The aftermath of World War II presented the US with an opportunity toadvance American imperialism across the world. As the West’s strongest stateand leader of the world’s greatest military, the US sought to gain influence inthe Middle East, both to protect its oil interests and as a counter to Sovietinfluence amidst the Cold War. All the empires of the past were built on thestrength of their militaries and the intent of building an empire was publiclyknown. The British, French, German, Ottomans, and Romans were all extremelyproud of their imperialistic ambitions and boasted with every conquest. The riseof anti-colonialist and nationalistic sentiments in the 20th century,however, made it extremely unpopular, both internationally and domestically, forthe US to exercise a similar form of imperialism.
If the US was to reach its imperialistgoals it would have to do so clandestinely. This was especially apparent, asGelvin points out, in the “Anglo-American-backed coup d’état that brought downthe democratically elected government in Iran” (Gelvin, p. 307). In 1951 Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh was democraticallyelected as prime minister in Iran. Mossadegh was hailed as the hope for democracyin the Middle East and was even selected to be Time Magazine’s Man of the Yearin 19521.Mossadegh notably ran on the idea that the Iranian oil belonged to the Iranianpeople and thus foreign oil companies should have to pay much more then theywere. The nationalization of Iranian oil displeased Britain and the US.
The Britishsaw the current arrangement as crucial to the kingdoms post World War IIeconomic recovery and the US had growing concern that Mossa The US was weary of sending in the military,as it would have been difficult to justify internationally. Instead, the US andUK drew up a covert operation known as TPAJAX. CIA officer Kermit Roosevelt Jr.1 http://content.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19520107,00.html