The Making of Skilled and Permanent Iranian Workers: Education, Discipline, and ‘Iranianization’



In the interwar years mass education of Iranian workers and their children became a pressing concern for APOC, and it entered its repertoire of reluctant paternalism. On the other hand, Iranian nationalists and the state came to conceptualize and to measure the extent of national sovereignty over natural resources, national territory, and the oil industry, in terms of the Iranianization of those working in the oil industry, and especially the number of Iranian nationals in the managerial and upper echelons of the Company. Given the almost completely undeveloped modern national education infrastructure in the interwar period (see below), the establishment of basic education as well as technical training to qualify Iranians for employment in the oil industry became an inevitable policy priority and a highly sensitive issue in Khuzestan.
As for the local population, once the local socio-economic structures had been significantly undermined gaining permanent paid employment in the oil industry became their preferred, sometimes the only, option. Once the established system of tribal work gang levies established between APOC and the local magnates[131] began to wane, job applicants increasingly had to seek work at the Company as individuals rather than as members of a community. They faced competition from skilled Indian workers and artisans, as well as other qualified Iranians. Consequently, gaining formal education and accreditation over time became a significant social and economic strategy among the local population. Needless to say, the gradual establishment of modern institutions of education had profound socializing impact; especially in the urban centers where Company sponsored schools were established to teach literacy, technical training, some English, modern sciences, technical knowhow, and an almost military discipline and modes of regimented behavior, to the boys who were preparing to work for the oil industry or for the growing bureaucracy and the private sector.
The Company had established a technical school in Ahvaz in 1916 to train skilled adult workers. But now it began investing in the establishment, funding, and managing a growing number of elementary as well as technical schools and apprenticeship programs across its areas of operation, but especially in Abadan, Ahvaz, Mohammareh, and Masjed Soleyman. There were several reasons behind this commitment by a private corporation to a social program that historically and conventionally had fallen within the purview religious establishments, but since 1870s, and especially in the post war era, was being taken over by the central states[132]. First, the technical and organizational shifts in modern industry demanded workers with different skill sets and the ability to work under a more detailed and atomized division of labor (see chapter 4)[133]. Second, the chronic labor shortages during wartime and in its immediate aftermath discussed in previous sections led APOC to make a strategic decision to bring casual and unskilled Iranian workers up to the standards of Indian and some European skilled workers and artisans to alleviate this chronic shortage. Third, and more significant still, were the political calculations behind this decision. The terms of the D’Arcy concession required all manual labor and non-managerial employees to be Iranian[134], and the continued hiring of Indians and non-Iranians (including Iraqis) was increasingly becoming a major bone of contention with the Iranian government, as well as with local people migrating to the growing oil towns, and demanding some tangible benefit from the industry that had so affected their lives.
Prior to the 1921 coup d’état the Company could safely ignore these complaints, but once the paternalistic control of Khaz’al and Bakhtiyari khans had been diminished or removed and a strong central government with a nationalistic agenda had been established, APOC found itself under increasing pressure to comply with the letter of its contract. Another political concern was the implicit subversive threat of rising nationalism in India, a factor that worried APOC officials that workrelated grievances by Indian employees could be also radicalized by this political backdrop. Fourth, was the quandary of the absence of any modern educational infrastructure in the country, and especially in Khuzestan: In 1918 there were only 45 modern elementary schools and 11 high schools throughout Iran. By 1925 the numbers had increased to 648 and 86 respectively; with 2,260 pupils graduating from elementary schools and 110 from high schools. In 1925 there were some 1,301 traditional schools (maktabkhaneh) across the country, run by 1,500 religious scholars (ulama), and training 29,000 pupils in literacy and basic religious subjects. There were also 282 religious seminaries, training nearly 6,000 pupils (tollab) in advanced religious instruction[135].
The plain fact was that at that stage the upstart Iranian state neither had the financial means nor the institutional wherewithal, or the personnel to provide adequate educational instruction on a large scale. As we saw in chapter 2, the political priorities of the new political regime also lay elsewhere, with the bulk of the annual budget after 1921 geared to developing the military, with education being a paltry 3% of the meager budget (chapter 2)[136]. Heavy national debt, post war chronic poverty, and the fact that the central government had virtually no significant institutional presence in the autonomous province until 1925, put APOC in the unenviable position of reluctantly shouldering the responsibility of funding and managing educational institutions, albeit with the explicit intent of gearing all training toward eventually serving the needs of the Company. Although the Company kept pressing the central government to shoulder more of this responsibility Tehran resisted, and while it did not reject its responsibility outright it kept insinuating that since the flood of migrants population to the oil towns of Khuzestan was being caused by the oil industry the Company ought to shoulder partial responsibility for social services, such as education, municipal services, and public health[137]. In 1926, before leaving for Iran to preside over the reorganization of APOC, John Cadman the Company Chairman told an audience in London at the Royal Central Asian Society: “One other phase of the oil-field I wish to speak of, and that is the human side. It is the conversion of a fairly crude material in the form of the Persian laborer into the skilled artisan. The schools which the Company have set up have introduced a method which would be difficult to implement in this country, I will admit; but the pay of a workman is dependent upon his capacity to pass a test, and the schools are so developed that a man passes into the schools and back to the works, and by that means he can only get his increase of pay by increase of efficiency. The operations, such as boiler work, done by what appears to be quite crude natives would astonish a Scotch dockyard skilled workman, It is remarkable how these people can be got to work by proper training. It is all done by carefully thought out plan.”[138]
The decision to bring Iranian workers up to standard by establishing training programs and formal schools was in part precipitated by the Indian labor strikes of 1920, 1922, and 1924. In 1920 the future of Abadan as a refinery was still uncertain. Despite its critical importance during the war the management and the technical conditions of the refinery were very poor. “The state of the refinery was very unsatisfactory, caused by inadequate management struggling to bring new plans into operation, whilst coping with a backlog of imperfect maintenance…the role of the chemist was virtually neglected and so the performance of the refinery suffered in consequence… In 1922 there was a disastrous fire…the plant was suffering from exceeding deterioration with an adverse effect on performance”[139]. In addition, the Company was uneasy over the terms of the D’Arcy Concession, the perceived instability of Iran under the perceived ‘the Bolshevik threat’, and its ongoing frictions with the government of Iran over royalties (chapters 2 & 3). There were serious debates among directors to relocate the refinery to India, where labor was cheaper, and far better infrastructure and a ready market were available. Once the decision to remain in Abadan was made on technical grounds[140] the city inevitably became the primary industrial and shipping center of the oil industry where, at any time, between one third to one half of all APOC employees in Iran worked and lived (see table 3). In the early 1920s some 2700 Indians made up 70% of all those working for oil in Abadan; their work was vital to continued operations, and consequently their protests and strikes had significant repercussions for APOC. Many scholars have connected the 1920 strike, spearheaded by Sikh artisans and skilled workers, to the Amritsar massacre of 1919. Although without a doubt this was an important factor in the politically charged post-war era, the fact remains that living and working conditions in Abadan were abysmal[141] and solidarity with fellow Punjabis was in all likelihood a catalyst but not the primary cause of the strike. Indian strikers were joined by Iranians, demanding improved wages, reduction of working hours, overtime pay, better sanitary conditions, and an end to mistreatment and humiliation by staff. The Company director H. Nichols who had just arrived for a visit quickly agreed to their demands and increased their pay by 80%[142]. The compromise ended the strike, but it had become clear to Company directors that “a comprehensive solution was required”[143]. Arnold Wilson, ironically a profoundly Victorian personality who had been hired as Company Manager in Mohammareh after having served as acting Viceroy of Iraq, now called for reorganizing the management structure in favor of “a modern approach, to break with the 19th century management practices”[144]. The comprehensive corporate restructuring was accompanied by a reluctant commitment to erecting a paternalistic and hierarchical social welfare structure. The structural reforms of management, operations, administration, and the reluctant limited commitment to what amounted to ‘urban’ social welfare were the main components of the comprehensive solution upon which APOC settled in the interwar years.

