Sanitation, Segregation, and the Politics of Property 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)”



In February 1926 APOC medical director Dr. M. Young provided an assessment of the sanitary challenges facing the urban situation in Abadan:
“Even with the construction of our new lines [company housing for Indian skilled laborers] and with such modern sanitary measures as we may have taken, the position from the point of view of the outbreak and spread of disease cannot be effectively remedied unless we have the complete cooperation of the Persian authorities in Abadan Town…We must turn to the Municipality, which the Persian authorities are most anxious to develop…At the moment, the Municipality consists of individuals with no knowledge or experience of the proper conduct of municipal affairs, and with no financial means to support the municipality. I can see no good result from their work unless assisted by us with definite control behind the scenes, and also with funds. We cannot assume open control of municipal work as it is invariably misinterpreted in Tehran as interference in their internal affairs. The fact remains however, that by putting the Municipality here on its feet, we would provide the essential stimulus, and so hope in time to withdraw to our correct capacity of advisers and nothing else”[45].
The awareness that the oil company by itself was incapable of implementing effective sanitary measures and create a safe city had become evident, and so had the necessity of threading cautiously in dealing with the boundaries of sovereignty between the Iranian government institutions and the Company. The ‘target’ of concern was the “native town” of Abadan, the boomtown that had grown quickly to an estimated population of 40-60 thousand. The military language and imagery (as will become evident) often used in describing sanitary and municipal policies reflected the attitudes of both state institutions as well as the Oil Company. Given that the built environment of oil in Abadan and the Fields was already highly segregated and was on its way to becoming more so, the belligerent language simply reflected the militarized geography of oil that was taking shape in Abadan and throughout Khuzestan.
In 1909 APOC had leased the refinery land as well as the adjacent village of Braim from Sheikh Khaz’al, for £1/jerib (Chapter3). In 1914 they leased more land for the same rental[46]. Braim, initially known as “Bungalow Area”, was upwind from the refinery. The local villagers were evicted, and initially a simple structure was erected made of tin to house the handful of Europeans preparing the ground for the refinery and shipping docks. Soon after this structure was replaced by a brick bungalow (later named No.1 Bungalow). As the refinery came on line during WWI three other bungalows were added. The imported skilled laborers, mostly from Rangoon and India, lived and slept in tents and mat houses[47]. By the end of WWI most of Braim had become an exclusive expatriate community, separated from the indigenous population by the vast refinery to the south, the Shatt al-Arab River to the west, and stretches of land increasingly evacuated of population on its east flank. The European village also had an exclusive access road that was used during the 1929 labor strike to secretly transport the arrested labor strikers out of the island: “ The English had a special road called the “Braim Road”. Nobody was allowed to use it except the English and those who worked for them and they trusted. A large number of soldiers and policemen who had entered the island [to crush the labor strike] used this road to transport the prisoners in the middle of the night to Mohammareh and then onto Ahvaz”[48].
By the end of the war the Company constructed some housing for its Indian skilled workers in equally segregated areas to the east of the refinery, that came to be known as Sikh Lane and Indian Quarters (see Figure 1). The Company also had entered negotiations with Khaz’al in 1918 to take hold of a village called Bawarda, situated on the riverfront[49]. However, there had been difficulties in negotiations since suddenly land, which previously was a collective resource but not an exchange value with a market price, had now become a scarce commodity with a rapidly rising price, although the Company refused to see it that way. Percy Cox, the British Resident in the Persian Gulf, reacted to this marketization of land in 1918: “Thanks for letting me now about the purchase price of land on the right bank of the river, at £100 – £150 per acre. This is too much compared to the lease we already have from the Sheikh of Mohammareh on Abadan [refinery land], which is £1 per Jerib (1909 and 1914 agreements). In 1914 we got additional land for the same rental”[50].

