Essay about The United States Relations with the Middle East

Essay about The United States Relations with the Middle East

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The United States was heavily involved in Middle-Eastern affairs during the latter half of the twentieth century. Following the election of President Eisenhower in 1952, the U.S.’s growing fear of Iranian nationalism and the potential spread of communism throughout the Persian Gulf ultimately coaxed U.S. forces into helping the British’ MI6 oust the Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, from power. The CIA successfully overthrew Mossadegh and created a power vacuum in the Middle East, in 1953, through Operation Ajax. The U.S. then informally colonized Iran, under Shah Pahlavi’s rule, in order to possess economic and political hegemony over the volatile Persian Gulf. The U.S. effectively transformed the Shah into an autocratic ruler who controlled the Iranian government and people. As a result of Pahlavi’s despotic rule, the Iranian public felt a growing enmity towards the Shah and, consequently, the U.S. for its backing of Pahlavi’s rule. In the 1970’s, tensions between the Iranian citizens and the government escalated as the people suffered from economic and social inequalities. The country was characterized by urban overpopulation, monetary inflation, and rampant corruption regarding the election of military and political leaders. In addition, many staunch Iranians and clerics viewed the U.S.’s western culture as an eroding and corrupting force on their traditional culture and values. The secularization of Iranian society upset the clergy and Muslims across all classes because they believed the government should be based upon Sharia, not secular, law. As public protests and subversive literature began to emerge, the U.S. aided the Shah in suppressing opponents of his regime through the creation of organizations such as SA...

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...Americans hostage for 444 days because he wanted to showcase Iran’s “independence and opposition to American power.” Taking place during two presidential terms, the lengthy Iranian hostage crisis heightened tensions and created a long lasting rift between the United States and Iran. Americans were outraged over the Iranians mistreatment of the hostages, and Khomeini’s followers still resented the secularization of Iran under the Shah’s puppet regime. Over the course of two decades, the Iranian citizens developed a negative view of the United States and western culture because the despotic, U.S.-backed Shah failed to improve the welfare of all Iranian social classes. Operation Ajax was ultimately unsuccessful as the unpopular rule of the Shah engendered the deterioration of U.S. – Iran relations, and Iran’s secular form of government was replaced with Sharia law.

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