Abadan: The Rise and Demise of an Oil Metropolis | Urban Politics of Oil and Modernity

The story of Abadan is entwined with the turbulent histories of modernity in Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. From its foundation on a sandy island in the Shatt al-‘Arab River bordering Iran and Iraq on the eve of World War I, the city has been at the center of momentous events of global significance, shaped by imperialism, nation building and power struggles over oil. Middle East oil was first discovered in 1908 in the Zagros mountains of southwest Iran.

Abadan: The Rise and Demise of an Oil Metropolis | Kaveh Ehsani and Rasmus Christian Elling

In fall 1978, Abadan’s oil refinery workers played a decisive role in the Iranian Revolution by joining the national mass strikes. Just two years later, Abadan and the adjoining port city of Khorramshahr were shelled by the invading Iraqi army and effectively destroyed during the Iran–Iraq war (1980–88), which scattered their population of over 600,000 as refugees across Iran and abroad.

Abadan: A Case Study in Pseudo Colonial Architecture

Parham Karimi — Master of Architecture, University of Toronto (Corresponding Author) Hamid Afshar — Master of Archeology, Tarbiat Modares University Iranology Foundation, Research Department of Art and Architecture – Fall 2017 The built environment constructed around oil fields are important on many levels. They have influenced the lifestyle of many people who have worked and lived in…

Abadan: Oil City Dreams and the Nostalgia for Past Futures in Iran (Part Two) | Rasmus Christian Elling — ABADAN RETOLD

PART TWO: When Iran’s Abadan was Capital of the World by Rasmus Christian Elling Originally published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.   Abadan is special. Or at least, it used to be special. Its urban and social fabric stands out from all other Iranians cities. Its inhabitants…

Abadan: Oil City Dreams and the Nostalgia for Past Futures in Iran (Part One) | Rasmus Christian Elling — ABADAN RETOLD

by Rasmus Christian Elling Originally published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.ajammc.com. PART ONE: What if oil is magic? Sure, we are used to think of oil as a curse disguised as a blessing: as oil is extracted and refined, it turns…

Abadan in the Ancient and Early Mediaeval Periods | Khodadad Rezakhani — ABADAN RETOLD

by Khodadad Rezakhani, Freie Universität, Berlin Originally published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.   The geography of Abadan and its location between and in close proximity to many different rivers makes it a hard sight to pinpoint. Some of the available textual references can only be speculated…

Return of the Native: Abadan 2000, Part 2

by Dan Williams Originally published in «Here, There and an Attempt on Everywhere»   The road from Ahvaz to Khorramshahr has two lanes, is a hundred kilometres long and has no gradients, no bends and no cross roads. At first we passed through scrubland so flat it stretched into the distance before dropping from view…

Finding my Way Home: Abadan 2000, Part 1

by Dan Williams Originally published in «Here, There and an Attempt on Everywhere» Milestone birthdays tend to make us look back. This is the first of three birthday posts which do just that. Tomorrow I will be 65 years old and become an OAP. How I reached this state is a mystery; ignoring the odd ache…

From my island of memories, toward our world of dreams: a personal statement on Abadan | Paul Schroeder — ABADAN RETOLD

by Paul Schroeder Originally published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Editor’s note: Paul Schroeder lived in Abadan from June, 1958 to February, 1960. His father Charles, worked for the refinery whose main task was to coordinate an update of financial controls and administration of the refinery’s…

The Early Beginnings of Modern Abadan | Willem Floor — ABADAN RETOLD

by Willem Floor Originally published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Before oil. The island of ‘Abbadan, as it was usually known in its Arabic form, was locally more commonly called Jazirat al-Khizr or Khezr island.[1] The maraqqat ‘Abbadan or ‘Abbadan reef was well known to mariners sailing into…

Abadan in the National Press During the Oil Nationalisation Movement, 1946-51 | Mattin Biglari — ABADAN RETOLD

by Mattin Biglari Originally Published in ABADAN RETOLD This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Abadan is and always has been the centre of Iran’s oil industry. Curiously, however, relatively few have examined how, beyond economic effects, this centre of oil has been connected to the centre of politics, Tehran. Yet…

