The Fickle Finger Of Fate
“It is forbidden to kill;
therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill
in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
It's probable that you've never heard of Operation Ajax.
It was how America initially got it's hands on Iranian
oil back in the 50's. Read along to see how history repeats
and an inkling of why the Iranian's are so deservedly
peeved at the U.S.:
For years, Britain had a spiffy trade deal with
Iran regarding their prodigious oil fields. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was
basically a giant money machine for the Anglo half, while the Iranian half got
shafted. That all changed in 1951 when Iran nationalized the AIOC and the Iranian
parliament elected Mohammed Mossadegh as Prime Minister. Mossadegh was relatively
secular, something that pissed of Iranian clerics, but he was also very nationalistic.
When Britain tried to regain control of the AIOC, he gave them the finger. Tea
was spilled, crumpets were dropped and monocles everywhere popped out in shock.
You can guess what happened next. Jolly old England went to its ally, the United
States, and convinced President Dwight D. Eisenhower to help overthrow the democratically
elected leader of Iran and install a pro-West monarchy. Together the CIA and
British intelligence services funneled guerrilla troops, anti-Mossadegh propaganda
and tons of bribes into Iran.
How did that work out?
In the short term? Great! The mostly ceremonial position of Shah (king) of Iran
was restored to its former imperial glory, but this time as a puppet of the West.
The White House and Tehran became BFFs, and as long as the US government overlooked
the numerous human rights abuses happening in Iran, all was well.
Until 1979, that is, when a pissed off Iranian populace finally revolted and
replaced the monarchy with an anti-West Islamic Republic. One messy hostage crisis
later, and Iran and the US were no longer BFFs. But hey, at least the US learned
a very important lesson about overthrowing the governments of unfriendly Middle
Note: Most of the above was
cribbed from cracked.com.