Iran is a Persian country, Iraq is Arab. There are religous, cultural and historical differences at play. In recent times there have been several wars between Iraq and Iran as well as Iraq and Syria. Iran is the bigger country. However, Iraq controlled the Shatt al-Arab river that ran along the border between the two countries. Tolls were paid by Iran to Iraq for shipping along the river.
Towards the end of the 1960’s and into the 1970’s, Iran economic plans were paying dividends, moving Gross National Product growth towards the 10% level. Iran was becoming a regional power-house. It had taken the step of recognizing Bahrain’s independence, as prompted by Britain, and had — after the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 — become close to Egypt, Egypt was also pro-western and seen as a moderating force in the area. In April of 1969, Iran decided that it would not pay tolls along the Shatt al-Arab river. The river, like other major rivers in the world which formed a boundary between countries, would be free to navigation to all. We will look at the Moon-to-Sun Returns of the Shah for this event. Now, this is an “event”, it is not a personal action, it is not a situation which directly involved the Shah. It happened under his instructions at a point when the first ship to refuse paying a toll happened to reach that place and point in time. I see this as being a little different than a leader personally directing an action. As such, we will have to see what the charts show.
This chart, a week earlier than the date of the refusal to stop and pay a river-passage toll, has no closely angular planets if we look carefully at the degrees of the planets relative to the angles. This is a Moon/11th opposite Sun/5th house chart with a theme of “Committing oneself to projects benefiting others. Representing the best ideals of a group. . . . Acting contrary to what is expected. Being contrary or causing disappointment.”
We find n/PoF at the Desc.; suggesting sudden changes affecting others. Also, t/PoF is in the first, experiencing a change in one’s situation. The Shah’s n/MC is at the IC, a reversal of his public stance or position, or his image is to take place.
The actions he was to put into motion would abrogate a 1937 treaty with Iraq, one which might cause significant tensions between the two countries. Yet, the Shah was in a strong economic and political position with strong allies supporting him. The decision was made. At some point a ship would refuse to pay a toll and would pass on. If this was contested, that would be dealt with. If not, Iran and its shipping had won a point.
On April 24, 1969, Iraq declined to protest or to stop the ship passing its tolling place, and the river became free to all to use. This was not a happy time for Iraq. The Shah was supporting and arming the Kurds in the north of the country and was thwarting the Iraq and Russian attempts to bring influence on to the gulf states as well as Afganistan and Pakistan to the east of the country. In the chart for this date we see natal Mars at the IC angle. t/Part of Fortune is squaring n/PoF which is always indicative of strife or change that is hard to deal with.
Note also that n/Pluto and t/Pluto are in angular houses — not close to the angles. This event was a “ho-hummer”, a yawn on the pages of history. Iraq did not react, there was no crises. Note the opposition of natal and transiting Sun, indicating a difference of minds or opinion, a decision with two sides to consider. t/Uranus is involved in this Sun opposition.
For me, this chart and event looks a bit wishy-washy, not overly exciting. Pluto plays a role in terms of “control” and “change in who is in charge.” t/Nepune, associated with waterways , is conjoining n/Asc-n/N.Node-n/Moon, the interpretation of which is able to be parsed in several ways, none of which impress me: a dissolving (Neptune) of an established (Ascendant) relationship (N.Node) of some long-standing (Moon).
The history of modern Iran is complex, convoluted and difficult to cover in a few postings. Next, we will look at the Shahs last period in power and the transfer of the country to theocratic control. Dave.