CENTO members shown in green
|Formation||24 February 1955|
|Extinction||16 March 1979|
|Type||Intergovernmental military alliance|
|Western Asia and Europe|
The Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), originally known as the Baghdad Pact or the Middle East Treaty Organization (METO), was a military alliance of the Cold War. It was formed in 1955 by Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey and the United Kingdom and dissolved in 1979.
A military alliance is an international agreement concerning national security in which the contracting parties agree to mutual protection and support in case of a crisis that has not been identified in advance. Military alliances differ from coalitions, which formed for a crisis that already exists.
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. The historiography of the conflict began between 1946 and 1947. The Cold War began to de-escalate after the Revolutions of 1989. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 was the end of the Cold War. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.
The Pahlavi dynasty was the last ruling house of the Imperial State of Iran from 1925 until 1979, when the Persian monarchy was overthrown and abolished as a result of the Iranian Revolution. The dynasty was founded by Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1925, a former brigadier-general of the Persian Cossack Brigade, whose reign lasted until 1941 when he was forced to abdicate by the Allies after the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran. He was succeeded by his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran.
US pressure and promises of military and economic aid were key in the negotiations leading to the agreement, but the United States could not initially participate. John Foster Dulles, who was involved in the negotiations as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, claimed that was due to "the pro-Israel lobby and the difficulty of obtaining Congressional Approval."Others said that the reason was "for purely technical reasons of budgeting procedures."
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.
John Foster Dulles was an American diplomat. A Republican, he served as United States Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world.
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was a five-star general in the Army and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful Invasion of Normandy in 1944–45 from the Western Front.
In 1958, the US joined the military committee of the alliance. It is generally viewed as one of the least successful of the Cold War alliances.
The organization's headquarters were in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1955 to 1958 and in Ankara, Turkey, in 1958 to 1979. Cyprus was also an important location for CENTO because of its location in the Middle East and the British Sovereign Base Areas on the island.
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq. Located along the Tigris River, the city was founded in the 8th century and became the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. Within a short time of its inception, Baghdad evolved into a significant cultural, commercial, and intellectual center for the Islamic world. This, in addition to housing several key academic institutions, as well as hosting multiethnic and multireligious environment, garnered the city a worldwide reputation as the "Centre of Learning".
Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.
Ankara, historically known as Ancyra and Angora, is the capital of Turkey. With a population of 4,587,558 in the urban center (2014) and 5,150,072 in its province (2015), it is Turkey's second largest city after Istanbul, having outranked İzmir in the 20th century.
Modeled after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), CENTO committed the nations to mutual cooperation and protection, as well as non-intervention in each other's affairs. Its goal was to contain the Soviet Union (USSR) by having a line of strong states along the USSR's southwestern frontier. Similarly, it was known as the 'Northern Tier' to prevent Soviet expansion into the Middle East.Unlike NATO, CENTO did not have a unified military command structure, nor were many U.S. or UK military bases established in member countries, although the U.S. had communications and electronic intelligence facilities in Iran, and operated U-2 intelligence flights over the USSR from bases in Pakistan. The United Kingdom had access to facilities in Pakistan and Iraq at various times while the treaty was in effect.
Containment is a geopolitical "strategic foreign policy pursued by the United States". It is loosely related to the term cordon sanitaire which was later used to describe the geopolitical containment of the Soviet Union in the 1940s. The strategy of "containment" is best known as a Cold War foreign policy of the United States and its allies to prevent the spread of communism after the end of World War II.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal sovereign state in northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is an American single-jet engine, ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It provides day and night, high-altitude, all-weather intelligence gathering.
On July 14, 1958, the Iraqi monarchy was overthrown in a military coup. The new government was led by General Abdul Karim Qasim who withdrew Iraq from the Baghdad Pact, opened diplomatic relations with Soviet Union and adopted a non-aligned stance. The organization dropped the name 'Baghdad Pact' in favor of 'CENTO' at that time.
The Middle East and South Asia became extremely volatile areas during the 1960s with the ongoing Arab–Israeli Conflict and the Indo-Pakistani Wars. CENTO was unwilling to get deeply involved in either dispute. In 1965 and 1971, Pakistan tried unsuccessfully to get assistance in its wars with India through CENTO, but this was rejected under the idea that CENTO was aimed at containing the USSR, not India.
CENTO did little to prevent the expansion of Soviet influence to non-member states in the area. Whatever containment value the pact might have had was lost when the Soviets 'leap-frogged' the member states, establishing close military and political relationships with governments in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. By 1970, the USSR had deployed over 20,000 troops to Egypt, and had established naval bases in Syria, Somalia, and P.D.R. Yemen.
The Iranian revolution spelled the end of the organization in 1979, but in reality, it essentially had been finished since 1974, when Turkey invaded Cyprus. This led the United Kingdom to withdraw forces that had been earmarked to the alliance,[ citation needed ] and the United States Congress halted Turkish military aid despite two Presidential vetoes. With the fall of the Iranian monarchy, whatever remaining rationale for the organization was lost. Future U.S. and British defense agreements with regional countries—such as Pakistan, Egypt, and the Persian Gulf states—were conducted bilaterally.
