The memory of September 1941 in the history of our country reminds us of dark pages from the presence of foreigners in the country. Events that 12 year later, on August 19th 1953 led to the formation of the English American coup and downfall of Mosadegh’s government. Now and in circumstances...
England’s Strategic Interests Caused Iran’s Invasion
Interview with Sayyed Mostafa Taqavi Moqadam
The memory of September 1941 in the history of our country reminds us of dark pages from the presence of foreigners in the country. Events that 12 year later, on August 19th 1953 led to the formation of the English American coup and downfall of Mosadegh’s government. Now and in circumstances when the Islamic Parliament has obliged the government to form a workgroup to estimate the material and spiritual damages caused for Iran nation and also on the verge of administration of the conference, “Review of the English Policy in Iran” we meet with Sayyed Mostafa Taqavi, researcher and expert of Iran contemporary history studies organization to review the events that laid the grounds for the August 19th coup after the invasion of Iran by the allies.
□Why, despite Iran’s announcement of impartiality on the first days of the Second World War, the allies’ forces invaded our contrary regardless of this matter and against international laws?
About invasion of Iran by English, Russian and American forces in September 1941, many interpretations exist. Some claim that Reza Shah’s inclination towards the Germans and dissatisfaction of the English who had authorized Reza Shah caused them to retaliate but the reality is that due to Iran’s geo-politic situation, the world authorities, both in the First World War and the Second, respected Iran’s announcement of impartiality inly until it benefitted them and they violated this impartiality in both wars when their interests were endangered.
□So the allies’ interests were endangered in the Second World War too?
Yes, Germany succeeded in operating against the Soviet Union from July 1941 by changing its military arrangement. If Germany succeeded in defeating the Soviet, it would invade Iran and then India and so England’s strategic interests were at risk. Therefore to save the Soviet from defeat against Germany and to help this country, England invaded Iran. On the other hand, with regard to the Iranians’ hatred from Reza Shah and the possibility of their disposition towards Germany and against England, the English tried to satisfy the people by removing Reza Shah and so diverting their attention from Iran’s invasion to Reza Shah’s dethronement. Actually Iran’s invasion was due to military and strategic reasons and the English and allies dethroned Reza Shah to achieve the Iranians’ satisfaction and prevent them from joining the Germans.
□With regard to Iran’s announcement of impartiality how and with what excuse did the allies enter our country?
On the morning of August 25th 1941, England and Soviet’s ambassadors visited Reza Shah and informed him that their military forces will enter Iran. They used the presence of some German experts in Iran railroad as an alibi while these people had no military or political role in our country and this was a mere excuse.
□What were the consequences?
The presence of foreign forces at first caused violation of independence and national authority. Although our people did not feel the tragedy of this invasion on the first days due to delight for Reza Shah’s removal but little by little they became aware that the country’s territorial integrity and independence is at risk by the foreigners. In the northern part of the country, Azerbaijan was occupied by forces related to the Soviet and in the south England became ruler and commander and during this invasion, poverty, disease and social insecurity invaded all cultural, political and economic domains of the country. In this process many of our fellow countrymen lost even their life.
Another consequence was the entrance of the US to world political arena including entry in to our country’s destiny. Until then our country was directly under the control of Britain but from then on another western power ruled over us with England. Removal of Reza Shah’s dictatorship and replacing him by his son was another consequence.
□What consequences did replacement of the Shah and transfer of power from father to son have for our people?
Mohammad Reza was young and the foundations of his dominion were not yet stabilized and Iran’s monarchy was practically weak. Both before Mohammad Reza’s reign and after it, Iran’s oil was exclusively controlled by England but during Reza Shah’s reign this dominance and autocracy was extended more severely with the 1933 contract.
□And after Reza Shah’s removal, this issue laid the ground for establishment of oil nationalization movement?
Yes exactly, with the weakness of the monarchy, Iran nation found a chance to prepare a movement in a national uprising and in the form of a social revolt after September 1941 led by the late Ayatollah Kashani and other political elites and since the most important issue in this movement was oil, it was later known as the oil nationalization movement. As a result of this movement, Iran succeeded in taking the control of oil from the hands of England and nationalizing it.
□What was the outcome of Iran nation’s national movement or the oil nationalization scheme?
At this stage, Dr. Mosadegh’s government gained power to execute the oil nationalization law but England along with the US prepared the grounds to finally defeat national government and in other words Iran national movement through international pressures and sanctions, creating internal divisions and tensions through influential figures and the pressassociated with England and this move was carried out in the form of August 19th coup and caused the rights of Iran nation to be plundered and violated in political, economic and identity domains.
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