In part 1 we examined the early history of the West's domination of Persian natural resources, especially the establishment and rise of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company which led to multiple 20th-century British interventions in Iranian politics in an attempt to ensure permanent access to oil. Part 2 tells the story of Operation Ajax.
"The Empire Must Go On"
Once Europe erupted in the world war (WWI), the British dispatched their armed forces to refineries all over Iran in order to protect what they considered their property – Iranian oil. After the cessation of hostilities in 1919, the British bribed and intimidated the new regime of Ahmad Shah into accepting the terms of the much hated Anglo-Persian Agreement which in all but name, made Iran a protectorate of the British Empire. No longer would the Iranians control their own army, transportation system, and communications network. It all passed under the control British occupiers and with it the last vestiges of Iranian sovereignty. This once again ignited the fervent nationalist spirit across Iran and new rounds of protests and opposition.
Even the U.S. president, Woodrow Wilson, disapproved of the agreement. But, true to their colonial and imperialist spirit, the British rebuffed such protestations and opposition by saying, "These people have got to be taught at whatever cost to them, that they cannot get on without us. I don't at all mind their noses being rubbed in the dust." The empire must go on.