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The Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), originally known as the Baghdad
Baghdad
Pact or the Middle East
Middle East
Treaty Organization (METO), was formed in 1955 by Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey
Turkey
and the United Kingdom. It was dissolved in 1979. US pressure and promises of military and economic aid were key in the negotiations leading to the agreement, but the United States
United States
could not initially participate. John Foster Dulles, who was involved in the negotiations as U.S. Secretary of State
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."[1] Others said that the reason was "for purely technical reasons of budgeting procedures."[2] 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.[3] The organization's headquarters were in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1955 to 1958 and in Ankara, Turkey, in 1958 to 1979. Cyprus
Cyprus
was also an important location for CENTO because of its location in the Middle East
Middle East
and the British Sovereign Base Areas
British Sovereign Base Areas
on the island.[4]

Contents

1 History 2 Timeline 3 Secretaries General 4 CENTO railway 5 Cultural and research institutions

5.1 CENTO Scientific Council

6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

History[edit]

Three U.S. Air Force McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II aircraft parked at Shiraz Air Base, Iran, during exercise Cento, 1 August 1977

Modeled after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
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
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.[5] 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
USSR
from bases in Pakistan. The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
had access to facilities in Pakistan and Iraq
Iraq
at various times while the treaty was in effect. On July 14, 1958, the Iraqi monarchy was overthrown in a military coup. The new government was led by General Abdul Karim Qasim
Abdul Karim Qasim
who withdrew Iraq
Iraq
from the Baghdad
Baghdad
Pact, opened diplomatic relations with Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and adopted a non-aligned stance. The organization dropped the name ' Baghdad
Baghdad
Pact' in favor of 'CENTO' at that time. The Middle East
Middle East
and South Asia
South Asia
became extremely volatile areas during the 1960s with the ongoing Arab–Israeli Conflict
Arab–Israeli Conflict
and the Indo-Pakistani Wars. CENTO was unwilling to get deeply involved in either dispute. In 1965 and 1971, Pakistan
Pakistan
tried unsuccessfully to get assistance in its wars with India
India
through CENTO, but this was rejected under the idea that CENTO was aimed at containing the USSR, not India.

Play media

Universal Newsreel about the Baghdad
Baghdad
Pact

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
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
Iranian revolution
spelled the end of the organization in 1979, but in reality, it essentially had been finished since 1974, when Turkey
Turkey
invaded Cyprus. This led the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
to withdraw forces that had been earmarked to the alliance,[citation needed] and the United States
United States
Congress halted Turkish military aid despite two Presidential vetoes.[5] 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.[6] Timeline[edit]

1954 February: Turkey
Turkey
signed a Pact of Mutual Cooperation with Pakistan. 24 February 1955: A military agreement was signed between Iraq
Iraq
and Turkey, and the term " Baghdad
Baghdad
Pact" started to be used. Iran, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
join the Baghdad
Baghdad
Pact. 1959 March: The new republican regime of Iraq
Iraq
withdrew the country from the alliance. 19 August 1959: METO renamed CENTO.[7] 1965: Pakistan
Pakistan
tried to get help from its allies in its war against India.[8] The United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
passed Resolution 211 on September 20 and the United States
United States
and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
supported the UN decision by cutting off arms supplies to both belligerents.[9] 1971: In a new war with India, Pakistan
Pakistan
again tried unsuccessfully to get allied assistance. (The U.S. provided limited military support to Pakistan, but not under the rubric of CENTO.) 1979: The new government of Islamic Republic of Iran
Iran
withdrew the country from CENTO.