As discussed in the previous section, this reorganization included improving public relations, housing accommodations, married quarters, public health and medical services, leisure amenities, establishing company stores as a way of controling inflation and assure food safety, and investing in a growing program of training and educating Iranians eventually to replace Indians. When a second strike by Indian workers occurred in 1922, the Company was more hardnosed in its response and refused to compromise. It called on Sheikh Khaz’al to suppress the strike, and once that was accomplished it evicted the strikers to India[145]. The strikers again had demanded better accommodation, decent latrines and cooking facilities, more humane work hours, improved pay, and an end to racial abuse and humiliation by Europeans. By then, although the overall number of Indians had remained the same (table 3) and their work continued to be crucial, they formed a much reduced 30% of the total labor force in Abadan. Another Indian strike occurred in 1924, but it was suppressed more easily. The Company decided to keep Indian employees as clerical staff, cooks, orderlies, and household servants; but “by 1925 Persianization was a major concern for APOC management”[146], and the commitment to the long term process of Iranianizing the industrial labor force had started. Initially the Company devised an education plan in 1925, after consulting Isa Khan, the provincial Director of Education[147]. In addition to the technical school that had been built in Ahvaz in 1916 the Company built a new apprentice training center in Abadan to train, test, and grade enough qualified fitters, drivers, firemen, mechanics, turners, electricians, and other skilled personnel to replace departing Indians. Soon the construction of a number of elementary schools in Mohammareh, Abadan, Ahvaz, Masjed Soleyman, and Shushtar were added to these initial efforts. Some of these were technical schools, for example Masjed Soleyman, where 50 boys between the ages of 10 and 18 trained as artisans. Other schools were hybrid organizations, combining elementary education using the formal textbooks and curriculum of the Iranian Ministry of Education, in addition to lessons in English language and technical instructions. The Hamidiyeh and Khayam schools in Ahvaz were among these, with 142 pupils. The Company supplied the boys with uniforms, and hired an army sergeant to teach sports, physical training, discipline, and football. In some cases the Company subsidized the government schools, as in Mohammareh where it paid 100 Touman to keep the local public school open. In Abadan the Company estimated that the Danesh Pahlavi School had the potential to double its enrollment to 300. It also funded the Stuart Memorial College in Isfahan for training more advanced technicians and engineers, by providing an initial investment of £3,000 and an annual subsidy of £500. Altogether the Company was investing £3600 annually in education, but it was willing to substantially raise that figure to £10 thousand/ year[148].


