor. However, evidence suggests that reliance on Iranian oil seemed to be the prime motivation for the coup. Ever since the early 20th century, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company provided cheap oil to Britain and her allies, namely the United States. In 1951, when Mossadeq was elected as Prime Minister, he vowed to end the imperialist control by the British and to end the profits the British made off the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and to nationalize the oil company. This upset the British, and they started planning his ouster from the moment he was elected. The United States and Britain used the CIA and the MI5, respectively, to orchestrate a coup to have Mossadeq ousted. Operation AJAX was a strategic success in that Mossadeq was ousted, and the Reza Shah restored. In the long run,however, the operation was disastrous as anti-Western sentiment led to the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Unsurprisingly, Operation Ajax is often mentioned as a case of “blowback”—American interventionism ultimately working against its own interests.

Exports of Iranian Oil by NIOC after Nationalization (to May 1, 1953)

 

Country of Destination Name of Company Name of Tanker Date of Shipping Weight in Tons
Italy EPIM Rose Mary 05/20/52 Crude 786
Italy Supor Miriella 01/20/53 Crude 4,600
Italy Supor Miriella 03/15/53 Crude 4,900
Italy Supor Alba 03/15/53 Crude 11,500
Italy EPIM Pax 04/01/53 Crude 4,500
Japan Idemitsu Nissho Maru 04/15/53 Ref 18,000
Italy Supor Alba 05/01/53 Crude 11,500
Italy Supor Bertza 05/01/53 Crude 11,500

 

NIOC: National Iranian Oil Company.

 

 

1 Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003), 49.

2 Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men, 47-48. For more information on the background of the oil business in Iran see Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003), 47-52.

3 Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men, 49.

4 Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men, 68.

5 Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men, 52.

6 John D. Stempel, Inside the Iranian Revolution (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1981), 60.

7 Malcom Byrne and Mark J. Gasiorowski, eds, Mohammad Mossadeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 2004), 33-34.

8 Kinzer, All The Shah’s Men, 2.

9 Byrne and Gasiorowski, eds, Mohammad Mossadeq, 130.

10 Executive Secretary, “United States Policy Regarding the Present Situation in Iran,” A Report to the National Security Council. Washington, November 20, 1952. Accessed 13 September, 2011.

11 Byrne and Gasiorowski, eds, Mohammad Mossadeq, 127.

12 Stempel, Inside the Iranian Revolution, 65.

13 Nikki R. Keddie, Roots of Revolution: An Interpretive History of Modern Iran (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1981), 136.

14 Mark J. Gasiorowski, “The 1953 Coup D’Etat in Iran,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 19, No. 3, August 1987. 262.

15 Byrne and Gasiorowski, eds, Mohammad Mossadeq, 196.

16 Gasiorowski, “The 1953 Coup,” 267.

Literary Review

Monday, October 24th, 2011

In 1953, Middle Eastern oil was a booming market that was vital to an increasingly globalized international market. When Mohammad Mossadeq was democratically elected to be the Prime Minister of Iran in 1951 he wanted to nationalize the oil industry and take the control away from the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, which was a British company. The British and the United States feared the loss of access to affordable oil. Therefore, the British Security Service, the MI5, and the United States’ CIA organized a coup to overthrow Mossadeq to ensure that they would continue to have access to affordable oil. This coup is known as Operation AJAX. As time has elapsed since the Operation, the literature regarding it has changed significantly. Contemporaries did not view oil as the primary issue of Operation Ajax. In the 1980’s however, the discussion begins to change. Between 1980 and 2009, some scholars continued to assert that Operation Ajax must be viewed as a coup that was motivated by fear of Mossadeq’s close relationship with Moscow while others claim access to cheap oil was a greater motivation.

In the early 1980s the oil boom was in full swing, and the United States depended on foreign oil tremendously. People began writing secondary sources about Operation AJAX in the early 1980s because the Shah was overthrown in a coup in 1979. The literature regarding Operation AJAX primarily blamed the influence of the oil companies and the strong need for foreign oil on the interference in Iran. In Amin Saikal’s book, The Rise and Fall of the Shah, published in 1980, he discussed how important oil was to the United States. “In October 1953 John Foster Dulles commissioned Herbert Hoover Jr., a petroleum advisor and the son of the ex-president, to find a solution for the Anglo-Iranian dispute, but to make sure that this time the U.S. companies had a share in the Iranian oil industry.”1 This took place a mere two months after the overthrow of Mossadeq, and this action exemplifies exactly why Saikal thought the United States meddled in Iranian affairs. According to John D. Stempel’s 1981 book, in Inside the Iranian Revolution, “five U.S. corporations joined other oil companies to form the National Iranian Oil Company consortium. Though Iran would receive 50 percent of the profits, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of California, Texaco, Socony-Mobil, and Gulf Oil acquired a 40 percent share of the oil production..the U.S. could substantially influence Iranian oil policy.”2 Obviously oil brought in huge revenue for the United States and both Saikal and Stempel argued that oil was the reason the United States went into Iran to overthrow Mossadeq. This point is further discussed in Nikki R. Keddie’s 1981 book, Roots of Revolution: An Interpretive History of Modern Iran. “The United States was increasingly hostile to nationalization, and the American oil companies joined an unofficial but effective worldwide major-oil-campanies’ boycott of Iranian oil, sparked by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company after nationalization was declared.”3 All three of these authors believe that oil was the deciding factor to overthrow Mossadeq.

