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Lend-Lease Program

LEND-LEASE PROGRAM

Provided U.S. military aid to the Allies in World War II.

Lend-lease was a program that, from 1940, enabled President Franklin D. Roosevelt to extend aid to any country whose fate he felt was vital to U.S. defensefor the sake of national security. Not until March 1941 did the U.S. Congress pass the Lend-Lease Act. It provided for military aid to the World War II Allies, under the condition that equipment extended would be returned or paid for after the war. In practice, lend-lease became the main wartime U.S. aid program of the Roosevelt administration. Little was returned, and even less was paid for. Coordinated first by Harry Hopkins and then by Edward Stettinius, the lend-lease programs conveyed the equivalent of some $3 billion in aid to the Middle East and the countries of the Mediterranean.

Lend-lease for the Middle East was administered primarily through Cairo, Egypt, and Tehran, Iran. Both Egypt and Iran were occupied by the AlliesIran from the autumn of 1941 to 1945. In 1942, the United States supplied its ally, the U.S.S.R., via the Persian/Arabian Gulf and Iran; therefore, Iran became eligible for lend-lease. Although lend-lease was supposed to aid only democratic countries in the struggle against the Axis, petroleum-rich Saudi Arabia was also included in the program by February 1943. The lend-lease program was terminated in August 1945.


Bibliography


Rubin, Barry. Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience and Iran. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.

Yergin, Daniel. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991.


zachary karabell

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