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Abstract

This paper examines the conjoined Allied occupation of Iran during World War II and the impact the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union had on a new, weak nation. The terms of the occupation were written with the best intentions for Iran but were eventually disregarded. This mixture of a poor execution of treaty terms as well as British, Soviet, and American interests within Iran destroyed the unity it possessed and allowed Russia to extend massive influence over the newly destabilized country. The British wanted to maintain their oil concessions. The Russians desired a warm water port and to influence Iran with Communist ideas. The United States wanted oil and had an extensive plan for what it would prefer for Iran to look like after the war. Other than national interests, the allies insisted that the Iranian government under Reza Shah Pahlavi though declared neutral, favored the Nazis. The invasion of Iran began on August 25, 1941 and was called Operation Countenance. Within four days, the nation of Iran was mostly occupied by the allies. The terms of the occupation were outlined in the Tripartite Treaty of Alliance, which was signed January 29, 1942 in Tehran. It stated that the allies would withdraw from Iranian territory no later than six months after the war had ended. On March 2, 1946, six months after the World War II had officially ended, the Soviet Union did not withdraw forces. On March 3, 1946, three columns of troops started marching toward Tehran towards Iraq and Turkey. These actions, preceded by what had already been done, were the beginnings of what would become the Cold War.

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