In the early 1990s the argument that the coup was undertaken to impose a friendly regime in Iran was pre-eminent. Louise L’Estrange Fawcett argued the beginnings of a different idea in her 1992 book, Iran and the Cold War: The Azerbaijan Crisis of 1946. Events “also helped to draw together the different threads of an emergent Cold War policy: one grounded on changing perceptions of its wartime allies and of the United States’ own world role.”4 Her book was written immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union, so it is unsurprising that literature from that time would pay greater attention to the Soviet Union. She argues that the United States not only feared Mossadeq’s Marxist leanings, but the threat of a Soviet occupation of Iran. The United States “shared Britain’s concern about the possible outcome of the Soviet occupation, but concern would not be followed by action until the Soviet threat assumed far larger proportions, and coincided with the realization of Soviet aspirations in other areas.”5 Fawcett’s argument differs tremendously from Keddie, Stempel, and Saikal of the 1980s. While post-Watergate and post-Vietnam malaise may help to explain the cynicism of American foreign relations scholars in the 1980s, the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 may help to explain why the role of communism garnered more attention from scholars in the early 1990s.

Presently, the United States leads a unipolar world in which it invests heavily in projecting power and influence abroad. In the literature during the 2000s (all of them are after September 11, 2001), United States foreign policy was the key argument for our reasons to organize Operation AJAX. Mohammad Mossadeq was an Iranian nationalist, and certainly no friend of Britain and the United States. Meanwhile, the Shah of Iran was seen as a pawn for Western interests. Malcolm Byrne writes in the introduction to his 2004 book with Mark J. Gasiorowski, Mohammad Mossadeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran, “the hopes of the Truman administration and even President Eisenhower that the United States would be seen as the defender of regional aspirations for independence began to seem especially hollow after August 1953…U.S. planners treated TPAJAX as a model for future clandestine operations.”6 Clearly Byrne believed that the United States wanted to implement a leader in Iran who was pro-Western and would cater to the demands of the United States. Similarly, Gholam Reza Afkhami wrote in his 2009 book, The Life and Times of the Shah, that “there were Americans who favored the military as the nexus of U.S.-Iranian relations to assure U.S. security imperatives.”7 During the 1950s the main and most dangerous enemy to the United States was the Soviet Union. The sources written in the 2000s focused on that rivalry, and focused on the security threat posed by the Soviet Union. “In January 1950 the National Security Council prepared a seminal document that asserted the need for the United States to confront communist movements in regions of vital security interests.”8 Obviously after September 11, 2001, security was a driving force in American society, so it makes sense that Afkhami and his contemporaries focus on national security in explaining Operation AJAX.

The overthrow of Mohammad Mossadeq in 1953 was a watershed moment in the 20th century, for resentment of the Shah culminated in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The literature of the topic has changed since the early 1980s. When secondary literature first started appearing about Operation AJAX, oil was most often cited as the impetus for the operation. However, as time elapsed, the theses of the books started to shift views of why the United States organized a coup in Iran. By 2009, scholars were paying more attention to broader security concerns, undoubtedly because of the greater focus on national security among scholars in the post-9/11 world.

 

1Amin Saikal, The Rise and Fall of the Shah (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980), 48.

2John D. Stempel, Inside the Iranian Revolution (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1981), 65.

3Nikki R. Keddie, Roots of Revolution: An Interpretive History of Modern Iran (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1981), 134.

4Louise L’Estrange Fawcett, Iran and the Cold War: The Azerbaijan Crisis of 1946 (Cambridge, New York, Port Chester, Melbourne, Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 108.

5Fawcett, Iran and the Cold War, 115.

6Malcolm Byrne and Mark J. Gasiorowski, Mohammad Mossadeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 2004), Introduction 15. This information is also portrayed in a different book. Although the wording is not the same, the points resonate in both sources.

Ali M. Ansari, Modern Iran Since 1921 (London, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited, 2003), 135-139.

7Gholam Reza Afkhami, The Life and Times of the Shah (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2009), 215.

8Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003), 84-85.

