16 Azar (7 December) became official Student Day in Iran after the 1979 Revolution

16 Azar (7 December) has become the official Student Day in Iran after the 1979 Revolution. On that day, December 7, 1953 (16 Azar 1332 in the Iranian calendar) three students of the University of Tehran were murdered by Iranian police in the Pahlavi era. Every year there are local demonstrations at many universities organized by students.

ID: 56761 | Date: 2018/12/07

It is commemorated both by religious and student movements. Ahmad Ghandchi who belonged to Jebhe-e Melli and two other students, Shariat-Razavi and Bozorg-Nia who were claimed by Hezb-e Tudeh, were killed when the Shah's police forces opened fire on the students of the University of Tehran going on strike in protest at the resumption of Iran's relations with Great Britain and Nixon's visit to Iran, following the coup d'état of 1953, also known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup d'état. The coup d’état saw the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favor of strengthening the monarchical rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. 

On December 5, 1953, the coup government officially re-established diplomatic relations with Britain. Denis Wright was sent to Tehran as the chargé d’affaires on December 21 (Azar 30) and stayed on as counselor until 1955, after the arrival of the new ambassador. The resumption of diplomatic relations further angered the people and in particular the political dissidents and the university students. 
From then on Iranians have been observing the day as a protest to the U.S. interference with Iran domestic affairs.

Until the coup, perhaps in the eyes of some well-known experts in world politics, as well as in communists, who were ideologically rivals of the West bloc, the United States was not known as a dominant and aggressive power in the Iranian public eye. The nationalist political parties that were members of the National Front of Iran introduced the United States as a “third power”, whose consolidation of ties with Iran could dispel Tehran from the influence of the two great traditional powers, Britain and Russia. It was a continuation of the view that existed from the late Qajar era among part of modernists who claimed reform, some notorious and affiliated with both the U..S and France and some well-known with good intents. 

Over the past two decades, some high-ranking U.S. officials have agreed with views of historians that one of the most important factors behind Iranian hatred for the American political system and its fruits in the Islamic Revolution of 1357 was the 28 Mordad coup. On March 17, 2000, Madeline Albright, U.S. Secretary of State during Bill Clinton’s presidency, President Barack Obama’s first speech on June 4, 2009 in Cairo, and then Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the Obama's government, on October 26, 2011, accepted the intervention role of the U.S. government in the coup d'état of Mordad 28. 

Coup d’état government 

The 28 Coup d’état was recognized as the first coup d'état of the CIA, but that is not the case. 

First, documents and research published in the recent decade show that the CIA played a role in the coup by Mohamed Naguib, the first President of Egypt, General Mohammed Najib and Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein, the second President of Egypt who led the 1952 overthrow of the monarchy in Egypt, the abolition of Maluku Farouk and the end of the royal family of Mohammad Ali Pasha, a year before the coup of Mordad 1331 (July 23, 1952). In Egyptian coup d’état, like the Mordad coup in the following year in Iran, the CIA with Kermit Roosevelt was responsible for the Middle East and North African region. After the Egyptian coup, Roosevelt settled in Cairo in October 1952 and established a close friendship with Gamal Abdel Nasser. But with growing anti-Israeli feelings in Nasser, a transformation was formed in the emergence of “Arab nationalism” and it's anti-Americanو anti-Britain tendencies.  In 1956 the British intelligence service (MIC) and American CIA began to end the Nasser government. However, some scholars regard that the beginning of the link between the Egyptian army and the United States. The establishment of a militarized and political-economic system in Egypt was a result of the coup d’état. 

Second, the manipulation of the political processes of Iranian society in the early years of 1320 (1941) and the fall of Reza Shah, which resulted in the coup d'état of Mordad 28, 1332, was not only the CIA’s doing, but also had the British intelligence service (MI6) as well as US oil cartels’ hands in it. They were seeking to circumvent the “anti-monopoly” in the United States, and to establish a link with the official government policy of the Middle East to share Iran oil with two oil companies “Royal Dutch Shell” and “Total” (French oil company of that day). These American and non-American private companies signed a consortium agreement with Iran in 1333 (1954) and created a new, trans-national oil cartel that dominated 85 percent of the world's oil reserves by the early 1970s. 

