At the end of the First World War (1918), Iran (or Persia as it was then called) was a monarchy.
The king, Reza Shah, developed his country and called in foreign technicians to help. These included engineers from the UK and countries in Europe. The UK controlled much of the oil development through the company Anglo-Iranian Oil.
In 1941, the UK wanted Iran to expel technicians from Germany as the two countries were at war. Iran refused as it had declared itself neutral. The UK and Russia disregarded this and occupied the country. The UK exiled Reza Shah and took control of communications. The UK placed the exiled king’s son, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, onto the throne.
In 1942 USA troops took control of the country’s railway line.
After the end of World War II, the USA, UK and Russia withdrew as agreed with the new king. However the victorious allies failed to pay promised compensation for the use of Iran as a supply route during the War.
Free elections brought reformer Mohammed Mossadeq to power.
End of World War II
The Second World War ends. The USA, and Soviet Union (and to a lesser extent, the UK) divide Europe into spheres of influence.
The following USA companies had supplied arms and equipment to the regime of Nazi Germany:
- ITT Corporation provided radio and telecommunications.
- IBM provided the computer technology (punch cards) used to racially classify the German population. The company stationed staff at each extermination camp. The five digit numbers tattooed on prisoners were IBM codes.
- Ford Motor Company. The founder of the company was a prominent supporter of the Nazis.
- General Motors.
- Standard Oil.
- Davis Oil Company.
- Chase National Bank.
- Coca Cola: the company executive in Germany was appointed Adminitrator of Soft Drinks Production by the Nazis. Because the cola syrup was unavailable, a new product was produced: Fanta.
Many German companies benefited under the Nazis: Bertelsmann (the world’s largest publisher – published Nazi propaganda used Jewish slave labour), Deutsche Bank (expropriated Jewish owned property and built the death camp at Auschwitz in Poland where 1,500,000 people died), Degussa (a precious metals company which admitted melting down gold taken from concentration camp victims), Siemens (the electronic company that used over 50,000 slave workers), Daimler (slave labour – paid out nearly $10,000,000 in compensation in the 1980s), Volkswagon (slave labour).
The Nazi regime had discriminated against and killed Jews and other ethnic groups because it had considered northern Europeans to be a superior race. The USA Chargé d’Affairs in Berlin had stated that hope for Germany lay in “the more moderate section of the [Nazi] party which appeals to all civilised and reasonable people”.
The USA had also supported and funded the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini in Italy saying that “all patriotic Italians hunger for strong leadership and enjoy being dramatically governed”. The USA State Department had said that “Fascism is becoming the soul of Italy, [having] brought order out of chaos, discipline out of licence, and solvency out of bankruptcy. To accomplish so much in a short time severe measures have been necessary”.
At the end of the War, many European Fascists are supported and re-instated by the USA and its West European allies. Many prominent Nazis are taken to the USA to work for the Americans: Reinhard Gehlen (spymaster), Alfred Six and Emil Augsburg (SS officers implicated in the massacre of Jews), Klaus Barbie (killer of many in the French city of Lyon), Otto von Bolschwing (mastermind of the holocaust against the Jews), and Otto Skorzeny (SS leader and friend of Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler).
Between 100,000 and 800,000 people are killed on Cheju Island (South Korea) by the USA backed government of Syngman Rhee. The purge of “communists” is aided by forces supplied by two other USA occupied countries: Japan and Taiwan.