However, direct Company involvement in education was a double bind: It could potentially become a political minefield, as well as being a major public relations boon. The Iranian state from the onset had always objected to the Company’s hiring practices and demanded greater ‘Iranianization’ as an indication of the Company’s compliance with the terms of its contract. In 1909 the Kargozar in Mohammareh alarmed the Foreign Ministry by reporting about the hiring of Ottoman, Indian, and Chinese workers, and the building of a railroad, jetties, and a brick factoring in Abadan and Mohammareh (29 September). The Foreign Ministry (11 October) asked the Ministry of General Welfare to post its own agent to the province and to demand APOC to appoint an attorney in Tehran to answer the governments’ concerns about hiring foreign nationals as well as “importing trucks, hot air balloons, building permanent structures in Ebbadan (Abadan) and Mohammareh”. It also asked Sadiq al-Saltaneh, the Iranian ambassador in London, to inquire APOC about these “violations of the contract” (14 November). The Ambassador replied that “ the hiring of Portuguese, Australian, and Ottomans by the Company was due to the shortage of equivalent Iranians, and the building of permanent structures was within the terms of the 60 year concession” (11 December)[149].
Nevertheless, the tone of suspicion and mistrust were set, and these diplomatic and bureaucratic frictions were to become a permanent feature of Company-state relations. The Kargozar expressed concern about the Company dealing in landed property with local magnates (June 1909). Clearly there was concern over territorial sovereignty and the powerlessness of the central government to do anything about it. “The British consul must be made aware that they need to obtain the approval of the Kargozari before they deal directly with the local population…This is a report on the vast authority that the British consulate is exercising in its dealings with [Khaz’al]… It is necessary to establish Kargozaris in MasjedSoleyman, Shushtar, and Abadan in order to control the Company’s behavior, especially regarding their actions in arresting, trying, punishing, and incarcerating Iranian nationals” (Winter and Spring 1911).
The mounting concern about the loss of sovereignty extended to the Company’s labor practices and the intermediary role played by local magnates: “There are repeated meetings between the British consul and [Khaz’al], they are plotting against the Bakhtiary Tribe and Sheikh Farhan…We report on the excellent relations between the British consul and [Khaz’al] and their reliance on his support in hiring Iranian workers”.
The Foreign Ministry was incensed and reprimanded the Kargozar of Khuzestan for “remaining passive and failing to object to the punishment of Iranian workers by the Oil Company, and to the latter’s establishing of a criminal court” (20 April 1911). The Majles inquired (14 November 1909) about the “building of railroads and steam engines on the Braim Island without government permission”. This was before any construction had actually begun in Abadan, and revealed the profound lack of knowledge in the capital about local geography and the actual goings on there. On the other hand, as we saw in chapters 2 and 3, the suspicion and paranoia seemed not to be unfounded. On 11 April 1911 APOC informed the government about its progress, and the appointment of Dr Young as intermediary for negotiations with the Bakhtiyaris. It also insisted on its right to continue to hire skilled foreign workers until Iranians had been adequately trained[150]. These encounters from the early days of the oil industry show the extent of the deep-seated suspicion by Tehran and its handful of local agents in Khuzestan about British and APOC intentions and activities in the south. The Oil Company had been acting like a sovereign state on Iranian territory, shielded by the British military might. At the same time, the central government had become acutely aware of its own impotence when it came to exercising any authority over the Company, the local magnates, or its own territory. Its near total lack of reliable and systematic first hand knowledge about the region itself, its populations, and the goings on there only highlighted this weakness and added to its suspicions. To Iranian nationalist and the central government the Iranianization of the Company’s workforce appeared as a tangible measure of exerting sovereignty over the country’s most important and modern industry. However, the education of the next generation of Iranians under the tutelage of the Oil Company, was a paradoxical issue, and highly sensitive for a central state intent on imposing universal education as an instrument of homogenizing national identity by instilling an official nationalism and patriotism among a highly diverse and heterogeneous population. APOC was aware of this sensitivity and thread carefully. H. Nichols, the Company Director, was conscious that when the Prime Minister Reza Khan had first visited Abadan in 1924, he had not seen a single Persian employed in the refinery[151].
The building of schools and educational facilities in Masjed Soleyman were speeded up but there were disagreements over where to build and what the curriculum should be. The Company policymakers feared objections would be raised over religious grounds if the curriculum were not purely technical. Should Armenians be allowed to participate next to Muslims? Who should pay for the education of Iranian children? Should they build secondary schools as well? Ultimately, another question was also raised implicitly, but left hanging with some resignation and even resentment: Why should a private corporation get involved in public schooling of children and young adults in Iran?
