This is hubby's summary, based on about 5000 pages of reading he's done over time. He's is quite the history buff.
Book ReviewOur Man in Tehran describes one of the results of this situation and the actions by both the Americans in Iran, the Canadian ambassador, Ken Taylor, and the the actions of the official government of Iran, and the real controlling power, of the Ayatollah Khomeini. The book is a relatively easy read, even for the non-historian. It gives a more realistic perspective to the events of 1979-80, than the recent movie, Argo.
Why was Iran in this situation?The initial situation in the middle east, including Iran and Iraq, occurred after the end of WW I, with Treaty of Versailles in 1919. For those interested, this is particularly well-covered in Margaret McMillan's book: Paris 1919. Simplistically put, countries in the middle east were formed not based on religious or historical territories, but on the boundaries of former European colonies. This natural dissension within these countries was further exacerbated by western interference in the selection of Middle Eastern governments, such as the CIA-based 1953 Coup in Iran.
Treaty of Versailles 1919The thrust of the plot begins, according to history buff hubby, when country boundaries were redrawn after WW I, which crossed sectarian lines. All to keep Germany from keeping power. This was a result of the Treaty of Versailles, signed in 1919. Despite the common history, geography, economics, and cultures, religious sects divide a country without representation. According to History Learning Site UK: Germany had to return to Russia land taken in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Some of this land was made into new states: Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. An enlarged Poland also received some of this land. There are 9 million Muslims in Russia. I didn't know this until I did some research.
|From an Election Unit of Study in 2005|
My students were fascinated with this.
Dec. 15, 2005 article
On August 19, 1953, the democratically elected government of Iran was overthrown with the help of the US and the UK. The coup saw the formation of a military government under Shah Pahlavi. The oil industry was denationalized with half of profits going to Iran and half to a consortium of 17 mainly US and UK companies, and the shah received massive support from the United States. Shah Pahlavi created a dictatorship with the military, financial and personnel support of the United States.
Sectarian Violence in Syria todayColonialization has torn up many a country. Sectarian violence has done so, as well. Tribal Lords and religious leaders influence and/or control governments. The sectarian violence between Muslim Sunnis and other Muslim Sects, harms its citizens. The same is true of many tribes, such and the Hutus and the Tutsis, in Rwanda genocides.
Sky Blue: Countries that have groups that support the Syrian Government.
The tension between India and Pakistan is rooted in religious violence that began during the 7th c. invasion of Muslims into India.
The USA and the UK, backing particular leaders friendly to their cause (obtaining oil), become too powerful. This is why the events in Syria worry many. It was interesting news that the UK voted against becoming involved this past week.
Syrian Regime and the RebelsWith nearly 2 millions displaced people in Syrian, the Syrian Regime is trying to keep power. The poisoning and deaths of their citizens truly frightens many of us. They say that the Russians, Iran, the Hezbollah, and Brazil, amongst others, are funding arms for the Syrians. Turkey has a Syrian-staffed command centre in Istanbul. The rebels, backed by western governments and Saudi Arabia, can do nothing but cause more harm to civilians. This is why this is a good book. It deals in the history that led to the conflict in Iran. It isn't onerous reading, for those who wish to understand more you can see how the various governments and agencies fight for power and control.
Canadians, by turn, are pretty placid, what with Prime Minister Harper's appointed Senators who have been found guilty of fraud. PM Harper has faced scandal after scandal, passed Omnibus bills with buried changes that set us back many years in terms of the environment, and health and safety. Yet as he reprorogues government, again (3x's now), we just take it. The media doesn't seem inclined to react. Voters are going to have to make some noise.
From the book publisher:
The world watched with fear in November 1979, when Iranian students infiltrated and occupied the American embassy in Tehran. As the city exploded in a fury of revolution, few knew about the six American embassy staff who escaped into hiding. For three months, Ken Taylor, the Canadian ambassador to Iran—along with his wife and embassy staffers—concealed the Americans in their homes, terrified that Ayatollah Khomeini would find out and exact deadly consequences.
Click icon for more
book review blogs
book review blogs