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…show more content…
In addition, the Shah’s decision to cede Persian land of great historic and monetary value, to Americans, further intensified Iranians’ xenophobic sentiments. Despite opposition from the Iranian citizens, the U.S.’s economic dominance over Iran led to the invasion of American culture in Tehran and other major Iranian cities: newly constructed theatres played American films, large neon signs advertising companies such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola were commonly seen in city skylines, and clothing stores with bikinis and other American clothes were commonplace in city boulevards. Many Iranians perceived Americans’ obnoxious showcasing of western culture to be a sign of arrogance and racial superiority. More importantly, they viewed Americans’ culture to be a corrupting force on traditional Iranian life. The Iranian commissary, consisting of a large portion of Americans, imported vast amounts of liquor, cigarettes and cola. The importation of alcohol particularly outraged Iranian Muslims, for Islamic law succinctly proscribed becoming intoxicated. Additionally, in 1970, an American aircraft lifted seventy-nine tons of processed cat and dog food to Tehran. An impoverished Iranian sardonically claimed, “the American’s dogs eat better than the average Iranian.” This airlift exemplified the notion that the Shah was more concerned about accommodating his American “friends” than meeting the dire needs of the Iranian people. The CIA helped establish Pahlavi’s
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