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, when 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, as coalitions are formed for a crisis that are already known.
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. A common historiography of the conflict begins with 1946, the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, and ending between the Revolutions of 1989 and the 1991 collapse of the USSR, which ended communism in Eastern Europe. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional wars known as proxy wars.
Iran, also called Persia and officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.
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 composed of 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's 3.9 million square miles. 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 largest city by population is New York. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
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 United States Army and served as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces 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 France and Germany 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. The population of Baghdad, as of 2016, is approximately 8,765,000, making it the largest city in Iraq, the second largest city in the Arab world, and the second largest city in Western Asia.
Iraq, officially known as 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, 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 best known as a Cold War foreign policy of the United States and its allies to prevent the spread of communism. As a component of the Cold War, this policy was a response to a series of moves by the Soviet Union to increase communist influence in Eastern Europe, China, Korea, Africa, Vietnam, and Latin America. Containment represented a middle-ground position between detente and rollback.
The Soviet Union,, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 30 December 1922 to 26 December 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 centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk.
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.
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 Warsaw Pact, formally known as the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, was a collective defence treaty signed in Warsaw, Poland among the Soviet Union and seven Soviet 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.
The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was an international organization for collective defense in Southeast Asia created by the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, or Manila Pact, signed in September 1954 in Manila, Philippines. The formal institution of SEATO was established on 19 February 1955 at a meeting of treaty partners in Bangkok, Thailand. The organization's headquarters were also in Bangkok. Eight members joined the organization.
At the time of the founding of the Soviet Union in 1922, most governments internationally regarded the Soviet state as a pariah because of its advocacy of communism, and thus most states did not give it diplomatic recognition. Less than a quarter century later the Soviet Union not only had official relations with the majority of the nation-states of the world, but had progressed to the role of a superpower.
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 where the signatories promise to support each other militarily, to defend each other. In general the signatories point out the threats in the treaty and concretely prepare to respond to it together.
After Pakistan gained its independence in August 1947, Iran was the first country to recognize its sovereign status. Pakistan's relations with Iran grew strained at times due to sectarian tensions, as Pakistani Shias claimed that they were being discriminated against under the Pakistani government's Islamisation programme.
Northern Tier may refer to:
The relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Turkey have been generally peaceful since the establishment of the modern states, but sometimes have also been strained. 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.
The 2004 Istanbul summit was held in Istanbul, Turkey from June 28 to June 29, 2004. It was the 17th NATO summit in which NATO's Heads of State and Governments met to make formal decisions about security topics. In general, the summit is seen as a continuation of the transformation process that began in the 2002 Prague summit, which hoped to create a shift from a Cold War alliance against Soviet aggression to a 21st-century coalition against new and out-of-area security threats. The summit consisted of four meetings.
In its early years, the Arab League concentrated mainly on economic, cultural and social programs. In 1959, it held the first Arab Petroleum Congress, and in 1964, established the Arab League Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization. In 1974, despite objections by Jordan, the league recognized the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of all Palestinians.
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.
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 United States and the United Kingdom have designated both nations of Iran and Syria as State Sponsors of Terrorism and listed under axis of evil, due to their alleged terrorist activities.
The following lists events that happened during 1959 in the Imperial State of Iran.
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.