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Lecture 6

HIST-UA 157 Lecture 6: Middle East Timeline

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Middle East Timeline (1922-present)
1920-23 King Faisal I abdicates the throne in Syria to French forces, who occupy the land
according to a League of Nations mandate
1925 Reza Khan (later changed his name to Reza Shah Pahlavi), an officer in Iran’s military,
stages a successful coup and overthrows the despotic Qajar Dynasty. Tried to modernize the
country with infrastructural, educational, judicial and transportational developments. He also
wanted to step away from British and Russian
1933 King Ghazi succeeds his father King Faisal I to the Iraqi throne, and the military gained
much strength over government at this point. Ghazi opposed Britain in WWI and supported the
military coup of the civilian leadership of Iraq
1939 King Faisal II succeeds Ghazi to the throne of Iraq.
1941 Reza Shah declares Iran neutral in the lead-up to WWII. Iran becomes a supply line to
the Allies through the US lend-lease program
1952 Prince Hussein bin Talal becomes King of Jordan. King Hussein introduced liberal
western reforms, but was also noted for Black September, when he violently shut down
Palestinian nationalism in his country by expelling the Palestinian Liberation Organization
1953 Iran was unstable after WWII, and in 1953 the secular nationalist Dr. Mohammed
Mossadeq was democratically elected. In 1951 under his leadership the Iranian National
Parliament voted to nationalize the oil, and seized the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil
Company. Britain responded with a naval blockade in the Persian Gulf, known as the Abadan
Crisis. The problem was the major buyer of Iranian oil was Great Britain; the choice was to
either allow Britain to retain total control of Iranian oil, or seize it and risk not being able to sell
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