Saturday, January 21, 2012

Time to Revisit `A People's History of Iran' Again: Part 1

(All the 2012 GOP and Democratic presidential candidates in the USA—except for Ron Paul—apparently support the U.S. government’s current policy of waging economic warfare and covert war against people in Iran and threatening people in Iran with an overt US/Israeli military attack in 2012. Yet most people in the United States know little about the history of people in Iran since foreign imperialist powers began undemocratically and illegally intervening in its internal political and economic affairs in the late 1800s. But here's part 1 of "A People's History of Iran," from a few years ago--bf).

By the early 1900s, Iran (which was then more commonly known as “Persia”) was pretty much a semi-colony of the UK and Czarist Russia. A government controlled by the Qajar royal dynasty of Iranian feudal landowners had handed out telegraphy, railroad and other commercial concessions to British and Russian business people during the late 1800s, after the British imperialists opened the Shahanshah Bank in 1889 and the Russian imperialists opened the Discount-Loan Bank in 1890.

In the early 20th century the British imperialists received what would turn out to be its most valuable concession from the Qajar dynasty’s government: a concession for the exploitation of Iranian oil. By 1909, the British company that exercised a special influence in Iranian society for much of the 20th century, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, had been founded. By the early 1900s, foreign advisers had also been put in charge of Iranian customs and finances by the subservient feudalist Iranian government. The southern part of Iran was by then dominated by UK imperialist interests and the northern part of Iran by Russian imperialist interests.

Not surprisingly, in reaction to increased domination by foreign imperialist economic interests, nationalist consciousness began to grow in Iran in the late 19th century and various secret anti-government societies were formed by Iranian intellectuals who sought democratic reforms and an end to Iran’s semi-colonial status. By 1905, the Iranian Revolution of 1905-1911 had begun.

The demands of the revolutionary movement were anti-imperialist and anti-feudalist; and, during this revolutionary period, there was an uprising in the Iranian city of Tabriz in 1909. But both the Czarist Russian government and the UK government decided that their special imperialist economic interests were threatened by the Iranian Revolution of 1905-1911. So at the end of 1911, the Czarist Russian troops and the British troops that were stationed in Iran united with their reactionary Iranian domestic allies and suppressed by force the Iranian Revolution of 1905-1911. (end of part 1)

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