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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Iran, Season 1, Lesson 13 - Nationalization of Oil Industry Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Iran Series at PersianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Iranian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 13, Nationalization of Oil Industry Day. In Persian, it’s called Rooz-e Melli shodan-e san'at-e naft.
Oil is the most prevalent natural resource in Iran. Consideration of the economic role of oil in Iran across all economic spheres is the basis for discussing the importance of the nationalization of Iran's oil industry.
In this lesson, we will learn about how Iran's oil industry was nationalized on the 29th of Esfand, 1329 (which is March 20, 1951). According to the law regarding the nationalization of Iran's oil industry, all revenue that comes from extracting and utilizing Iran's oil is granted to the Iranian government.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
When and where was oil first discovered in Iran?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
As a natural resource, Iran's oil, or in Persian, naft, has always been at the center of the international community’s attention. In the past, countries have conspired to take advantage of this valuable resource to use it for their own gain. In 1901 CE, or 1280 on the solar calendar, most of the rights to discover, extract, utilize, and sell Iranian oil was granted to a British national named William D'Arcy, leaving very little by way of rights to oil to Iranians. The conflict over Iran's oil became a major dispute that lasted for years. Eventually, on the 29th of Esfand, 1329 on the solar calendar, the “Law of Nationalization of Iran's Oil" was approved, which gave all the rights to Iran’s oil to the government of Iran. Doktor Mohammad-e Mosaddegh, the Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 until 1953, was the one who engineered the nationalization of the oil industry.
Currently, a large part of Iran's economy and industry is based on the country's oil reserves, including oil exports, energy production, petroleum products, and gasoline, or benzin in Persian. Globally, this oil has a major impact by affecting the international stock market and fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. Because of these factors, appropriate management and use of this resource is of the utmost importance. Today, there are Iranians from all walks of life seeking to maintain the domestic oil industry, and to keep the oil—also known as the ‘black gold’—protected as a national treasure.
The anniversary of the Nationalization of Iran's Oil Industry is a holiday on the solar calendar, recognized each year on the 29th of Esfand. To mark this day, programs reminding the public of the oil nationalization movement are broadcasted on television. Many companies and stores also offer special discounts, or takhfif, on this day. Schools also participate in this holiday by teaching students about events related to this day.
The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company used to be among the most active companies refining oil in Iran. However, following the nationalization of Iran's oil industry, Iran's National Oil Company, in Persian called sherkat-e melli-ye naft-e iraan replaced it, and now acts under the supervision of Iran's government and president.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
When and where was oil first discovered in Iran?
Oil was first discovered on May 26, 1908 (which is Khordad 5, 1287 on the solar calendar), in the city of Masjed Soleimaan. With this event, the title of the first oil well in Iran, as well as the first oil discovery in the Middle East, was given to this city.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What else do you know about Iran's oil, and which other oil-rich countries do you know of?
Leave us a comment telling us at PersianPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!