Funny Thesis

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

“Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.”

http://www.innocentenglish.com/funny-bloopers-mistakes-quotes/history-mistakes.html

I looked up the guy who started this website and he is an author who collected ridiculous theses from actual students. Their teachers would submit the theses to this man and he would put them on his website. I had a lot of trouble finding a ridiculous thesis in a scholarly journal, so I figured I would find a ridiculous thesis from a scholar instead.

Footnotes

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Print Primary Sources:

1.  Nasrollah Saifpour Fatemi, Oil Diplomacy: Powederkeg in Iran. New York: Whittier Books Inc., 1954, p.219.

2.  State Department, “Proposed Course of Action with Respect to Iran.” Top Secret Draft Memorandum: Washington, August 10, 1953. Accessed September 13, 2011, p. 3.

3.  Executive Secretary, “United States Policy Regarding the Present Situation in Iran.” A Report to the National Security Council: Washington, November 20, 1952, p. 2.

Print Secondary Sources:

1.  Gholam Reza Afkhami, The Life and Times of the Shah. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2009, pp.35-36.

2.  Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2003, pp. 47-48.

3.  John D. Stempel, Inside the Iranian Revolution. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1981, p. 100.

Online Sources:

1.  Malcolm Byrne and Mark J. Gasiorowski, eds, “Mohammad Mossadeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran.” The National Security Archive. http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB28/. Accessed September 13, 2011.

2.  Central Intelligence Agency, “Importance of Iranian and Middle East Oil to Western Europe Under Peacetime Conditions, NIE 14.” January 8, 1951. http://www.faqs.org/cia/docs/128/0000010474/THE-IMPORTANCE-OF-IRANIAN-AND-MIDDLE-EAST-OIL-TO-WESTERN-EUROPE-UNDER-PE-ACETIM.html. Accessed September 14, 2011.

3.  The New York Times, Secrets of History: The CIA in Iran, “Britain Fights Oil Nationalism,” http://partners.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/041600iran-cia-chapter1.html. Accessed September 14, 2011.

10 Item Bibliography

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Published Sources:

Primary-

  1. Fatemi, Nasrollah Saifpour. Oil Diplomacy: Powderkeg in Iran. New York: Whittier Books, Inc., 1954.

Secondary-

  1. Afkhami, Gholam Reza. The Life and Times of the Shah. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2009.

  2. Ansari, Ali M. Modern Iran Since 1921. London, New York, Toronto, Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, Milan: Pearson Education Limited, 2003.

  3. Byrne, Malcolm and Mark J. Gasiorowski, eds. Mohammad Mossadeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 2004.

  4. Fawcett, Louis L’Estrange. Iran and the Cold War. Cambridge, New York, Port Chester, Melbourne, Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

 

On-Line:

Primary-

  1. Executive Secretary. “United States Policy Regarding the Present Situation in Iran.” A Report to the National Security Council. Washington, November 20, 1952. Accessed September 13, 2011.

  2. State Department. “Measures which the United States Government Might Take in Support of a Successor Government to Mossadeq,” Top Secret Memorandum. Washington, March 1953. Accessed September 13, 2011.

  3. State Department. “Proposed Course of Action with Respect to Iran,” Top Secret Draft Memorandum. Washington, August 10, 1953. Accessed September 13, 2011.

Secondary Sources-

  1. Abrahamian, Ervand. “Iran in Revolution: The Opposition Forces.” MERIP Reports, Number 75/76, Iran in Revolution. March-April 1979. Middle East Research and Project Information.

  2. Gasiorowski, John A. “The CIA Looks Back at the 1953 Coup in Iran.” Middle East Report, Number 216, Autumn 2000.

 

 

Two History Books

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307266516/ref=s9_al_bw_g14_ir02/189-2524619-1588627?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0BCD7WZ2YH6AG1S7NY5M&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1315513422&pf_rd_i=9

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307265722/ref=s9_al_bw_g14_ir03/189-2524619-1588627?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0BCD7WZ2YH6AG1S7NY5M&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1315513422&pf_rd_i=9

Final Paper Proposal

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

           At the start of the 20th century, the oil industry in the Middle East was beginning to make a profound impact on the global economy. Western countries carving up the globe were at the forefront of the oil boom. In the search for economic independence and military might, they sought to bring oil under their control. Unsurprisingly, Iran became a victim of this conflict. “In 1901, George Reynolds, a self-taught geologist and a petroleum engineer, signed an agreement with the Shah of Iran, Muzzaffar al-Din, under which he assumed the exclusive right to prospect for oil in a vast tract of Iranian territory” [Stephen Kinzer-Bibliography]. Britain in particular became very dependent on Iranian oil. “The interests of Britain and the Anglo-Persian Oil Company became one and inseparable” [Kinzer-Bibliography]. As the British drilled more, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (formally the Anglo-Persian Oil Company) became richer. This wealth not only benefited Britain, but her allies as well, including the United States. The United States and Britain came to rely heavily on cheap access to Iranian oil. American reliance on cheap Iranian oil was so important that when it was threatened in 1953, the United States infamously took matters into its own hands and organized a coup. This leads to the question I intend on researching: was Western reliance on Iranian oil so strong, that the United States organized Operation Ajax in 1953 to overthrow Mossadeq? Was oil the reason we organized the coup?

