Why Iran Hates America?

America has given the world plenty of reasons to hate it. From spying on President Dilma Rousseff to funding Taliban to ward off Russians, the country has literally stuck its nose in everybody’s affairs. It considers itself the proverbial Hand of God, unleashing its wrath on those who don’t let it have its way in the world. You can almost always be sure that there is some ulterior motive behind every move that America makes. For the Middle Eastern sovereign state of Iran it was oil.

Of late we have all been aware of the ongoing feud between America and Iran, America trying to govern the country’s claimed peaceful nuclear program, by imposing economic sanctions and crippling the economy. But the country had to finally come to terms with reality and reluctantly sign the Nuclear Deal. However the source of this agitation against America is not due to the economic sanctions or the threat to its sovereignty imposed by America, but rather dates back to the coup jointly organized by United States and United Kingdom in 1953.

Iran had unanimously and democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. He sought to audit the books of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP) and change the terms of access to the oil reserves of the country. The Company then refused to grant access to the records and thus the parliament decided to nationalize the assets of the company and expel their representatives from the country. It started in 1949, when there was an attempt at the assassination of the Shah of Iran. Shocked by this and winning the sympathy of the people of Iran, the Shah increasingly started to take interest in political goings on of the country. As expected the ruler by descent, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi and the democratic head, Mohammad Mosaddegh did not get along on policies for governing the state.  This partly stemmed from the fact that Mosaddegh was connected by blood to the Qajar dynasty and saw Pahlavi as an usurper to the throne (GoT much?).  Also because Mossadegh believed in a pro-democratic system of governance and failed to see the point of giving much power to the ceremonial Shah. Although the constitution gave the Shah the right to rule, Mosaddegh used his influence and the National Front bloc to gather votes and passed the oil nationalization bill in the parliament.

The bill, in 1951, was unanimously passed in the parliament and pitched Iran as an antagonist of Britain.  This move was seen as one of controlling their own bull by the Iranian people and Mosaddegh became a hero and a sign for a better future. In 1951, Britain approached America to help it plan a coup d’état in Iran, but US was already deep in the Korean War (Hand of God much?)  and President Harry Truman refused help. In 1953 when Dwight D. Eisenhower came into power, he supported the cause, believing it to be a Russian propaganda (Cold War paranoia, eh?).

image 2- iran coup

Although the reserves were nationalized, the production of oil fell mainly due to inexperience and Britain banning its technicians to work in Iran. This, in addition to the Navy blockade by the British dwindled national income thus angering the masses. Added to this was the fact that Mosaddegh had lost his primary supporter, religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, due to lack of turning Iran into an Islamic State.

In 1953, economic tensions caused by political turmoil and the British embargo began to cause havoc and unrest in the country. Mosaddegh was soon losing middle class supporters, even in the face of 1952 elections being rigged by the US, Mosaddegh won by unanimous vote. A year later, it was getting hard to manage the situation and thus Mosaddgeh thought it fit to grant him and his cabinet supreme powers to govern. This led to fears of communism in the country and uncontrollable riots erupted. The Shah initially resisted CIA’s plans for the coup but soon joined in. Mosaddegh was delivered a firman from the Shah officially dismissing him as the head of state, even though he had no powers to.  In his place, General Zahedi was instated as the head of state and a sympathizer of the British. The oil reserves was de-nationalized and the British and American now started drilling for oil.

So, who wouldn’t hate America after trying to assassinate your nation’s democratically elected leader and trying to binge on your natural resource? Hence the hatred for America is justified (almost always).


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