The Socialist Movement In Iran
The struggle for freedom in Iran has always had three prongs:
- religious groups
- the socialist groups and
- the nationalists.
The blowback from the severe dictatorship of the last 100 years is the main cause of the attraction to socialism. Although the socialist movements consisted of very small cells, the long border with the Soviet Union and the strong desire of Russians to get to the Persian Gulf modified these sporadic movements to serious uprisings which could have easily turned Iran into one of the Soviet Republics.
As the socialist movement of Iran was quite extensive, and because my family was involved with these events and I personally knew some of the players, I divided this section of Iranian history to three separate parts.
This section is about the rise and fall of "the democratic Republic of Azarbaijan." This event was the first struggle of the Cold War and probably was the most serious Soviet attempt of the 20th century at carving up Iranian territory. I should also mention that there are a few issues covered in this article which come from my personal knowledge and have never before been reported. For clarity, those facts are written in italic.
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As mentioned in the previous article, the allied countries were fed up with Reza Shah and his unruly behavior. He was not just the absolute dictator in Iran - he was flirting with Hitler. Though he declared the country independent, Reza Shah would not stop misbehaving. In early 1943, the allies needed to get war materials to Russia both quickly and safely. The fastest route was through Iran's railroad from the Persian Gulf to the Russian border. The allies gave Reza Shah direct and indirect ultimatums to throw the Germans out and join the allies seriously. However, he did not realize how serious they were and Hitler was battling it out in Stalingrad which was not far from Iran.
The idea was that if German forces would break through Stalingrad and make it to Iran, they would have had access to all of the oil, would cut off the flow of oil to the Britain and the United States and could make the final push for the pincer movement movement of joining the Africa Core. Such an event would have been the beginning of the end for the allied forces. Since the stakes were high and Reza Shah was not responding to their threats, they simply poured in and the dictator was finished faster than all participants. No one put up a fight. He had irritated so many people that this most unpleasant takeover of the country was simply a relief.