Abadan - IranAbadan (Persian: آبادان Ābādān, pronounced [ʔɒːbɒːˈd̪ɒːn]) is a city and capital of Abadan County, Khuzestan Province which is located in southwest of Iran. It lies on Abadan Island (68 km or 42 mi long, 3–19 km or 2–12 miles wide), the island is bounded in the west by the Arvand waterway and to the east by the Bahmanshir outlet of the Karun River (the Arvand Rood), 53 kilometres (33 mi) from the Persian Gulf, near the Iraq-Iran border.
It was not until the 20th century that rich oil fields were discovered in the area. On 16 July 1909, after secret negotiation with the British consul, Percy Cox, assisted by Arnold Wilson, Sheik Khaz'al agreed to a rental agreement for the island including Abadan. [nb 1] The Sheik continued to administer the island until 1924. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company built their first pipeline terminus oil refinery in Abadan, starting in 1909 and completing it in 1912, with oil flowing by August 1912 (see Abadan Refinery). Refinery throughput numbers rose from 33,000 tons in 1912-1913 to 4,338,000 tons in 1931. By 1938, it was the largest in the world.
During World War II, Abadan was the site of brief combat between Iranian forces and British and Indian troops during the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran. Later, Abadan was a major logistics centre for Lend-Lease aircraft being sent to the Soviet Union by the United States.
In 1951, Iran nationalized all oil properties and refining ground to a stop on the island. Rioting broke out in Abadan, after the government had decided to nationalize the oil facilities, and three British workers were killed. It was not until 1954, that a settlement was reached, which allowed a consortium of international oil companies to manage the production and refining on the island. This continued until 1973, when the NIOC took over all facilities. After total nationalization, Iran focused on supplying oil domestically and built a pipeline from Abadan to Tehran.
Khuzestan Province (Persian: استان خوزستان Ostān-e Khūzestān, Arabic: محافظة خوزستان Muḥāfaẓa Khūzistān) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahvaz and it covers an area of 63,238 km2. Other major cities include, Abadan, Khorramshahr, Dezful, Andimeshk, Shush, Shushtar, Behbahan, Bandar-e Emam Khomeyni, Omidiyeh, Izeh, Baq-e-Malek, Bandar-e Mahshahr, Susangerd, Ramhormoz, Shadegan, Masjed Soleyman, and Hoveyzeh. The counties of Khuzestan Province are Andimeshk County, Dezful County, Lali County, Andika County, Gotvand County, Shush County, Shushtar County, Masjed Soleyman County, Izeh County, Dasht-e Azadegan County, Hoveyzeh County, Bavi County, Haftkel County, Bagh-e Malek County, Ramhormoz County, Ahvaz County, Karun County, Ramshir County, Omidiyeh County, Aghajari County, Behbahan County, Hendijan County, Mahshahr County, Shadegan County, Khorramshahr County, and Abadan County. In 2014 it was placed in Region 4.
As the Iranian province with the oldest history, it is often referred to as the "birthplace of the nation", as this is where the history of the Elamites begins. Historically, one of the most important regions of the Ancient Near East, Khuzestan is what historians refer to as ancient Elam, whose capital was in Susa. The Achaemenid Old Persian term for Elam was Hujiyā when they conquered it from the Elamites, which is present in the modern name. Khuzestan, meaning "the Land of the Khuz" refers to the original inhabitants of this province, the "Susian" people (Old Persian "Huza" or Huja (as in the inscription at the tomb of Darius the Great at Naqsh-e Rostam, (the Shushan of the Hebrew sources) where it is recorded as inscription as "Hauja" or "Huja"). In Middle Persian the term evolves into "Khuz" and "Kuzi". The pre-Islamic Partho-Sasanian Inscriptions gives the name of the province as Khwuzestan.
The name Khuzestan means "The Land of the Khuzi", and refers to the original inhabitants of this province, the "Susian" people (Old Persian "Huza", Middle Persian "Khuzi" or "Husa" (the Shushan of the Hebrew sources). The name of the city of Ahvaz also has the same origin as the name Khuzestan, being an Arabic broken plural from the compound name, "Suq al-Ahvaz" (Market of the Huzis)--the medieval name of the town, that replaced the Sasanian Persian name of the pre-Islamic times.
The entire province was still known as "the Khudhi" or "the Khooji" until the reign of the Safavid king Tahmasp I (r. 1524—1576) and in general the course of the 16th century. The southern half of the province—south, southwest of the Ahwaz Ridge, had come by the 17th century to be known—at least to the imperial Safavid chancery as Arabistan. The contemporaneous history, the Alamara-i Abbasi by Iskandar Beg Munshi, written during the reign of king Abbas I (r. 1588—1629), regularly refers to the southern part of Khuzestan as "Arabistan". The northern half continued to be called Khuzestan. In 1925, the entire province regained the old name and the term Arabistan was dropped.
There is also a very old folk etymology which maintains the word "khouz" stands for sugar and "Khouzi" for people who make raw sugar. The province has been a cane sugar producing area since the late Sassanian times, such as the sugar cane fields of the Dez River side in Dezful. Khouzhestan has been the land of Khouzhies who cultivate sugar cane even today in Haft Tepe.
There have been many attempts at finding other sources for the name, but none have proved tenable.
According to C.E. Bosworth in Encyclopædia Iranica, under the Qajar dynasty "the province was known, as in Safavid times, as Arabistan, and during the Qajar period was administratively a governor-generalate." Half of Khuzestan was not known as Arabistan. Khuzestan's northern, more populous parts, with the capital at Shushtar, retained the old name, but also occasionally was incorporated into the district of the Greater Lur due to the large Bakhtiari population in half of Khuzestan.
In 1856, in the course of the Anglo-Persian War over the city of Herat, the British naval forces sailed up the Karun river all the way to Ahvaz. However, in the settlement that followed, they evacuated the province. Some tribal forces, such as those led by Sheikh Jabir al-Kaabi, the Sheikh of Mohammerah, fared better in opposing the invading British forces than those dispatched by the central government, which was quite feeble. But, the point of the invasion of the province and other coastal regions of southern Persia/Iran were to force the evacuation of Herat by the Persians and not the permanent occupation of these regions.
Khuzestan is ethnically diverse, home to many different ethnic groups. This has a bearing on Khuzestan's electoral politics, with ethnic minority rights playing a significant role in the province's political culture. The province's geographical location bordering Iraq and its oil resources also make it a politically sensitive region, particularly given its history of foreign intervention, notably the Iraqi invasion of 1980.
Some ethnic groups complain over the distribution of the revenue generated by oil resources with claims that the central government is failing to invest profits from the oil industry in employment generation, post-war reconstruction and welfare projects. Low human development indicators among local Khuzestanis are contrasted with the wealth generation of the local oil industry. Minority rights are frequently identified with strategic concerns, with ethnic unrest perceived by the Iranian government as being generated by foreign governments to undermine the country's oil industry and its internal stability. The politics of Khuzestan therefore have international significance and go beyond the realm of electoral politics.
According to Jane's Information Group, "Most Iranian Arabs seek their constitutionally guaranteed rights and do not have a separatist agenda ... While it may be true that some Arab activists are separatists, most see themselves as Iranians first and declare their commitment to the state's territorial integrity."