This was disingenuous since Cox was well aware, as were other political officers, APOC managers, and local people, that since 1908 and the advent of oil capitalism land in all the oil areas of Khuzestan had become a scarce commodity with its monetary value rising exponentially. When Arnold Wilson was presented in 1911 with a 4 volume printed version of the Intelligence Reports that he had collected and authored, titled “SW Persia”[51]he felt that the information had already been outdated: “What was said to me then [by local Khuzestanis] as to the ownership and value of land and crops is more likely to be true than what is said now, when the advent of the [Oil] Company has trebled and quadrupled prices.”[52]
In fact the Company was actively trying to designate and quickly take hold of all the land it wanted to acquire for its operations, in Abadan as well as in the Fields. Up to this point its agreements had been struck with the local magnates. The Company had established contracts with the Bakhtiyari Khans and Sheikh Khaz’al according to the terms of concession, which stated that uncultivated land should be given to APOC for free, and cultivate land sold at local prices. But, how these vague categories of property and land-use were to be applied to pastoral territories that were used seasonally, to populated riverside areas where land was of shifting and mixed use, or to dry-land areas left fallow for long periods or used as collective source of fodder and brush fuel, remained highly contested. Access to these lands was exercised through customary rights, and their enclosure was putting strain on local communities and creating anger and resistance[53]. Furthermore, once land had become commodified following the emergence of the oil industry and the urbanization that had followed in its wake, the notion of a fixed price for vacant land had become a fiction, especially in areas where massive numbers of migrants had settled, hoping to enter the wage labor market, and having to pay for housing, food, and other necessities. In 1926 Arnold Wilson reported, “To date 20 square miles have been purchased [in Masjed Soleyman] for the period of concession at £48 thousand, and a further 4 square miles at £14,500 are shortly to be bought”[54]. The price of ‘uncultivated land’ in ‘unpopulated’ Bakhtiyari country had increased from £2,400 to £3,625, or by 66 percent. However, by 1926 the issue of the Company purchase of land had become highly contentious as both the central government was claiming ownership of all land, and rank and file Bakhtiyaris and local Arabs farmers and tribesmen in Abadan were angered at being cheated out of their collective access to their territory and vital resources (chapters 3, 7). As the Company was carving out its exclusive enclaves on the island, the teaming areas variably called “Abadan Town”, the “Traditional Village”, or “Shahr” by the locals, stayed beyond the control of both the Company and the central government, especially now that the political order embodied in Sheikh Khaz’al had disappeared from the scene. The prospective purchase of Bawarda, and the planned eviction of the so-called “Sheikh Village” on the immediate southern border of the refinery became focal points of an urban struggle that was fought in the name of sanitation by the Company, and the “right to the city”[55] by the heterogeneous population of the city.
By all counts the living conditions of the population of migrants, oil workers, casual laborers of various kind, and the indigenous population in the “Shahr” were appalling. There are virtually no detailed personal or ethnographic accounts of the period that I am aware of, with the noted exception of the memoirs of the socialist labor activist, Yousef Eftekhari, orally collected (in 1988) by Kaveh Bayat and Majid Tafreshi. Eftekhari had gone to Abadan in 1927 in order to organize and unionize oil workers, and stayed there until he was exiled in 1929, after having organized and led the oil workers’ strike. Originally