With the withdrawal of Iran, the secretary-general of CENTO, Turkish diplomat Kamran Gurun, announced on March 16, 1979, that he would call a meeting of the pact's council in order to formally dissolve the organization.
Turkey's role in the Baghdad Pact was one of a unique and elevated nature compared to other nations such as Iraq. It was given "special" attention by the West primarily due to their geopolitical importance. It was believed that they could draw other Arab countries, such as Iraq, closer to the projected anti-communist Arab alliance, as the former would have been of inspiration for other “like-minded” countries. It was also hoped that by agreeing to the Baghdad Pact the Turkish and the Iraqi relations would get their time in the sun. However, this optimism was not rewarded as Iraq was under constant threat of the infiltration of Turkish troops and Nuri was desperate to strike an agreement.Finally, the Turkish courting by western nations, such as the USA, did not have the outcome that was desired as Arab countries, primarily Egypt, turned hostile to the pact.
A Secretary General, appointed by the council of ministers for a renewable three years, oversaw CENTO activities. Secretaries general were:
|Awni Khalidy||1955 – 31 Dec 1958|
|Osman Ali Baig||1 Jan 1959 – 31 Dec 1961|
|Abbas Ali Khalatbari||Jan 1962 – Jan 1968|
|Turgut Menemencioğlu||Jan 1968 – 1 Feb 1972|
|Nasir Assar||1 Feb 1972 – Jan 1975|
|Ümit Haluk Bayülken||Jan 1975 – 1 Aug 1977|
|Sidar Hasan Mahmud||Aug 1977 – Mar 1978|
|Kamuran Gurun||31 Mar 1978 – 1979|
CENTO sponsored a railway line, some of which was completed, to enable a rail connexion between London and Tehran via Van. A section from Lake Van in Turkey to Sharafkhaneh in Iran was completed and funded in large part by CENTO (mainly the US and UK). The civil engineering was especially challenging because of the difficult terrain. Part of the route included a rail ferry across Lake Van with a terminal at Tatvan on the Western side of the lake. Notable features of the railway on the Iranian side included 125 bridges, among them the Towering Quotor span, measuring 1,485 feet (453 m) in length, spanning a gorge 396 feet (121 m) deep.
Like its counterparts NATO and SEATO, CENTO sponsored a number of cultural and scientific research institutions:
The institutions supported a wide range of non-military activities, with a particular focus on agriculture and development, In 1960, for example, CENTO had funded 37 projects covering agriculture, education, health, economic development and transportation.It also arranged at least one symposium on the problem of foot-and-mouth and rinderpest.
The organisation that became the CENTO Institute of Nuclear Science was established by Western powers in the Baghdad Pact, as CENTO was then known.It was initially located in Baghdad, Iraq, but was relocated to Tehran, Iran in 1958 after Iraq withdrew from CENTO. Students from Pakistan and Turkey as well as those from Iran were trained at the Institute.
The CENTO Scientific Council organized a number of scientific symposia and other events, including a meeting in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1962, entitled "The Role of Science in the Development of Natural Resources with Particular Reference to Pakistan, Iran and Turkey".
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's Headquarters are located in Evere, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.
Islamic Republic of Pakistan maintains an extensive and large diplomatic network across the world. Pakistan, being the second largest Muslim-majority country in terms of population and its status as a declared nuclear power, being the only Muslim majority nation to have that status, plays a part in it’s international role.
Ensuring national security, increasing influence among its Arab neighbours and securing the return of the Golan Heights, have been the primary goals of Syria's foreign policy. At many points in its history, Syria has seen virulent tension with its geographically cultural neighbours, such as Turkey, Israel, Iraq, and Lebanon. Syria enjoyed an improvement in relations with several of the states in its region in the 21st century, prior to the Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War.
The Warsaw Pact, formally known as the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, was a collective defence treaty signed in Warsaw, Poland between the Soviet Union and seven Eastern Bloc satellite states of Central and Eastern Europe in May 1955, during the Cold War. The Warsaw Pact was the military complement to the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CoMEcon), the regional economic organization for the socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe. The Warsaw Pact was created in reaction to the integration of West Germany into NATO in 1955 per the London and Paris Conferences of 1954, but it is also considered to have been motivated by Soviet desires to maintain control over military forces in Central and Eastern Europe.
Foreign relations of Iran refers to inter-governmental relationships between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other countries. Geography is a very significant factor in informing Iran's foreign policy. Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the newly born Islamic Republic, under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, dramatically reversed the pro-American foreign policy of the last Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Since then the country's policies have oscillated between the two opposing tendencies of revolutionary ardour, which would eliminate Western and non-Muslim influences while promoting the Islamic revolution abroad, and pragmatism, which would advance economic development and normalization of relations. Iran's bilateral dealings are accordingly sometimes confused and contradictory.