As the political situation in Khuzestan became more wrought with the intent of the central government to challenge autonomous local magnates once and for all becoming unmistakably clear, the Company became more aware of the risks that its problematic public image would pose, especially when it came to the hiring of Indians and other foreigners in lieu of Iranians. Director Nichols suggested the Company was not getting enough credit for hiring Iranian contract laborers, and proposed a number of book keeping modifications as a strategy of improving their public image. These included the issuing of monthly instead of quarterly personnel reports, changing the labor classifications to include the casually and precariously employed in the permanent roster of the Company, and classifying employees under general national categories – ‘Persians’, ‘Indians’, ‘Europeans’, ‘Others’.[152] The continued discontent of the central government was evident in Cadman’s meeting the following year with the cabinet, including the Prime Minister Forouqi, Finance Minister M.Q. Bayat, the American Financial Tsar Arthur Millspaugh, Davar the Minister of Public Works, along with Cadman, Jacks, and Dr Young, representing APOC. Davar set the tone for relations in the new era by stating that Iran’s two major grievances were the low royalty receipts, and that still after nearly twenty years of activity in Iran there were not enough Iranians employed in the oil industry. Forouqi the Premier also echoed the complaint about low royalties, and added that Iranians were not receiving enough benefits from their national oil resources, and the Company was not devoting enough attention to the general welfare of the public in the areas it was operating. Cadman replied that APOC was not predatory and did take Iranianization very seriously. As to the other objections, he replied that D’Arcy had taken a risk over many years with his capital investment and the current Company’s success was a just reward for that early entrepreneurship as well as hard work. At present 80% of employees were Iranian, and there would be more in the future as the education program would start bearing results[153]. The dicussions proved inconclusive, as will be seen in the next chapter. Nevertheless, by 1926 it had become clear that Company commitment to developing the education program in general literacy, formal primary schools, and technical training were essential to the continued operations of APOC in Iran.
However, there were disagreements as how to proceed. Resident Director in Tehran, T.L. Jacks, believed that “Opening up of primary schools at Fields is essential because the 140 children of local employees have no facilities… The sympathy and appreciation of the Persian Government must be insured. The Company should control [the educational] expenditures, but also adopt the [formal government] curriculum and give the direction to the Ministry of Education…The Government must bear the pressure…but we might as well perform our duty”. Dr Young maintained that the Company ought to build a secondary school in Ahvaz; however Arnold Wilson strongly disagreed, arguing that secondary schools were of little interest to the Company and they would only irritate the government[154]. As formal education was becoming a centerpiece of modern nation state building how schools were operated would become increasingly politicized. In the government run Danesh Pahlavi School in Ahvaz teachers expressed a desire to leave public service and get hired by APOC for better pay. Alarmed by the possible implications of how this might be misinterpreted by the Iranian governemnt, the Company refused and instead offered to subsidize the school with 100 Touman/month to maintain it as a public institution. Overtime the Company was approached by the government, or volunteered itself to subsidize teachers and schools, offering them company housing and access to some Company supplied amenities and services, as a way of keeping good relations, but to also continue supporting the training of its future labor force and employees.
However, the issue of educating the next generation of Iranians continued to remain politically sensitive. Arnold Wilson proved to be astute in his warning against Company commitment to secondary education, as the socialization of high school students and their curriculum would prove to be a highly sensitive issue for the state. Over the next 15 years the increasingly authoritarian central government would issue decrees and launch a series of cultural and educational programs intended to modernize the Iranian public through pedagogy, education, indoctrination, as well as through coercive cultural policies, such as the obligatory national dress code[155]. Formal school education was a central tenet of this program of authoritarian modernization. In 1930 the government established the first modern university in Tehran, and began sending students abroad to study engineering, natural sciences, medicine, modern agriculture, and law. There were nearly 150 schools in Tehran, with an enrollment of 19 thousand boys and 10 thousand girls. By 1936 there were nearly 260 thousand students across the country, studying in 5,340 schools and colleges. By 1939 the government formally Iranianized/nationalized all schools and closed down all foreign run educational establishments, with the intention of establishing a firm grip over the acculturation of all pupils and students[156]. However, APOC’s reluctant engagement with public education, technical training, organized sports and embodied disciplines, proved an important step toward gradually preparing the ground for more qualified skilled Iranians to join the ranks of Company employees, even if its resistance to open its more senior ranks to Iranians remained a major bone of contention until 1951 when Iranian oil was nationalized.