from Azarbaijan, Eftekhari was trained as a professional labor organizer in the Soviet Union. He made his way with considerable difficulty to Abadan in 1927, via Boushehr and a sea voyage to Mohammareh. He managed to visit Aghajari, and eventually found work in the Oil Company’s Technical Workshop in Abadan (chapter 5). Initially he helped organize a short-lived demand by Iranian workers to establish their own sports club, which they had named “Kaveh Club”, but the Company was alarmed and shut it down after a few weeks with the help of the Police[56]. By 1929 Eftekhari had mobilized nearly 50 workers to form the nucleus of an organized trade union[57]. Their call for a strike was met with widespread support in 1929, not only by oil workers, but also by their wives, as well as a wide array of townspeople from Abadan and Mohammareh, turning the initial labor action into a more widely based urban protest movement[58]. Eftekhari’s sketchy and brief descriptions of life in Abadan are one of the few documents that provide a first hand voice from the perspective of a migrant worker (and a political activist and professional union organizer) to the refinery city, and of the living conditions under the Oil Company rule:
“The English had their exclusive neighborhood in Abadan, called Braim, where nobody was allowed to enter. If an Englishman married an Iranian woman he would be shunned and expelled from there. Truly they had built a paradise in the middle of that island where everything was available to them – swimming pool, clubs, and beautiful houses. There was another neighborhood called Bawarda, where Arabs lived, but the English wanted to grab it out of their hands. Most Arab dwellings were made of reeds; and the English set them on fire on numerous occasions, and forbade people from rebuilding or repairing what they had destroyed. There was another neighborhood called Ahmadabad…it was the filthiest place I have seen in my life. There weren’t even any toilets and people just squatted next to the water [ditches]. Abadan was generally filthy, but they [?] had dug some ditches that would wash away the filth with the [river] tide. Ahmadabad did not even have these ditches… nor did it have any drinking water. Epidemics usually started there… Other workers had made temporary shelters near the Shatt al-Arab…the most miserable workers in the world were those working for APOC. They never had enough food and clothing, or decent shelter. Some simply lived their bitter lives in open air under palm trees; others had made temporary shelters out of reeds, where in each room several households lived together…The Oil Company had constructed a few, no more than 150, workers housing for those with more experience and skills. In those each married family had two rooms, while single workers lived 6 to one room.[59]
Abadan had become a highly segregated town by the middle of the decade, and Company officials intended to consolidate that segregation based on sanitary principles, with the help of Iranian government institutions that they hoped to control discreetly. Arnold Wilson, APOC Resident Director in Mohammareh, supported Dr. Young’s plans by highlighting the indigenous population as the culprit for the abysmal sanitary situation: “As Dr Young points out, the crux of the problem in the control of epidemic disease in Abadan lies, now that our own house has been put in order, in the Persian Town itself”. However, the awareness that no degree of racial spatial segregation could avert the dangers of contagion was now being admitted: “The areas controlled by the Company and the Persian Government are so dependent upon each other that the isolation of one from the other is an impossibility. We are thus faced with the necessity if we are to protect ourselves and if we are to reap the benefits of improved housing and sanitation…of compelling the local Persian authority to take definite steps to organize a municipality capable of dealing efficiently with public health”[60]

