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Abadan Workers On Strike

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July, 14, 1946 A.D.:
Abadan Workers On Strike

By: Mir M.Hosseini

The workers of the oil industry went on a strike in Abadan. Despite the military curfew, the strike went on for 3 days. The protesters clashed with the police forces who wanted to disperse the protests. These encounters created bloody scenes. Two Arab contractors were reported dead and some of the British Oil Company's assets were damaged. May,1 had also been the stage of mass demonstrations which were peaceful in nature but raised an ire in Britain regarding increasing Soviet influence that threatened British interests in Iran.
British naval forces were quickly deployed and stationed at the shores of Arvand river. On July, 15, the British cabinet approved a proposition by the army deploy to Basra special 401 forces which mostly consisted of Indian soldiers. The measure was taken in order to protect British interests in the region just in case. Iran protested British action giving assurance that the situation was under control by Iranian armed forces. Meanwhile, Britain was arming tribal mob in Khuzestan in order to create forces to counterbalance Toodeh Party's growing influence. Ernest Bevin criticized Ghavamossaltaneh for not containing leftist groups and tied the worker uprising to political instability in Iran adding that the wages paid to Iranians working for the company was much higher than the average wages in Iran.
Prime Minister Ghavamossaltaneh, on the other hand was aware of the power of Toodeh communist party, founded Iran Democrat Party and presented his new cabinet of ministers on August, 1, 1946. Foundation of the Ministry of Labor, and appointing three ministers from the Toodeh Party was at the time a strategic move to appease the Soviet Union while containing worker unrest for a while.
Subsequently, on September, 20, Ghashghayi and Bakhtiari tribal leaders in a telegraph to Tehran; expressed their discontent with overall situation and took Shiraz under siege. Negotiations between delegates sent from Tehran had no positive outcome and Ghavamossaltaneh was forced to dissolve his cabinet and submitted his resignation on Oct, 17. Mohammad Reza Shah appointed him again as Prime Minister to form a cabinet without ministers from Toodeh Party.

KEY TERMS:Abadan , Arab , Arvand , Bakhtiar , Bakhtiari , Basra , Britain , British , Democrat Party , Ernest Bevin , Ghashgha , Ghashghayi , Ghavamossaltaneh , India , Iran , Iranian , Khuzestan , Mohammad Reza Shah , Prime Minister , Reza Shah , Shah , Shiraz , Soviet , Soviet Union , Tehran , Toodeh , Toodeh Party

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