A cautionary note on the paradoxical politics of ‘Iranianization’
This chapter explored the context of the rise of the ‘social question’ in Khuzestan from the perspective of the Oil Company and the fledgling central government. This important paradigm shift did not take place in a vacuum, but was a consequence of global, national, and local changes taking place in the interwar years (chapters 2,3,4). At the end of WWI the oil complex in Iran faced a turning point where much was at stake. First, there was the changing relation of Britain with the post coup d’état central government in Tehran. At the same time Britain and APOC were intent to ward off of powerful global competitors, especially the US, from encroaching on a strategic monopoly resource. Meanwhile, the considerable threats of labor radicalism and of socialist and nationalist anti imperialist sentiments to consider were being felt at all levels of the Company and the British government. More locally, there were even greater challenges to deal with, ranging from handling the consequences of the social and political vacuum left by the demise of APOC’s local allies the Bakhtyari Khans and Sheikh Khaz’al, to the strategic questions of where to locate the world’s largest refinery, how to maneuver the new regional geopolitics of a sensitive borderland, and above all, to manage the massive growth of boomtowns with teaming populations of destitute migrants deracinated from their social and economic lives and forming new place-based bonds of solidarity in the urban spaces created by oil, and making increasingly vocal demands for tangible improvements in their lives.
The Oil Company’s poor public image and its growing need for a permanent, qualified, and docile workforce could no longer be ignored. The central government’s desire to impose its sovereignty on the national territory, populations, and resources was irreversible. The realization by the growing populations of the oil boomtowns that their lives were now permanently tied to the transformations imposed by the rising nation state, and oil capitalism generated a new range of social expectations that amounted to demands for what Lefebvre called “the right to the city”[157]. This chapter analyzed the dynamics behind the comprehensive re-organization of APOC in the post WWI decade, by investigating the dynamics behind the efforts by APOC to improve its public image, to reduce its reliance on foreign workers, to train and educate permanent Iranian workers and employees, as well as their children, and to provide social an leisure amenities that would make life and work more tolerable. These efforts were not made in isolation, but through the recurring encounters and constant frictions with other key social actors in the oil complex. The result was the transformation of what I have called ‘the oil habitus’ in Khuzestan. The next chapter will analyze the dynamics of urban change in Abadan by investigating the contestations over making Abadan a ‘sanitary city’ through the adoption of public health measures and municipal reforms, and the resistance of the workers and the urban residents to the segregation and dispossession that underlay these measures.