Wilson corresponded with Harold Homan, an American assistant to Millspaugh, who was acting as Provincial Director of Finance for Khuzestan, to offer Company financial assistance of an annual £2,500 for shoring up a functioning municipality in Abadan[61]. It was clear from the proposal of financial and practical assistance that it was conditional, and the Company expected to have an active say so in setting the parameters of urban change in the city. Foremost in their list of conditions was for the Government to confirm the Company’s acquisition of a significant neighborhood adjacent to the refinery for building a modern bazaar, as well as its extensive plans to take over significant new parcels of land on the Island for developing exclusive Company areas.
Since the virulent epidemic outbreaks of 1923 the Company had resolved to confront the sanitary situation head on. It had brought in professional rat catchers from India, who managed to destroy 12,000 rats between April and July 1924. It began building brick and steel huts for its “10,000 permanent workers”[62] (mostly skilled Indians) in India Lane and Sikh Lane, isolated well away from “the native Town”. The challenging problem of drainage in the waterlogged island, where subsoil water stood at 2 feet below surface began to be addressed by pumps. A piped water supply was being completed for the new Indian workers’ quarters from the river Bahmanshir, 6 kms away. The water was transported to a large reservoir to be treated chemically and piped to standalone pumps in “the [Indian] workers’ village”, or the area that became known as the “Indian Quarter”. “The Company is also planning a site for a new town, and the inhabitants of the old are being encouraged to remove to it. A piped water supply has been led to this site also. Everything possible is, therefore, being done to keep out cholera as well as plague”[63]. Garbage disposal was another area rigorously attended to, “with large number of sweepers temporarily employed to keep Company areas well swept”. In Masjed Soleyman, “Owing to the strictest sanitary discipline and constant supervision and inspection by trained sanitary squads, both European and Persian, the incidence of disease has been small. One of the reasons for this is the abundance of incinerators for destroying garbage and refuse. Scattered all over the fields one finds lengths of 17 inch piping, into one of which the refuse is
tipped, and at the other a very large jet of gas… Squads are employed in nothing else but this, and the incinerators are constantly at work, complete destruction of rubbish taking about 15 minutes” [64].
However, few of these measures, publicized by Dr Neligan in the medical journal The Lancet, or Squadron Leader Cooper at the Royal Asiatic Society, had been actually aimed at improving conditions in the so-called “Persian Village” in Abadan, “… aside from the erection of 7 water points”. The purified piped water supply was for the Braim, the hospital, and the segregated living quarters of clerks, shift engineers, artisans, and Chittagonians (skilled Indian workers from Burma)[65]. The same held true for the critically important sewage system. In Braim “all programmed sewers are working…each bungalow has a septic tank. Six water flush native latrines will be built in the area”. A rigorous plan was in place for “the new village” being erected for skilled workers to “convert all latrines to water flush system. Collecting tanks have been constructed, and the outlet pipes laid, and pumps arranged. The system needs electricity to start. As this is a matter of urgency the electrical department have arranged to give a temporary line within the next month”[66]. The fact that the water flush sewage system carried the untreated filth to the river where the rest of the Island, as well as the indigenous population downstream along the delta relied on the river for irrigation and drinking water was not considered relevant.
The Company was not unaware that ignoring the indigenous city was highly risky and planned to add more water points and piping, and to build a bridge over the creek that separated the Shahr from the refinery to facilitate access for workers coming to work at the refinery. However, the Company’s plan also involved major projects to clear out the population from several strategic areas in order to remake a
cordon sanitaire that could be more easily monitored and controlled: “Other 19261927 proposals include…building a roadway through the center of one of the most unsanitary areas…connecting the proposed bazaar site to the proposed customs site”[67].
Oil capitalism had created a new built environment in Khuzestan for the accumulation of capital in oil, by the dispossession of the local agrarian and tribal societies. This process had transformed the geography and social lives of the local population and created nightmarish urban landscapes of destitution, immense inequality, and industrial and human filth. Company officials were blaming the victims for the unhygienic conditions that had accompanied this new political economy, and constantly reminded themselves and anyone who cared to listen of the civilizing work they were undertaking: “… it [should be] realized that 10,000 natives are employed in the fields alone, and that not one of these has even an elementary knowledge of the principles of sanitation, the danger from infections and contagious diseases is very great”[68].

