'This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, during which the Ayatollahs took control of the country and brought down the Shah’s absolutist monarchy. The Iranian masses, who were undergoing various ideological changes at the time, overthrew the Shah’s corrupt and oppressive regime.
Much has been written over the years about Israel’s ties with Mohammad Reza Shah and his dictatorship. When it was convenient for the IDF censor and political and security officials in Israel, information — even secret documents from that period — was revealed to the general public.
Recently, files from the Foreign Ministry regarding relations with Iran have been declassified and can now be found in Israel’s State Archives. These include more than 10,000 pages from 1953 until 1979, which were heavily censored when compared to similar files in cases of other countries.
The documents expose Israel’s extensive and exceptional relations with a foreign country, not only because these political and security-based relations were with with a Muslim country, but because the relationship with the Shah’s dictatorship was strategic and central to the State of Israel from a security, economic and political point of view. At the time, Israel’s relations with many other countries were limited mainly to weapons sales in exchange for votes in international forums.
Thus, for example, Israel purchased a significant portion — and in some years all — of its oil from the Shah’s regime, while Iran used Israel as a middleman to sell its oil to third countries. The alliance over oil required that Israel and the Shah ensure the safety of shipping routes. This strengthened their partnership in the struggle against Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser’s repeated attempts to promote ideological and military alliances throughout the Middle East that were hostile to Iran and Israel, particularly in the Gulf states and the Arabian Peninsula.
Private and state-owned Israeli companies, ranging from textiles, agriculture, electrical appliances, water, fertilizers, construction, aviation, shipping, gas, tires and even dentures, had been operating extensively in Iran. In some years, Iran was one of the main destinations for Israeli exports. Meanwhile, Israeli academia also enjoyed relatively extensive cooperation with academics in Iran.'
Read more: The Unwritten History Of Israel’s Alliance With The Shah of Iran's Dictatorship
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