USU and Point Four in Iran


Graphic for USU and Point Four

In 1951 the Point Four Program awarded a contract to Utah State Agricultural College to improve agricultural production in Iran. The program was a federal policy designed to counter the influence of communist Russia in the area, as well as share American expertise and practices. USU already had ties with the Iranian government as well as prominent Iranians such as Ardeshir Zahedi. The program created a fertile international collaboration with USU professors teaching in Iran and Iranian students coming to USU for advanced degrees.

USU’s agricultural program in Iran, however, was not so successful. USU and federal government officials complained that Iran provided very little financial support. Cultural differences contributed to misunderstanding and frustration and US foreign aid was inconsistent. USU Professors started an agricultural college in Iran, but they quickly realized that implementing western-style agriculture would not be easy.

In 1952 and 1953 there was rioting and much of the college was burned. In 1964 USU pulled out their advisors and professors. Iran would continue to move towards a more fundamentalist brand of Islam which eventually led to the exile of the Imperial Shah and the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979-1980.


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