Secretaries General[edit] A Secretary General, appointed by the council of ministers for a renewable three years, oversaw CENTO activities. Secretaries general were:[10][11]

Name State In office

Awni Khalidy  Iraq 1955 – 31 Dec 1958

Osman Ali Baig  Pakistan 1 Jan 1959 – 31 Dec 1961

Abbas Ali Khalatbari  Iran Jan 1962 – Jan 1968

Turgut Menemencioğlu  Turkey Jan 1968 – 1 Feb 1972

Nasir Assar  Iran 1 Feb 1972 – Jan 1975

Ümit Haluk Bayülken  Turkey Jan 1975 – 1 Aug 1977

Sidar Hasan Mahmud  Pakistan Aug 1977 – Mar 1978

Kamuran Gurun  Turkey 31 Mar 1978 – 1979

CENTO railway[edit] CENTO sponsored a railway line, some of which was completed, to enable a rail connexion between London
London
and Tehran
Tehran
via Van. A section from Lake Van
Lake Van
in Turkey
Turkey
to Sharafkhaneh
Sharafkhaneh
in Iran
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
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.[12][13] Cultural and research institutions[edit] Like its counterparts NATO
NATO
and SEATO, CENTO sponsored a number of cultural and scientific research institutions:

CENTO Conferences on Teaching Public Health and Public Health Practice[14] CENTO Cultural Works Programme [15] CENTO Institute of Nuclear & Applied Science CENTO Scientific Coordinating Board[16] CENTO Scientific Council CENTO Symposia on Rural Development[17][18]

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.[19] It also arranged at least one symposium on the problem of foot-and-mouth and rinderpest.[20] The organisation that became the CENTO Institute of Nuclear Science was established by Western powers in the Baghdad
Baghdad
Pact, as CENTO was then known.[21] It was initially located in Baghdad, Iraq, but was relocated to Tehran, Iran
Iran
in 1958 after Iraq
Iraq
withdrew from CENTO.[22][23] Students from Pakistan
Pakistan
and Turkey
Turkey
as well as those from Iran
Iran
were trained at the Institute.[24] CENTO Scientific Council[edit] 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
Iran
and Turkey".[25] See also[edit]

Economic Cooperation Organization Regional Cooperation for Development Shanghai Cooperation Organisation NATO SEATO ANZUS NORAD Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance

References[edit]