Mending the Lines: Oil, War and Security

  ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East     While the Iranian labour movement undoubtedly perceived the Company as nothing but an extension of British imperialism, the Company could also be seen in a more nuanced light: as…

Crossing the Lines: the Bahmashir Incident

  ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East   On 19 December 1942, two separate episodes of violence led to the Bahmashir Incident. In subsequent reports, the Labour Superintendent recounted that around 2 p.m., three Indian soldiers had gone…

Drawing the Lines: Spatial Politics of Coercion

  ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East       The horrible living conditions of most oil workers in the early days of the Concession are a well-known topic.[50] Indeed, the Company’s unwillingness or inability to provide adequate…

Violence in the Lines: Order and Disorder

  ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East   The working conditions in Khuzestan were harsh, with long summers dominated by extreme heat and tasks that entailed significant risks and dangers. Work hours were long, breaks few and holidays…

Coolie Lines: Khuzestan’s Indian Labour History

  ON LINES AND FENCES: LABOUR, COMMUNITY AND VIOLENCE IN AN OIL CITY Rasmus Christian Elling Published in: Urban Violence in the Middle East     In the first phase of labour migration between 1908 and 1920, Indians were brought to Khuzestan to work as skilled and unskilled labour in the Fields and as clerks…

Shemshaad playground

by Mahsa J.  March 1, 2003 – The Iranian   My mother’s family are from Abadan. I was born there but never technically lived there. But since we lived in the south, we used to go there once or twice a month to visit my grandparents. I was never short of cousin playmates, as my aunts lived…

Burnt: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America

  by Saman Ghiassi  December 12, 2003 – The Iranian Abadan, in southwest Iran, is where my ancestors lived for a long time. It’s a city well known for its large oil industry. It was one of the first cities attacked by Saddam’s army back in 1981. I had heard people talk about the impact of the war,…

The bullies

by Mammad Aidani  June 3, 2003 – Iranian.com I looked back and saw them walking behind me, at a very close distance. They were bullying us in the backyard of our school. That was their normal behaviour and it was frightening most of us. They looked extremely rough. They seemed to have a great time beating Amir,…

Monsters of Mayhem

War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East   Unsurprisingly, Tudeh and Company accounts of what happened on 14 and 15 July differ. Certainly, there was a clash sometime after 6 p.m., but…

Arab Mobilization and the Politics of Fear

  War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East Throughout 1946, Arab sheikhs repeatedly complained to the Company about Tudeh’s aggressive campaigning. In Abadan’s rural hinterland, Arabs violently confronted itinerant Tudeh propagandists, and…

Talking Sedition: Spaces of Contention in Abadan

War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East   Despite the Company’s vigorous attempts to curb dissent, the success of the labor movement was nonetheless directly tied to the very spaces created by…

Tribes, Workers and Unrest in the Oil City

  War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East   By the 1910s, a modus vivendi had been established between the Company and Sheikh Khaz’al. The former lent the latter recognition, external protection,…

Securing Output: Abadan under the Company’s Aegis

War of Clubs: Struggle for Space in Abadan and the 1946 Oil Strike Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen Published in: Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East   Abadan’s modern history is inextricably tied to that of the Anglo-Persian— later Anglo-Iranian—Oil Company (henceforth, “the Company”). When oil was struck in Iran in…

Hypotheses Testing and Historical Analysis

Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951 Chapter 5: The AIOC’s Stock Market reaction to nationalisation: Event Analysis and empirical results AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK This section proposes three related and alternative hypotheses to be examined using a data set of historical quantitative variables. The…

Market Efficiency and Data

Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951 Chapter 5: The AIOC’s Stock Market reaction to nationalisation: Event Analysis and empirical results AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK As previously mentioned, the event should be unanticipated and the magnitude of abnormal performance is consistent with market efficiency since…

The AIOC’s Stock Market reaction to nationalisation: Event Analysis and empirical results

Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951 Chapter 5: The AIOC’s Stock Market reaction to nationalisation: Event Analysis and empirical results AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK Introduction This chapter examines the AIOC‟s stock market reaction to nationalisation. As previously discussed in Chapter 2, the AIOC operated…

Response of Fraser to Iranian accusations: Empirical Evidence

From “Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951” Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK  Fraser was aware that the existing concession gave advantage to the AIOC. He therefore stressed that the company should not request the amendment of the…

Company’s shares

From “Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951” Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK The Memorandum invoked the Iranian government‟s desire to convert Iran‟s participation in the company‟s reserves into the form of shares of the company, as in the…

The price of oil products and Period of the concession

From “Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951” Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK In view of the importance of cheap fuel in the economic life of Iran, it was necessary that the sale price of petrol in Persia should…

The financial inspection of the companys books

From “Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951” Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC AUTHOR : NEVEEN ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK Ferrier has pointed out that, as part of Persia‟s dividend was based on 20% of the company‟s profits, the Iranian government must certainly be aware of…

Dividends and Subsidiaries (Establishments outside Iran)

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york Dividends were restricted as a result of post war limitations imposed on British companies by the British Government and the AIOC “could not as one of…

Royalties

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york Royalties were paid by the AIOC to Iran in return for taking away minerals from their exhaustible natural deposits, and they should reflect either a proportion…

Company’s Reserves and Profits

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york Since the 1933 concession, the Iranians had found it difficult to arrive at an assessment for the division of profits[525]. As mentioned earlier in the chapter,…

Taxes and Immunities

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york Iranians were willing to see the payment terms improved because they were dissatisfied with the massive amount of tax paid to the British government[516]. The Memorandum…

Iranian Claims and AIOC Counter claims: Empirical Evidence

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york The 1933 concession and the Supplemental Agreement had a number of key points which proved controversial and resulted in the issuance of Gidel‟s Memorandum. The Memorandum…

The 1933 concession: Claims and Counter Claims

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 4: Profit distribution by the AIOC Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york In the light of the literature reviewed in chapter 2, the question of distribution of oil income continued to be a major source of rising conflict…

Review of empirical evidence

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york The above discussion has re-considered the claims and counter claims of the AIOC and Iranian representatives in the light of Fraser‟s public and private correspondence. Historical evidence…

The Public and Private position of the AIOC senior management

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of york Part of Fraser‟s strategy was to use financial reporting as a means of communication to maintain employee confidence. In view of nationalisation and the associated uncertainties from…

Medical Treatment

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : NEVEEN Abdelrehim | The university of york The discrimination against Iranians resulted in a mix of different groups including nationality, class and employment status. The total number of hospital beds provided by the AIOC…

Wages

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : Neveen Abdelrehim | The university of YORK The level of wages paid in the oil industry was considered more favourable than in other sectors with regard to unskilled labour[432]. Working conditions and training given…

Housing

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : NEVEEN Abdelrehim | The university of york Since 1933, the company was only concerned to provide houses and amenities to British staff and Iranians married to British citizens[406]. The company was keen on providing…

«Iranian» claims for discrimination within the AIOC: Empirical evidence

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : Neveen  Abdelrehim | The university of york The nationalisation crisis brought the topic of discrimination into sharp focus and it became the subject of claim and counter-claim from the company‟s board and Iranian nationalist…

Negotiating Iranianisation and Article (16)

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : Neveen  Abdelrehim | The university of york The Iranian government argued that the employment of foreigners entailed heavy costs of expatriation, travel, relocation not incurred by Iranians. The aim was therefore to reduce the…

Iranianisation: Claims, Counter Claims and Article 16

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 3: Employee relations and Iranianisation Author : Neveen  Abdelrehim | The university of york With the 1933 agreement, there were new employment rules specified to the recruitment of the artisans, technical and commercial staff from iranian nationals. The AIOC, aware of…

Coup in 1953 and NIOC

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK The years preceding nationalisation witnessed a series of failed proposals on the one hand, and a succession of Iranian governments and institutional changes on the other,…