'Abd al-Ilah of Hejaz,, was a first cousin and brother-in-law of King Ghazi of Iraq. 'Abd al-Ilah served as regent for King Faisal II from 4 April 1939 to 23 May 1953, when Faisal came of age. He also held the title of Crown Prince of Iraq from 1943.
After the Russian Revolution the Bolsheviks took over the old Russian Empire in 1918, they faced enormous odds against the German Empire due to World War I, and then again against both domestic and international enemies in a bitter civil war(It was reorganized as the Soviet Union in 1922). At first, it was treated as an unrecognized Pariah state because of its repudiating the tsarist debts and threats to destroy capitalism at home and around the world. By 1922, Moscow had repudiated the goal of world revolution, and sought diplomatic recognition and friendly trade relations with the world, starting with Britain and Germany. Trade and technical help from Germany and the United States arrived in the late 1920s. Under dictator Joseph Stalin, the country was transformed in the 1930s into an industrial and military power. After the appeasement policy of Britain and France, the Soviet Union shifted from a strategy of antifascist collective security to one of national security. By signing a treaty with Germany in 1939 the Soviet Union hoped to create a buffer zone between them and Germany. In 1941 Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union that reached the outskirts of Leningrad and Moscow. However, the Soviet Union proved strong enough to defeat Nazi Germany, with help from its key allies.
The Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan was a short-lived country that was formed in 1958 from the union of Iraq and Jordan. Although the name implies a federal structure, it was de facto a confederation.
A defense pact is a type of treaty or military alliance in which the signatories promise to support each other militarily and to defend each other. In general, the signatories point out the threats in the treaty and concretely prepare to respond to it together.
Northern Tier may refer to:
The relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Turkey have always been peaceful since the establishment of the modern states. Iran and Turkey are major trade partners. Turkey and Iran have heavy mutual influence on each other, due to geographical proximity, linguistic and ethnic relations many common cultural aspects, shared empires, and conquering by such as the Parthians, Achaemenids, Sassanians, Seljuks, Safavids, Afsharids, Ottomans and Qajars. Turkey has an embassy in Tehran, and consulates in Tabriz and Urmia. Iran has its embassy in Ankara, and consulates in Istanbul, Erzurum, and Trabzon.
Saudi Arabia is not known to have a nuclear weapons program. From an official and public standpoint, Saudi Arabia has been an opponent of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, having signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and is a member of the coalition of countries demanding a Nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Studies of nuclear proliferation have not identified Saudi Arabia as a country of concern.
Iraqi–Turkish relations are foreign relations between Iraq and Turkey. From late 2011 relations between the two countries have undergone strained turbulence. The two countries share a close historical and cultural heritage.
Iraq–Russia relations is the bilateral relationship between Iraq and Russia and, prior to Russia's independence, between Iraq and the Soviet Union. The current Ambassador to Russia is Haidar Hadi who has been serving in Russia since December 2016.
The Alliance of the periphery or the Periphery doctrine is a foreign policy strategy that called for Israel to develop close strategic alliances with non-Arab Muslim states in the Middle East to counteract the united opposition of Arab states to the existence of Israel. It was developed by David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, and employed chiefly towards Turkey, pre-revolutionary Iran and Imperial Ethiopia, as well as the Kurdish community across the Middle East such as in Iraq and Iran.
Iraq–Pakistan relations refers to the foreign relations between the Republic of Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Cultural interaction and economic trade between Indus Valley and Mesopotamia date back to 1800 BCE. In 1955 Iraq and Pakistan joined the Baghdad Pact, a military alliance against the Soviet Union. However, when the king of Iraq was assassinated in 1958, Iraq pulled out of the Baghdad Pact, which was renamed as the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO). Tensions persisted between Iraq and Pakistan through the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries with the Iran–Iraq War, the Gulf War, and the Iraq War. However the relations stabilized. Pakistan currently maintains an embassy in Baghdad and Iraq in Islamabad.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Cold War:
Syria and Iran are strategic allies. Syria is usually called Iran's "closest ally", with ideological conflict between the Arab nationalism ideology of Syria's secular ruling Ba'ath Party and the Islamic Republic of Iran's pan-Islamist policy notwithstanding. Iran and Syria have had a strategic alliance ever since the Iran–Iraq War, when Syria sided with non-Arab Iran against its fellow Baath-ruled neighbor but enemy Iraq was isolated by some Arab countries. The two countries shared a common animosity towards then Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and coordination against the United States and Israel. Syria cooperates with Iran in sending arms to Palestinian groups and Hezbollah in Lebanon, since Israel has attacked Syria. During the Syrian Civil War Iran conducted, alongside Russia, "an extensive, expensive, and integrated effort to keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power." Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Russia also form an anti-terrorism alliance that has its headquarters in Baghdad. The governments of United States, the United Kingdom and Canada have designated both nations of Iran and Syria as State Sponsors of Terrorism in part due to support for Lebanese Hezbollah.
The following lists events that happened during 1959 in Iraq.
Thus, the Baghdad Pact is widely considered the least successful of the Cold War schemes engendered by the Anglo-American alliance.