Reza Khan also persuaded the British company that controlled Persia's oil industry to give Persia a larger share of the profits and insisted that Persian workers be hired at all levels of the company. In the decades ahead, oil would become a major factor in Persia's economy and foreign policy.
Why did Muslim religious leaders disapprove of Reza Khan's reforms?
After World War I, the vast Ottoman empire was partitioned into Turkey and several new nations that would make up the modern Arab world. Several Arab lands sat above large oil reserves, giving them global importance in a world that was increasingly dependent on gasoline-powered engines. Instead of granting independence to the Arab states carved out of the Ottoman empire, European powers turned them into mandates under their control.
Partly in response to foreign influence, Arab nationalism grew after World War I. One form of Arab nationalism was Pan-Arabism. This nationalist movement was built on the shared heritage of Arabs who lived in lands from the Arabian Peninsula to North Africa.
Today, this area includes Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco. Pan-Arabism emphasized the common history and language of Arabs and recalled the golden age of Arab civilization. The movement sought to free Arabs from foreign domination and unite them in their own state.
The Pan-Arab movement however, faced obstacles. Arabs generally were not united. They tended to identify with their particular tribe, sect, religion, or region rather than with a single, unified nation-state.
During World War I, some Arab leaders had helped the Allies against the Ottoman empire. These leaders expected to create their own kingdoms after the war. Even before the revolt, however, France and Britain had secretly agreed that they would take over the Arab lands within the Ottoman empire.
Population movement, the Treaty of Versailles, and foreign influences changed the Middle East after World War I. How did foreign influences affect the Middle East?