Undermining Mossadegh

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK After the failure of the Stokes mission, British policy made it abundantly clear that their desire was to get rid of Iran‟s popular, nationalist government under…

The Stokes mission

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK   Britain was concerned that Iran might use its oil as a political weapon in order to claim a share in the company‟s worldwide profits under…

Senior Management (Fraser)

  From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK   As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the AIOC had no clear founder-chairmen or founding family because William Knox D‟Arcy financed the exploration in Persia…

Mossadegh’s motivations for nationalisation

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK   After the Second World War, oil played an important role in world economics and Iranian people wanted the AIOC to adopt the same attitude to…

Nationalisation in 1951

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK As mentioned earlier, the problem between the Iranian government and the AIOC mainly arose in 1931 because of the decline in prices and again in 1948…

1933 Agreement

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK The 1933 Concessionary Agreement defined several rights and obligations for the AIOC and the Iranian government, to guarantee the continuation of the company‟s operations. The concession…

The D’Arcy concession, AIOC’s domination in Iran

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK The D’Arcy concession In 1901, William Knox D‟Arcy, the son of an Irish solicitor and a millionaire London socialite was the real founder of the AIOC[113]….

The establishment of the AIOC, importance of oil

From «Oil Nationalisation and Managerial Disclosure: The Case of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1933-1951» Chapter 2: AIOC History, oil and Iranian politics. AUTHOR: NEVEEN  ABDELREHIM | THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK The establishment of the AIOC The literature on the AIOC emanates from a number of very different sources[98]. In the post war years, the development of…

The Consortium Agreement of 1954

Credit: Iran Review A year after the overthrow of Premier Mohammad Mossadegh the new Iranian government concluded its predecessor’s negotiations with Britain over the Anglo – Iranian Oil Company (BP). The Dispute was finalized with the incorporation of an international oil consortium which reduced  BP’s share to 40%. With a pro-Western Shah and the new pro-Western Prime…

Political Complications

Credit: Ian Speller, National University of Ireland, Maynooth. From «Contemporary British History, Vol.17, No.1 (Spring 2003), pp.39–66» [Part 3]     These military difficulties were exacerbated by political factors. A clear problem for the British was the attitude of the United States towards the use of military force at Abadan. The American position was communicated…

Bold and Quick Action?

Credit: Ian Speller, National University of Ireland, Maynooth. From «Contemporary British History, Vol.17, No.1 (Spring 2003), pp.39–66» [Part 2]   Initially, elements within the UK armed forces appeared willing to countenance great risks in order to achieve swift and decisive action to secure Abadan. On 18 May the Chief of the Air Staff, Sir John…

A Splutter of Musketry? The British Military Response to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Dispute, 1951

  Credit: Ian Speller, National University of Ireland, Maynooth. From «Contemporary British History, Vol.17, No.1 (Spring 2003), pp.39–66» [Part 1] This article examines the British response to the crisis that resulted from the Iranian decision to nationalise the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1951. The British government contemplated the use of military force from the outset…

Oil Politics and Coup d’état against Mossadegh

Credit: Maysam Behravesh, PhD Lund University From «The Formative Years of Anglo-Iranian Relations (1907–1953): Colonial Scramble for Iran and Its Political Legacydome» Upon his succession to the throne of Iran in September 1941,Mohammad Reza Shah found himself under enormous foreign, not least British and American, control that inclined him to design Iran’s foreign and domestic…

Iranian Oil at British Hands

Credit: Maysam Behravesh, PhD Lund University «The Formative Years of Anglo-Iranian Relations (1907–1953): Colonial Scramble for Iran and Its Political Legacydome» Since the discovery of oil in Iran by D’Arcy’s oil exploration company in 1908, and especially after the end of World War I in 1918, until the start of the Mosaddeq premiership in 1951,…

