Events Leading Up to the Involvement of the United States Army PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 September 2013 22:14

The entry of the Soviet Union into World War II on 22 June 1941, and the consequent desire of  Great Britain to send the Soviet Union munitions and other supplies to aid in the struggle against the  Axis powers, gave Iran a position of strategic importance.  Although Riza Shah Pahlavi strove to  pursue a neutral path, it was clear by 1941 that Axis influence within the country was growing steadily.   When the Shah refused to accede to a request that all German nationals be asked to leave the country,  an invasion became inevitable. 

Soviet and British forces moved into Iran on 25 August 19411, having decided to demand that Iran  accept their "protection" of its oil supplies.  The British advanced in two areas to seize the oil  installations near Abadan and from northeast of Baghdad to take similar sites around Ahwaz and  Khorramshahr.  The Soviet forces advanced in three columns.  One column moved on Tabriz while  the other two advanced on either side of the Caspian.  There was little opposition to either the British  or the Soviet forces. 

On 26 August 1941, the British forces occupied the installation at Abadan.  On 27 August 1941, a  new Iranian government was formed and asked for an armistice with the Allies.  Orders were issued  for Iranian troops to cease fire. 

On 29 August 1941, the fighting ended, and on 31 August 1941, the Soviet and British troops  linked up at Kagvin.  As a result of the Allied invasion, all Axis nationals were expelled, all Axis  consulates and legations were closed, and the Allies assumed control of all Iranian communications  facilities.  The Shah abdicated, and his son, Mohammed Riza Pahlavi, succeeded his father, adopting  a pro-Allied policy, and granting the demands of the Iranian parliament for liberal reforms. 

Final terms of the armistice were agreed to by the Iranian government on 9 September 1941 - the  British and Soviets were to occupy key points but were to keep out of Tehran, but on 16 September  1941, the Allies decided to occupy Tehran because the Shah had not done enough to expel all Axis  nationals from the country;  British and Soviet forces arrived in Tehran on 17 September 1941. 

In January 1942, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and Iran signed a treaty guaranteeing Anglo- Soviet respect for Iranian territorial integrity and military aid to fulfill this pledge.  The Allies also  agreed to consult the Iranian government on all economic, political, and military measures affecting  the domestic policy of the country, and to withdraw the occupation forces as soon as possible, and to  provide economic assistance to Iran.