The diplomatic relationship between the two countries were not established till 1857, and by 1930, the two countries had minimal but cordial contact. After the Second World War, since 1953, America was the strongest ally of the Shah of Iran…
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The diplomatic relationship between the two countries were not established till 1857, and by 1930, the two countries had minimal but cordial contact. After the Second World War, since 1953, America was the strongest ally of the Shah of Iran.It is important to understand that Iran was undergoing tremendous internal political and social changes during the late nineteenth and twentieth century. It was hitherto a stable nation resistant to change. During this time, the foreign involvement of Britain and Russia signaled radical changes in the social and political systems of Iran. It was perhaps for this reason that Iran tried to improve diplomatic relations during this period with the US because of its anti-colonizing stance and its attractive foreign policy towards Third World Countries. The establishment of the American Diplomatic Mission in 1833 was a result of the increasing missionary presence in Tehran. It also sought financial expertise from the US in 1911 and 1925. In the early 1920’s, Reza Khan overthrew the ruling Ahmad Shah and the traditional Iranian system, both. He secularized Iranian politics and attempted to lay down the foundation of modern economy and infrastructure. However, he did not have the tools to bring about this radical transformation in the social as well as political systems organically; therefore: ‘Force became the method to achieve political and economic ends’. (Alikhani, 2000, p.6) In spite of this, Iran prospered under the rule of the new Shah and his son, Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, who ascended the throne in 1941. At that time, western Iran had fallen under the control of Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. The Soviet troops had stationed themselves after the war and refused to leave the country. However, under the pressure of the UN and the US, in 1946, it withdrew its troops. The US continued its support to the Shah under the Kennedy administration that brought about tremendous economic growth, also known as the White Revolution, by exporting oil from the vast petroleum reserves of Iran, which at that time were the third largest in the world. However, the Iranian people were not happy and extreme poverty, particularly in the rural areas instigated hatred for the ruler of Iran and its ally, the US. It was believed that the Shah was an American agent and the huge American army deployed in Iran was not to defend the nation from external interventions; rather it was there to protect the Shah from his own people. It paved way for the Islamic Revolution in Iran and Imam Khomeini came into power. By then, people had had developed deep hatred for America for whatever evil had happened to their country during the past 25 years. So, the seeds had been planted long before November 1979, when the Shah of Iran was overthrown and Islamic Revolution in Iran was heralded. When the radical Muslim students of Tehran seized the US embassy and took the staff hostage in 1979; that proved to be the turning point in the US-Iran relationship. While the American diplomats were made hostage for 444 days, Khomeini availed this time in reforming the system of the government, and having done all such tasks like holding the presidential and parliamentary elections in Iran, which have been otherwise impossible. On the other hand, it destroyed whatsoever diplomatic relations the two countries had, and the US imposed economical and other sanctions on Iran. The punishment of Iran by the US continues even today. Since 1981, the Swiss government assumed representation of US interests in Tehran; while the embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC handles Iranian affairs in the Iranian Interests Section. The Islamic Republic of Iran also has a permanent mission to the United Nations in New York. Description of the Current Situation Since 2002, IAEA is striving to convince Iran to abide by the Non Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement in order to ensure peace in the region. However, it continues to disregard the few agreements it has signed with IAEA. The
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