Labour Activism Encounters Nationalism

Credit: Touraj Atabaki from «Studies in History: Far from Home, But at Home: Indian Migrant Workers in the Iranian Oil Industry» source: Jawaharlal Nehru University. The dialectics between nationalism and labour movements during colonial rule in Asia and Africa have been the subject of a few major studies.[63] Increasingly, large-scale labour migrations became a feature…

Abadan, a Triple City

Credit: Touraj Atabaki from «Studies in History: Far from Home, But at Home: Indian Migrant Workers in the Iranian Oil Industry» source: Jawaharlal Nehru University.   In her seminal study of colonial urbanization in Morocco, Janet Lughod refers to Rabat as a dual city, with sharply segregated urban spaces of the colonizer and the colonized.[48]…

Production of Place as a Contested Process

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” Place is a social construct that both constitutes and is constituted by social relations (see chapter 1). The production of place and the interpretation of its…

Public Space

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)”   The wide boulevards and the grid pattern that characterized the formal spaces of Abadan distinguished it from other Iranian cities in the interwar period. The…

Modernizing the household

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” By the mid 1930s the Company was increasingly faced with the exigency of finding ways to house its enormous workforce, but it also had to adapt…

The Urban Process in Abadan 1929-1941

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” After highly protracted and contentious negotiations that began in 1928 the Iranian government granted a new 60-year oil concession to APOC in 1933. At one point…

Successive Waves of Industrialization and Labor Activism

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” The history of industrialization in the interwar era can be roughly divided into two periods: 1919-1931 and 1931-1941. In the first period, the government facilitated and…

Labor Activism in the interwar years

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” The consolidation of the oil complex brought with it new forms of labor activism among the industrial working class. The new collective political agency of the…

The Honeymoon of 1926

  Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” In the winter of1926, after Reza Shah had ascended the throne, the government re-opened the case of the Bazaar. Now the terms of the inquiry…

The Politics of property in interwar Abadan

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)”   Who ‘owned’ this urban land? What was the meaning of property under these changing circumstances? Chapter 3 discussed the incongruence of different notions of property…

Militant Particularism in Abadan

  Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” The Company’s plan to evict residents and merchants, paying compensation to those who had some form of official property title (it is unclear how many…

The Politics of Food

Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” The Company’s claim about food supplies being of vital importance, on an equal par with clean water, housing, and sanitation were not off the mark. As…

The Bazaar of Abadan

  Credit: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” Prior to 1925 when the new central government institutions began to be set up in Khuzestan, APOC would routinely take drastic coercive measures to evacuate…

Abadan; Building a Sanitary City

  Credit : Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” Reza Khan concluded his important military campaign against Skeikh Khaz’al in 1924 with a formal visit to Abadan and the Fields. During the visit…

Labor and the Social Question in Interwar Abadan

  Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ]   As APOC’s operations kept expanding exponentially throughout the war years, the challenge of recruiting and maintaining an adequate labor force took on…

Housing and Urban Politics During WWI and After

  Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ]   In the predominantly working class Britain the increasingly prominent public role of labor and the sacrifices it was asked to make were…

Sanitation and Segregation in the City

  Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ]   The politics of sanitation and public health did not create only an inclusive and universal dynamic of citizenship entitlement to a healthy…

Conclusion: From Formal to Real Subsumption to Oil Capitalism

  Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ]   Abadan’s urban environment had to be carved out of the existing social order, by first fragmenting and then reintegrating it into the…

Making Abadan an Oil Town: 1911-1921

Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ] Khuzestan was one of the most impoverished and least urbanized areas of Iran, itself a desperately poor country at the turn of the 20th…

An Empty Land and a People Without History!?

  Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ] In chapter one the functional importance to the discourse and practice of modernization of depicting the targeted area for development as desolate and…

The Role and Rule of Experts in Establishing the Oil Complex

Author: Kaveh Ehsani, Leiden University  [ From “The social history of labor in the Iranian oil industry : the built environment and the making of the industrial working class (1908-1941)” ] While the initial D’Arcy Concession of 1908 was the product of crafty and remarkably amoral negotiations and deals between British and Iranian statesmen and…