As we have discussed (chapter 4, previous sections of this chapter), the sanitary concerns over public hygiene and urban congestion had come to pre-occupy professional middle classes, corporate employers, colonial officials, and policymakers in the interwar era. In Britain, the pressure of mass politics and working class mobilization were leading to negotiations over the establishment of a range of welfare institutions and municipal improvements. In the colonies like India or large parts of Africa, the sanitary measures being adopted had a more explicitly coercive and racist slant (chapter 4). Reflecting on the draconian 1920 anti-vagrancy laws aimed at controlling the effects of sanitary conditions and labor radicalism in Nairobi, Frederick Cooper remarks:
“In trying to build cities on the basis of cheap migrant labor states have had to face the different questions of what kind of urban order they were likely to create. They built mining and railroad cities, but not as they would have liked. The society that resulted was not a social category known as ‘urban’…having helped build a society in which Africans might choose to live in an outhouse or a shed, the colonial state forbade them to do so”[69].
In a non-colonial and yet highly dependent context like southern Iran, where APOC was a powerful private corporation faced with a new central government that was increasingly and jealously laying claim to its sovereignty over territory and the population, the biopolitical challenge of making a sanitary city had to be negotiated in a different manner, both with the state as well as with the indigenous population. For the local population the new and unfamiliar categories such as ‘garbage’ and ‘sewage’ were the byproducts of the alien industrial landscape[70]; paying for access to filtered and chemically treated piped water was an amenity well beyond their means or capabilities; and observing the unfamiliar codes of urban sanitation was a novel practice that would have been more readily embraced had it not been imposed as obnoxiously and intrusively by a highly disruptive oil capitalism, or an authoritarian central government. Consequently, the draconian proposals of urban sanitization that involved massive displacements for the population and coercive attempts to regulate their bodies and their everyday lives were received with considerable skepticism and
resistance, since they felt to be unjustly the targets and victims, and not the beneficiaries, of these grand schemes.
Again, Eftekhari’s recollections are disturbing, as they reveal the sense of daily humiliation experienced by the population in their interactions with Company officials or abusive government bureaucrats. What constituted “garbage” from a Company perspective was often a vital “resource” in the lives of destitute migrants. The evidence of poverty was a reminder for the expatriates of their superiority, and affirmed their “civilizing mission”, but it only enhanced the resentment of the residents who felt humiliated by their objectification: “The scenes of working women using the oil sludge were heart-breaking. Workers’ wives would fill oil drums with that black liquid and carry it on their heads to use as cooking fuel for baking bread and filling the bellies of their naked kids living in those reed shacks. These women wore a long piece of ragged fabric that only partially managed to cover their bodies. The black sludge they carried on their heads would slosh all over their faces and bodies. The English and their well-dressed wives would stop these women, who were the real owners of the oil wealth, in order to photograph their misery… These were humiliating photographs of skeletal and emaciated women and workers. Anyone would be outraged, but unfortunately these scenes were the source of amusement for the English. For the workers, these humiliations were harder to tolerate than their nakedness, hunger, and the wretchedness of their lives; it made them resentful and furious, and mobilized them against the Company”[71].
The Company Director T.L. Jacks reported to his Chairman John Cadman, expressing his concerns:
“We have demolished the old village and built a new one for Company staff under controlled conditions. The value of this will be lost unless similar control is imposed in the Abadan Township proper. Now the Municipality is inadequate, with no Government of Iran budget for its ‘correct maintenace’, [creating]… the danger of epidemics spreading throughout the Company controlled areas, which is a grave menace to the Company’s operations”[72].
Jacks was referring to company housing built for artisans and clerks (Indians and Europeans). These plans were costly and well behind schedule. The Company had planned to complete 95 buildings for artisans to accommodate nearly 2,700 men (including 380 married couples), but only 89 had been completed (costing £51 per person). Housing for clerks was even more costly, with only half of the 67 buildings planned for nearly 500 men completed, at £277 per head. The urban infrastructure for these projects was estimated to be 20 percent of the overall staggering anticipated cost of £177,000[73].
The cooperation of the Iranian municipality and government institutions had become crucial for the whole scheme to proceed, and the Company was offering to finance and assist the bureaucracy to accelerate the process. However, this offer of assistance was being questioned within the Company and, were it to be followed through, it could become a double edged sword, as it would delegate the power over the chaotic and abysmal urban situation to the municipality, and run the risk of it failing to cope with the considerable challenges involved. In the margins of the minutes of the meeting between Jacks, Cadman, and other senior APOC managers the following hesitations and conditions are jotted down in handwriting: “- Do we give active and financial aid to municipality? – Unemployment and starvation is the responsibility of the local municipality, who should act with our guidance and financial support – Cadman: Financial aid should be linked to Government of Iran contributions “so long as it functions in a proper manner” – Need for formal arrangement with Ministry of Interior detailing procedures, detailed budget.
