reaping what you sow

"Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh (May 19, 1882 - March 4, 1967) was prime minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953. Mossadegh quickly implemented more socialist reforms. Iran's centuries old feudal agriculture sector was abolished, and replaced with a system of collective farming and government land ownership.

The government of Britain had grown increasingly distressed over Mossadegh's reforms and were especially bitter over the loss of their control on the Iranian oil industry. Despite Mossadegh's repeated attempts to negotiate a reasonable settlement with them they refused outright the same terms, and later [asserted] total control over Iranian oil.

After negotiations for higher oil royalties failed, on March 15, 1951 the Iranian parliament (the Majlis) voted to nationalize Iran's oil industry and seize control of the British-owned and operated Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC).

Unable to resolve the issue singlehandedly due to its post second world war problems, Britain looked towards the United States to settle the issue. The United States was falsely informed that Mossadegh was increasingly turning towards communism and was moving Iran towards the Soviet sphere at a time of high cold war fears.

Acting on the fears created by Britain the United States and Britain began to publicly denounce Mossadegh's policies for Iran as harmful to the country.

In October of 1952, Mossadegh declared that Britain was "an enemy," and cut all diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom. In November and December 1952, British intelligence officials suggested to American intelligence that the prime minister should be ousted. The new US administration under Dwight Eisenhower and the British government under Winston Churchill agreed to work together toward Mossadegh's removal.

When the Iranian revolution occurred in 1979, the overthrow of Mossadegh was used as a rallying point in anti-US protests. To this day, Mossadegh's image in Iran is mixed. His secularism and western manners have made official government praise mild at best in the now fundamentalist theocratic state. Yet many others still view him as a victim of US aggression."

By the way - Iran's nuclear programme is not an "imminent threat," the head of the UN nuclear watchdog said on Thursday.

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