^ Selwyn Lloyd; Suez 1956: A Personal account ^ Hadley, Guy. CENTO: The Forgotten Alliance ISIO Monographs, University of Sussex, UK (1971): 2. ^ Martin, Kevin W. (2008). " Baghdad
Baghdad
Pact". In Ruud van Dijk; et al. Encyclopedia of the Cold War. New York: Routledge. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-415-97515-5. Retrieved 2009-01-30. Thus, the Baghdad Pact is widely considered the least successful of the Cold War
Cold War
schemes engendered by the Anglo-American alliance.  ^ Dimitrakis, Panagiotis, "The Value to CENTO of UK Bases on Cyprus", Middle Eastern Studies, Volume 45, Issue 4, July 2009, pp 611–624 ^ a b George Lenczowski, American Presidents and the Middle East, 1990, p. 88 ^ "CENTO pact members to dissolve alliance soon". The Gazette. Montreal. AP. 1979-03-17. p. 46. Retrieved 15 March 2014.  ^ US National Archives. 333.8 Records of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) 1956-79. https://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/333.html#333.8.2 ^ CENTO nation help sought by Pakistan. Chicago Tribune. September 7, 1965 [1] ^ The India- Pakistan
Pakistan
War of 1965. Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, United States
United States
Department of State [2] ^ From Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/central-treaty-organization-cento-a-mutual-defense-and-economic-cooperation-pact-among-persia-turkey-and-pakistan-wi ^ http://www.worldstatesmen.org/International_Organizations.html ^ Geneva Times, 15 April 1971. p9 http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper%2011/Geneva%20NY%20Daily%20Times/Geneva%20NY%20Daily%20Times%201971%20Mar-Apr%201971%20Grayscale/Geneva%20NY%20Daily%20Times%201971%20Mar-Apr%201971%20Grayscale%20-%201035.pdf ^ Meklis, Y. Along the Path of a CENTO Railway: A Narrative with Text and Photographs Telling how Iran
Iran
and Turkey, with the Support of CENTO Associates, are Repeating History by Linking Their Countries with a Modern Railway. CENTO Public Relations Division (1959?). https://books.google.com/books/about/Along_the_Path_of_a_CENTO_Railway.html?id=qEUYAAAAIAAJ&hl=en ^ Kashani-Sabet, Firoozeh. OUP (2011) Conceiving Citizens: Women and the Politics of Motherhood in Iran. p. 291. ^ See, for example, in "Solo exhibitions": http://www.bengalfoundation.org/old/index.php?view=artist/ArtistProfile.php&artistID=100&page=5 ^ ASME web page for Mr. Sadik Kakaç. https://www.asme.org/about-asme/get-involved/honors-awards/press-releases/sadik-kakac-awarded-honorary-membership ^ Beeman, William O. (1986). Language, Status, and Power in Iran. Indiana University Press. p. 226. ISBN 9780253113184.  ^ Amad, Mohammad Javad (2011). Agriculture, Poverty and Reform in Iran. Routledge. p. 172. ISBN 9780415614382.  ^ CIA memorandum, released under US Freedom of Information provisions. "EIGHTH CENTO MINISTERIAL COUNCIL SESSION TEHRAN, APRIL 28-30, 1960 U.S. POSITION ON THE TURKISH- IRANIAN RAILWAY LINK". http://www.foia.cia.gov/document/eighth-cento-ministerial-council-session-tehran-april-28-30-1960-us-position-turkish ^ "CENTO Seminar on the Control and Eradication of Viral Diseases in the CENTO Region: With Special
Special
Emphasis on Foot-and-mouth and Rinderpest
Rinderpest
and Renderpest-like dieases " CENTO (1973). ^ Restivo, Sal P. Science, Technology, and Society: An Encyclopedia. OUP (2005). p 534. ^ Sahimi, M. Website. "Iran's Nuclear Energy Program. Part V: From the United States
United States
Offering Iran
Iran
Uranium Enrichment Technology to Suggestions for Creating Catastrophic Industrial Failure". http://www.payvand.com/news/04/dec/1186.html ^ Orr, Tamara. Iran
Iran
and Nuclear Weapons. Rosen. (2009). ^ Entessar, Nader. Middle East
Middle East
Policy Council website. "Iran's Nuclear Decision-Making Calculus". http://www.mepc.org/journal/middle-east-policy-archives/irans-nuclear-decision-making-calculus?print ^ Smith, ML. "The Role of Science in the Development of Natural Resources with Particular Reference to Pakistan, Iran
Iran
and Turkey". Elsevier (2013). https://books.google.com/books?id=g-xsBQAAQBAJ&dq=CENTO+Institute+of+Nuclear+%26+Applied+Science+-centos&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Further reading[edit]

Cohen, Michael J. "From ‘Cold’ to ‘Hot’ War: Allied Strategic and Military Interests in the Middle East
Middle East
after the Second World War." Middle Eastern Studies 43.5 (2007): 725-748. Jalal, Ayesha. "Towards the Baghdad
Baghdad
Pact: South Asia
South Asia
and Middle East Defence in the Cold War, 1947-1955." International History Review 11.3 (1989): 409-433. Kuniholm, Bruce R. The origins of the Cold War
Cold War
in the Near East: Great power conflict and diplomacy in Iran, Turkey, and Greece (Princeton University Press, 2014). Podeh, Elie. The quest for hegemony in the Arab world: The struggle over the Baghdad
Baghdad
Pact (Brill, 1995). Yesilbursa, Behcet Kemal. The Baghdad
Baghdad
Pact: Anglo-American Defence Policies in the Middle East, 1950-59 (2003) excerpt

External links[edit]

Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) entry in Encyclopaedia Iranica A film clip " Baghdad
Baghdad
pact. Unified Military Command Seen, 1958/01/30 (1958)" is available at the Internet Archive CENTO on the US State Department's website.

Authority control

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