The Anglo-Iranian Oil Crisis Revisited: Iran’s Rejection of the World Bank Intervention and the 1953 Coup
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
The 1953 coup in Iran was not inevitable. It would not have happened if at least two opportunities had been seized to settle the Anglo-Iranian oil dispute. The first was the World Bank proposal of February 1952 to act as a neutral intermediary between the two sides by running Iran’s oil industry for two years on a non-profit basis. It was accepted by Britain but rejected by Iran, mainly because it insisted on the Bank acting solely on its behalf; a condition which would have compromised the Bank’s neutrality, and would surely not have been accepted by Britain. Deprived of its oil revenues, Iran ended up by printing money, which eventually led to the dissolution of the parliament, playing right into the hands of the coup makers. The second opportunity arose a year later when Britain and America proposed to refer the case to the International Court’s arbitration to determine the amount of compensation that Iran should pay to Britain. Iran rejected this proposal as well, leaving the two Western powers to implement their coup a few months later. The irony is that from the start Mosaddeq and his colleagues had emphasized the primacy of the politics of oil nationalization, namely that their goal was full independence and democracy. Yet they ended up by losing the game purely by wrangling over compensation.
International Journal of New Political Economy, Volume:4 Issue: 1, Winter - Spring 2023
29 to 43
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