Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iran
Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran refers to the invasion of Iran by the British and Soviet armed forces during the 2nd World War. The invasion occurred in 1941, from August 25th to September 17th. The purpose of the invasion was to secure oil fields in Iran and to ensure that there were sufficient supply lines for Soviets fighting on the eastern Front, against Axis forces.
Soviet Union and the United Kingdom became allies following the Germany’s invasion of the USSR in June 1941. This was popularly known as the German invasion of the USSR. Iran was a country of great importance despite the fact that Reza Shah Pahlavi had already declared its neutrality in the 2nd World War.
Germany was interested in securing oil fields and its army had already started advancing towards Iran through Soviet Union. Germany had a ‘’Persian Corrido’’ that was also seen as one of the best ways for the allies to get Lend Lease supplies to the Soviets from the US.
What led to Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iran?
The Nazis wooed Reza Shah Pahlavi, a German supporter and used him as a counter to the Russians and the British even before they came into power. The Nazis provided economic support to create close relationship between Iran and Germany. However, there was an invasion of Soviet Union in 1941. Iran pro-axis lean was then used as a cause for invasion of Iran by the Soviet Union and the British.
The invasion occurred because the British had fears that Abadan Oil Refinery might be secured by the Germans. The refinery was quite profitable as it produced up to 8 million tons of oil in a year. This was during a very crucial part of the allied invasion.
Build up forces also to the invasion of Iran. Against claims that the invasion occurred as a surprise attack, 2 diplomatic notes were sent to Iranian government urging it to expel Axis nationals. The notes sent on July 19th and in August, also stated that if the nationals were not expelled, outside forces would be used.
According to the Prime Minister Ali Mansur, the 2nd note was indeed a disguised ultimatum. Final diplomatic notes were also sent by British and Soviet ambassadors declaring that an invasion was starting. This happened during the night of the invasion.
Therefore, the Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iran was a planned attack to secure oil supplies in the country.
What happened after Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iran?
- Iran was defeated after the invasion
- Oil fields were taken
- Valuable Iranian Railways also changed into the hands of the Allied forces
- A new Prime Minister, Fourughi was elected and he agreed that his staff should vacate Tehran
- The Prime Minister also agreed that the Italian, German, Romanian and Hungarian legations should be closed
- German nationals were handed over to Soviet and British authorities
- Reza Shah, the father of Reza Shah Pahlavi, supporter of Germany was arrested and sent into exile in South Africa
- British forces and Soviet forces withdrew from Tehran in, October 17th
- Iran was divided between the Soviet Union and Britain for the entire period that the global war lasted.
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