Meeting in Tehran

The first meeting between Richard Nixon and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was held in Tehran on December 7, 1953, and was the beginning of a long relation between the two. In his book “Real War” in 1980, Nixon described Reza Shah as a person with “inadequate confidence”. After returning to Washington in a report to the National Security Council (NSC), Nixon described the Shah as one who is just beginning to gain his courage.

The presidency of Richard Nixon began on January 20, 1969, when he was inaugurated as the 37th President of the United States, which ended on August 9, 1974, when he resigned from office. In early 1973, Nixon was forced to devote increasing attention to the Watergate scandal that enveloped his administration. Meanwhile, Edward Richard George Heath KG MBE, often known as Ted Heath, became a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1970 to 1974 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1965 to 1975. In the weak of support of these two states (Henry Alfred Kissinger, Nixon‘s Secretary of State and National Security advisor and Lord Victor Rothschild, advisor to the Edward Heath), Shah was able to reach the peak of his “confidence”.  
Some researchers believed that the “1973 oil shock” the sharp increase in oil prices, was the Nixon administration plan.

After World War II, the imperialism American has expanded and led to deploy a large number of troop to other countries. This has led to a sharp increase in U.S. dollars outside America since the early 1960s and a decline in the dollar against gold. European governments turned gold into dollars, which put the American economy at risk.

Thus, at the beginning of the 1970s, gold reserves fell by half, and European stocks were multiplied. To counteract the crisis, prevent dollar-to-gold conversion, and the withdrawal of U.S. gold reserves from the country, Nixon announced his New Economic Program, which included the abandonment of the gold standard. The financial policies that began in 1971 are called “Nixon Shocks.”

In the next step, they raised oil prices to return to the U.S. the huge dollars that went to Western Europe and Japan. The United States had huge oil reserves, but countries like Japan and West Germany were oil buyers. Thus, from October 1973 to March 1974, oil prices ranged from $3 to about $ 12 a barrel, and Western European countries and Japan were forced to pay about $60 billion more to the Middle Eastern oil rich governments than a year before. The large dough would come back to the US through Washington’s arms sale and other American goods. 

The maniacal dictatorship of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi  

With the remarkable increase of Iranian oil revenues, the insanity and self-control of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi peaked and his splurging started. In July 1974, arrogant Shah announced that Iran had loaned the World Bank $ 200 million. Shortly afterwards,  he announced that for up to 10 years, Iran's military power would be in line with British military power.

Thus, the purchase price of American and English weapons amounted to about $ 500 million in 1351 to $ 5.5 billion in 1977. On September 18, 1978, the Time magazine announced that Iran had purchased $ 36 billion worth of weapons from the West over the last twenty years. Tehran had become the largest gun market in the region and the focus of the activity and competition of international arms dealers.

 William Shawcross, the British author of the bestseller book “The Shah's Last Ride” wrote: “Since the flow of oil money to Iran, only weapons dealers in the West have profited…… the former CIA chiefs, former heads of the military assistance advisory group and some of former authorities in U.S. turned to be arms dealer to make advantage of its contracts. Even, Admiral Moore who was the seventh Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and retired recently was an arms dealer in Tehran.”

Amir-Abbas Hoveyda, prime minister of Iran during this important and decisive period, (from 27 January 1965 to 7 August 1977) provided all the means necessary to exacerbate the insanity of the Shah's autocracy and, in contradiction to the constitution, constituted, facilitated and encouraged the involvement of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his relatives and friends in executive affairs. In these years of political and financial corruption, an unprecedented upsurge; national sources have been plundered by international dealers; consumerism and financial scams disrupted economic life. SAVAK, the Shah’s secret police, which was led to violently crack down on any opposition to the government.

The anti-American rage of Iranian people 

The rage of the Iranian people against the U.S. and its allies, mounted on December 7, 1953, as three students were killed at the Tehran University. In the years 1962-63 with the Imam Khomeini movement, Iran entered a new stage which resulted in the victory of the 1979 revolution.  The Iranian Revolution, participated by the absolute majority of society, became the most popular revolution in the new history of the world. The fruit of this revolution was the establishment of a new political system whose main message was the rejection of the dependence and political, economic, and cultural return to the original native identity in accordance with the requirements of the time. In the course of its 40 years, the Islamic Republic has gradually become more and more stable and experienced, and by passing through storms, Iran has turned into a great regional power today. However, this is still the beginning of its journey.

(By Abdollah Shahbazi: Tehran Times)