The Islamic Republic of Iran marks the 64th anniversary of the nationalization of its oil industry, which was a significant step in the country’s independence from the West, Press TV reports.
On March 20, 1951, members of the Iranian parliament passed a bill introduced by the country’s democratically-elected prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq, to nationalize Iran’s oil industry.
Mosaddeq’s decision was backed by his nationalist party as well as religious figures led by prominent cleric Ayyatollah Abolghassem Kashani.
The initiative put an end to Britain’s four-decade rule over Iran’s oil industry. The Britain-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) enjoyed monopolistic control over the industry and used to pay only a small share of the revenues to the Iranian government.
“Three important factors were involved in the nationalization of Iran’s oil industry. The first factor was the national convergence towards this issue. The second factor was the strong bond among the nation, religious groups and the nationalist party. The third was the rivalries among the so-called big powers of the time,” Hossein Amiri, an Iranian political analyst, told Press TV.
In retaliation for Mosaddeq’s revolutionary move, Britain and the United States imposed sanctions against Iran’s oil and later colluded to stage a coup against the ex-premier’s government in 1953 in a bid to reinstate the western-back monarch, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in power after the bans failed to bear result.
The US gained “tangible benefits” from ousting Mosaddeq and usurped a significant share of Iran’s oil wealth following the notorious coup, Amiri added.
In 2013, the CIA published a document for the first time after six decades confirming Washington’s role in the British- and American-backed military overthrow of the Mosaddeq administration.
Iran was the first country in the Middle East to reclaim its oil industry. The Iranian nation’s move proved to be of great importance in giving rise to the anti-colonialist tendencies all over the region.