Notes & References
131. Touraj Atabaki, “From ’Amaleh (Labor) to Kargar (Worker): Recruitment, Work Discipline and Making of the Working Class in the Persian/Iranian Oil Industry,” International Labor and Working Class History 84 (Fall 2013): 159–75.

132. The historical role of religious establishments in education began to be replaced by the modern state toward the end of 19th century. For Britain and France see Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen; Hechter,
Internal Colonialism; Foucault, Discipline and Punish : The Birth of the Prison. On the educational change under Reza Shah in Iran see Issa Khan Sadiq, Modern Persia and her Educational System (New York: International Institute of Teachers College; Columbia University, 1931); David Menashri,
Education and the Making of Modern Iran (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992); Banani, The Modernization of Iran, 1921-1941.; Michael P. Zirinsky, “Render Therefore Unto Caesar the Things Which Are Caesar’s: American Presbyterian Educators and Reza Shah,” Iranian Studies 26, no. 3/4 (July 1, 1993): 337–356.

133. On the transformation of he scientific, managerial, technical, and labor requirements of the oil industry, and its globally interconnected nature, see Ferrier, History of the British Petroleum Company, 1:397–460.

134. Article 12 of the 1901 D’Arcy Concession: “The workmen employed in the service of the Company shall be subjects of His Imperial Majesty the Shah, except the technical staff such as managers, engineers, borers, and foremen”. Ibid., 1:642.

135. Bayan-e Amari-ye Tahavolat-e Eqtesadi va Ejtema’i-e Iran dar Doran-e Doudemane Pahlavi [Statistical Performance of the Social and Economic Developments of Iran During the Reign of the Pahlavi Dynasty] (Tehran: The Statistical Center of Iran, 1976), 42–47.