– Involve the Governor, keep low profile. Have issues raised by local authorities and not the Company”[74].
To provide a perspective on the situation, while the Company was planning to allocate £177,000 for housing 3,200 employees, it was offering £2,500 to the municipality to deal with the nearly insurmountable issues facing a boomtown of
more than 50,000 destitute migrants and local people, in the aftermath of devastating epidemics and famine. The government budget at the time, it will be recalled from chapter 2, was under severe stress, much of it allocated to the military or beholden to debt repayments. Although oil royalties had increased in 1924-1925, other major crises had put a severe strain on the budget. The devastating famine of 1925 had incurred heavy debts from emergency loans; the military operations against Sheikh Khaz’al, and the subsequent political disturbances over the change of dynasty had left little room for financial maneuver. The share of the Ministry of Interior from the budget was a paltry 6 percent of the government expenditures[75], and little of it trickled its way to areas such as Abadan or Masjed Soleyman that were considered frontier regions, and under the tutelage of the Oil Company. The limited municipal budget, at the time, was supplemented by provincial taxe revenues from state land (khalesehjat), a portion of the provincial customs revenues, and a consumption tax on alcohol. Given the intense disputes over land between the central government and local magnates, and the generally unstable situation in the province that adversely affected agricultural production, these were hardly secure or sufficient sources of revenue for the scale of work that was being discussed. “State lands” (khalesehjat) were a highly disputed category (as the central government was in the process of reclaiming land formerly controlled by the local magnates) and wielding little income due the poor state of agriculture and the continuing insecurity in the province. On the other hand, the newly imposed ‘banderol tax’ [fees charged for the government seal on individual liquor bottles] on bottled alcohol had become a major source of contraband and smuggling, with the systematic collusion of ill paid border guards and policemen in the frontier towns of Abadan and Mohammareh, leaving little reliable surplus for funding municipal projects[76]. However, the Iranian state bureaucrats were not ready to turn down the financial offer of assistance by APOC, nor could they afford to refuse their responsibility for municipal and sanitary improvements since these were the spheres of authority that the new state institutions were jealously claiming from the former
local elites and the Oil Company. Hence, the Company’s conditions and proposed plans were accepted. The proposal letter from APOC to the Ministry of Interior is worth quoting in some detail (my translation): “The Public Health of Abadan requires a municipality…There have been a number of serious outbreaks of epidemic diseases over the past two years. The Company as a result was forced to build modern housing for several thousand workers at great expense to itself, in a new neighborhood… the maintenance of public cleanliness is expensive and requires adequate personnel, organization, and professional management to control waterborne diseases… As for the welfare of the 25,000 people of Abadan who live next to us, little has been done for their sanitation by the municipality [I assume this figure refers to the posrtion of the local population who were not directly employed by the Oil Company]. They mostly live in dwellings made of reed and face grave danger, as there are no sanitary facilities or adequate sewerage. Regardless of what the Company does in its own area the danger of epidemic outbreak in the Bazaar and the Town is constant… [The situation creates the] need for the municipality to provide electricity, sewage, housing, waterways. The Company is willing to help with financial assistance until the municipality can stand on its own”[77].
The letter proceeds to offer a detailed proposed budget for the municipality, probably drafted by the urban planner and architect J.M. Wilson, who had been asked to consult on the situation. The Company suggested that it was willing to subsidize a 70 percent raise in the salary of the director of the municipality to 100 Touman, and offer further assistance free of charge for the construction of free public toilets; garbage collection, incineration, and landfills throughout the city; fire stations; quarantine centers for those afflicted with contagious diseases; and an annual subsidy budget of 2,000T “until the Municipality can stand on its own, but only if the government commits to make up the rest [of the required budget], and the funds are allocated exclusively to municipal issues”[78]. The built environment of the oil industry and the reproduction of its working class began to take shape in a conjuncture that was intimately linking the global with the national and the local. On the one hand the transnational concerns and requirements of corporate extractive capitalism had begun to be guided by the lessons in social reform, governance, management, and the scientific discourses of sanitation and professional urban planning. These scientific praxes were not politically neutral, as they were shaped by, and reinforced the notions of segregation by race and social class that underlay class conflict in the west and racial domination in the colonies. New modern nation-state institutions taking shape in Iran, such as municipalities, public health authorities, schools, individual record keeping, and property registration, were deeply influenced by the interaction with these global practices in Khuzestan’s oil industry; as they were by the increasingly vocal pressures from a new subaltern social actor, the urban residents and industrial working classes in Abadan and across the oil industry in Khuzestan. These heterogeneous subaltern social actors had to invent collective ways to negotiate and struggle to improve their lot in the novel urban setting where they found themselves. The frictions around the remaking of the urban space of Abadan embodied these scalar dynamics, and contributed to shaping the built environment of oil there.