             In 1951, Mohammad Mossadeq was democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. He was a very passionate and charismatic leader as well as the “chief protagonist of an anti-imperialist civic nationalist movement and wanted to assert Iranian national sovereignty by the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company” [Malcolm Byrne and Mark J Gasiorowski-Bibliography]. For precisely this reason American and British policymakers wanted Mossadeq ousted and for the pro-Western Shah restored. After months of careful planning the CIA and British Secret Intelligence Service carried out Operation Ajax, also referred to as Operation TPAJAX, in which they aided Iranian opposition in overthrowing Mossadeq and reinstating the Shah.

               Mossadeq had publicly espoused the view that “the British had exploited Iran through the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and had exerted political control over Iran.” Therefore, “there could be no compromise with the British. From 1951, plans to overthrow him were set in train.” [Byrne and Gaziorowski- Bibliography] Furthermore, he was a Marxist and had developed close ties with Moscow. Conversely, Reza Shah compromised with the British about the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and had been a stable and predictable puppet for British and American interests. The United States and Britain undertook Operation Ajax in 1953 with the hope of returning the status quo, which most importantly meant having control over Iranian oil.

             During my research, I identified valuable primary and secondary sources, and these have helped me to organize all of my information and to plan the structure of my research paper. So far, I have found about twelve books that will be useful for my research. I have found four primary sources from the National Security Council specifically pertaining to Operation Ajax and the planning stages of it. I also found several articles from JSTOR which have proved beneficial. Some of the books I have are Inside the Iranian Revolution, by John D. Stempel. Although it does not primarily discuss Operation Ajax, it provides a detailed account of the Iranian Revolution and the major role Operation Ajax played leading up to this. A second book I have is Mohammad Mossadeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran which is edited by Malcolm Byrne and David J Gasiorowski. This book provides an abundance of information about the coup and the role that oil played in it. The third book I found which is extremely helpful is called All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer. This book provides a lot of information about Iran before, during, and after the coup. It also has a detailed chapter specifically about oil and the effects it had on the United States and Britain. The primary sources are going to be critical in my research because they offer insight into how U.S. Policymakers (especially the National Security Council) felt about Iran and how to deal with it. Another book that I have yet to pick up is The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power by Daniel Yergin. This book will help me to understand the profound importance of oil lobbyists and executives in the forging of American foreign policy. One book that is critical is Oil Diplomacy, by Nasrollah Saifpour Fatemi. This book specifically discusses the oil crisis in Iran since before World War I, which will provide a lot of background information. The book also has a chapter specifically for the nationalization of the Iranian Oil Industry, which is key to the coup and central to my research.

Braudel Article

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

In the article by Braudel, he argues that history is one of the most important social sciences. He says that “the other social sciences are fairly ill informed as  to the crisis which our discipline has gone through in the past twenty or thirty years” (26). This paper was a little difficult to read and I had to re-read different passages several times. One possible thesis I found is: “So I propose to deal at great length with history, and with time in history” (26). This means that he is going to discuss what exactly history means and he is going to focus on different issues from a historical aspect. I thought it was interesting how Braudel thinks that there has been a recent break with the traditional forms of 19th century history. Granted this was written in 1980. At the end of the article, he says that he does not like how people dispute over what is or what is not a social science. He would rather people erase the “boundaries” of what qualifies. This article was interesting, as hard as it was. I feel like it defines why we take History 299. We are looking at what is history as a field, and this article attempts to define what it means to be a social science.

Book vs Article Review

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

It took me a while to find a review on a history book. I did not know what to look for, but then I decided to try to find a book review on a book I am currently using in another history class. The book review I found is: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=8414. This is a book review of “American Colonies: The Settling of North America.” I think this book review is well done and is very fair to Alan Taylor (the author). The book review was written by Nancy L. Hagedorn, from the History department at SUNY Fredonia. It was published in November 2003. This book review does a great job pointing out the good aspects of the book and the poor aspects of it. Nancy really liked the way Taylor wrote this book.

The article review I found was: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/ahr.114.2.520. Tore T. Peterson reviewed W. Taylor Fain’s article, “American Ascendance and British Retreat in the Persian Gulf Region“. This is a good article review. It outlines the positive things and the negative things about Fain’s original article. This article actually talks about my research topic, which is why I was interested to read it. This article does a great job of reviewing the original article.