136. Persia, Annual Report 1925, Burrell, IPD, Vol.7, 382–384. 137 Ironically, this haggling over the extent of the social responsibility of the oil industry to local society became a permanent feature of the oil complex in Iran, one that persists to this day Kaveh Ehsani, “Naft na Estebdad Misazad, na Democracy” Tarikh Irani, 2012,

138. Cooper, “A Visit to the Anglo Persian Oilfields,” 160–161.

139. Ferrier, History of the British Petroleum Company, 1:430.

140. “Technical and economic, not political reasons ultimately decided the fate of Abadan. The ‘balance’ of products had to be maintained in relation to market demand and productive proximity” Ibid.

141. Atabaki, “Far from Home, but at Home; Indian Migrant Workers in the Iranian Oil Industry”; Ferrier, History of the British Petroleum Company, 1:432–433.

142. Ferrier, History of the British Petroleum Company, 1:432–433; Floor, Labor and Industry in Iran, 1850-1941, 54–55; Cosroe Chakeri, The Condition of the Working Class in Iran: A Documentary History (Florence: European Committee for the Defence of the Democratic Rights of the Workers in Iran, 1978), 41; Dobe, “A Long Slow Tutelage in Western Ways of Work: Industrial Education and the Containement of Nationalism in Anglo-Iranian and ARAMCO, 1923-1963,” 29–32.

143. Ferrier, History of the British Petroleum Company, 1:432.

144. Dobe, “A Long Slow Tutelage in Western Ways of Work: Industrial Education and the Containement of Nationalism in Anglo-Iranian and ARAMCO, 1923-1963,” 31. On Arnold Wilson see chapters 1, 3, 6, and Marlowe, Late Victorian.

145. Floor, Labor and Industry in Iran, 1850-1941, 53–58.

146. James Bamberg, History of the British Petroleum Company, vol. 2 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 94.

147. Dobe, “A Long Slow Tutelage in Western Ways of Work: Industrial Education and the Containement of Nationalism in Anglo-Iranian and ARAMCO, 1923-1963,” 37.

148. “Dossier 5: Education in Khuzistan”, 15 February 1926, BP71183
However, direct Company involvement in education was a double bind: It could potentially become a political minefield, as well as being a major public relations boon. The Iranian state from the onset had always objected to the Company’s hiring practices and demanded greater ‘Iranianization’ as an indication of the Company’s compliance with the terms of its contract. In 1909 the Kargozar in

149. INA, “Telegraph Reports.”

150. INA, “Telegraphic Reports.”

151. 8 August, 1925, BP 54495

152. BP 54499; Dobe, “A Long Slow Tutelage in Western Ways of Work: Industrial Education and the Containement of Nationalism in Anglo-Iranian and ARAMCO, 1923-1963,” 35–37. It is amusing that at present the Iranian Petroleum Ministry is resorting to similar tactics to present a better public image regarding its questionable labor practices in large oil and gas installations like Assalouyeh. See Mohammad Maljoo, “Ta’dil-e Nirou-ye Ensani dar Doereh-ye Eslahat [Adjusting the Labor Force during the Reformist Era],” Naqde-e Eqtesad-e Siasi, September 2012,

153. 4 and 6 May, 1926, BP 71183

154. 15 January 1926; 23 February 1926, BP 71183

155. Camron Michael Amin, The Making of the Modern Iranian Woman: Gender, State Policy, and Popular Culture, 1865-1946 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002); Chehabi, “Staging the Emperor’s New Cloths: Dress Codes and Nation Building under Reza Shah”; Baker, “Politics of Dress: The Dress Reform Laws of 1920s and 1930s Iran”; Matthee, “Transforming Dangerous Nomads into Useful Artisans, Technicians, Agriculturalists: Education in the Reza Shah Period”; Bayat, “Riza Shah and the Tribes”; Cronin, “Re-Interpreting Modern Iran.”

156. Burrell, IPD, Vol. 8, 532, 538; Vol. 9, 583; Vol.10 , 231.

157 Henri Lefebvre, Le Droit a la Ville, 3rd ed. (Paris: Anthropos, 2009).


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