Notes & References

42. Amir Arsalan Afkhami, “Iran in the Age of Epidemics. Nationalism and the Struggle for Public Health: 1889–1926,” PhD Dissertation, Yale University (2003).

43. Schayegh, “Hygiene, Eugenics, Genetics.”

44. Ibid. See chapter 4 for the emergence of parallel and similar ideas in Britain about poverty and the poor quality of military recruits following the Boer War.

45. Extract from Dr Young, “Memorandum”, 16 February 1926, Pp.58-59, BP 71138

46. “Percy Cox to A.T.Wilson” 1 September 1918, BP 68779

47. George Thompson, “Abadan in its early days”, Naft 7:4 (July 1931),14-18

48. Yusof Eftekhari, Khaterat-e Dowran-e Separi Shodeh, ed. Kaveh Bayat and Majid Tafreshi (Tehran: Ferdows Publishers, 1991), 141.

49. “The land we wish to take up is situated a little below a place called ‘Barwairda’; one square mile; to set up a jetty and extension to lead dangerous oil away from the refinery”. A.T.Wilson to Percy Cox, 2 June 1918, BP 68779

50. Percy Cox to A.T.Wilson, 1 September 1918, BP 68779

51. These were later incorporated in the remarkable collection that is John Gordon Lorimer, Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia, 6 vols. (Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, Eng.: Archive Editions, 1986). See also the selected and briefer version incorporated in Adamec, Historical Gazetteer of Iran.

52. Wilson, SW Persia; A Political Officer’s Diary 1907-1914, 124–125.

53.For the criminalization of resistance to enclosures of common rights to land in Britain see Douglas Hay, “Property, Authority, and the Criminal Law,” ed. Douglas Hay, (New York: Pantheon, 1976), 17–64.

54. “A.T.Wilson, “Confidential: Bakhtiyari relations and land purchases”, 24 February 1926, BP 71183

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

56. Yusof Eftekhari, Khaterat-e Dowran-e Separi Shodeh, ed. Kaveh Bayat and Majid Tafreshi (Tehran: Ferdows Publishers, 1991), 141.

57. Ibid., 130–139.

58. Ibid., 39–40.

59. Ibid., 31–32, 117.

60. A.T.Wilson, Mohammerah to APOC, London, Letter #356, 8 March 1926, BP 71183

61. Ibid.

62. Neligan, “Public Health in Persia, Part2,” 690.

63. Ibid.

64. Cooper, “A Visit to the Anglo Persian Oilfields,” 152.

65. “Item 24: Water Supply”, 18 March 1926, p.82, BP 71183

66. “Item 23: Sewerage”, p.81, 18 March 1926, BP 71183

67. “Item 24: Water Supply”, 18 March 1926, p.82, BP 71183

68. Cooper, “A Visit to the Anglo Persian Oilfields,” 152.

69. Frederick Cooper, “Urban Space, Industrial Time, and Wage Labor in Africa,” in Struggle for the City: Migrant Labor, Capital, and the State in Urban Africa, ed. Frederick Cooper (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1983), 7–8.

70. Much as they had been in the fast-industrializing European cities of the 19th century. See chapter 4. For a historical view of how cities came to be categorized as ‘chemical systems’ by scientific experts utilizing categories of filth, waste, and pollution, among others, see Christopher Hamlin, “The City as a Chemical System? The Chemist as Urban Environmental Professional in France and Britain, 17801880,” Journal of Urban History 33, no. 5 (2007): 702–28.

71. Eftekhari, Khaterat-e Dowran-e Separi Shodeh, 119.

72. “Dossier 8: Notes of meetings held in Tehran”, 22 April 1926, BP 71183

73. Dossier 5, Item 14, 20-22 March 1926, Pp.55-61, BP 71183

74. Handwritten notes on the margin of 22 March 1926 meeting with Cadman, Dossier 6, Pp.55-56, BP 71183

75. For the annual budget of 1925 see Persia Annual Report 1925, Burrell, IPD, Vol.7, 382–384.

76. On the extent of smuggling in Abadan, who was involved, the extent of the collusion of state officials, and its impact on municipal tax revenues see “Illegal activities of border guards (counterfeit labels, illicit and diluted alcoholic drinks, smuggling of alcohol without banderol, etc.)” 1930-1932, INA 240008497; “Assessing the tax revenues of Khuzestan; consequences of the reduction of revenues from alcoholic drinks and state lands”, 1927-1929, INA 240010128

77. APOC to Ministry of Interior, 27 April 1926, INA 240009253

78. APOC to Ministry of Interior, 27 April 1926, INA 240009253


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