Under the iron-fisted rule of the US puppet Shah of Iran – who came to power after the 1953 BP-sponsored Mossadegh coup – Chase Manhattan, which later merged with JP Morgan to become JP Morgan Chase, issued letters of credit for all Iranian oil exports and monopolized deposits from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), even after Iran nationalized Four Horsemen oil interests to create NIOC.
Chase controlled the Pahlevi Foundation which owned an oil company, twelve Iranian sugar refineries, electronics firms, cemeteries, mines, industrial bakeries, the country’s General Motors franchise, and a slew of banks – including the Shah’s personal piggy bank – the Bank Omran. While “Omran” means “development”, the Pahlevi Foundation focused only on developing the fortunes of both the Shah and Chase Manhattan.
David Rockefeller, whose family controls majority interest in the bank, chaired Chase. The Rockefellers added to their fortune during the Shah’s reign, taking in far more oil deposits in the country than it made in loans. 
By 1978 Iran had become the world’s fourth largest oil producer, supplying 18% of both Japan’s and West Germany’s oil, 50% of Israel’s and 100% of the South African apartheid regime’s.  Yet the average Iranian worker languished in poverty.
Other Western banks behaved in similar fashion. This did not go unnoticed by Iran’s Central Bank Governor Al-Reza Nobari, who watched as his country sank deeper into debt while the Shah and his American bankers got filthy rich.
Nobari declared, “All the banks knew that the Bank Omran was the Shah’s personal repository for his pocket money. But they went on lending to Bank Omran.
Citibank lent, for example, $55 million to (the Shah’s sister) Princess Ashraf for a housing project. On the site of the housing project she built a palace.”
The Shah bought a share in Krupps, the huge German arms manufacturer. He owned numerous hotels in Tehran, houses in Beverly Hills, Manhattan, Acapulco and the Swiss Alps. He bought entire islands in the Seychelles and owned a race horse stud on a farm in Surrey, England. The standard of living of the average Iranian continued to head south.
In late 1978 the same Tudeh Party that launched the 1951 strikes in the British Petroleum oilfields of Khuzistan, initiated an occupation of the offices of Oil Services Company of Iran (OSCO) in the city of Ahwaz. OSCO was a tentacle of the Four Horsemen-controlled Iranian Consortium.
Soon afterwards, oilfield workers went out on strike. SAVAK agents were set into motion by the Shah to quell the resistance. Their brutality only inflamed the situation. The workers began to target Four Horsemen executives. Paul Grimm, Texaco’s Assistant General Manager, was gunned down in his car. George Link, Exxon’s General Manager, was nearly killed by a car bomb. 
Ironically, the strike began at the very site where the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (now BP) had first struck oil back in 1908. The strikes gained momentum, driving oil production down dramatically. Iran’s urban centers became embroiled in mass protests organized by Fedayeen and Mujahadeen revolutionary groups, which had sprung up in response to two decades of SAVAK (the Shah’s brutal CIA-trained secret police) annihilation of any loyal opposition party critical of the Shah.
In this political vacuum the Iranian Revolution was beginning to play out.
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