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Iran, Persian Gulf and Relations with the United States: The Myth of Hegemony (1968-75)

RIAZ, ADNAN,SHEIKH (2014) Iran, Persian Gulf and Relations with the United States: The Myth of Hegemony (1968-75). Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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A host of negative perceptions about Western interests in keeping the Shah of Iran on throne and encouraging his aggressive posture during 1968-79 abound the anti-Imperialist narrative across the Persian Gulf. Negative references to the Shah’s stance against his Gulf and Westerly neighbours, such as claims on Bahrain, Abu Musa and the Tunbs Islands; instigating the Iraqi Kurdish rebellion and threatening to detach Pakistani Baluchistan during 1972-75 notwithstanding, his otherwise hostile behaviour in the OPEC threatening oil embargos against the West, as well actions in Dhofari rebellion during 1970-75, can only be explained as positive contributions towards the Arab cause and acting against Western interests. In addition, while the Shah acted against various Soviet protégés in the Gulf and western Asia during 1969-78, the Soviet countenance to his regional policies after his demanding American withdrawal from Bahrain in 1968 contradicts his acting on behalf of US interests or keeping the conservative Arabs incheck, or harbour expansionist ambitions.
Analysing “Top-Secret” diplomatic correspondence detailing the Shah-US undertakings on these controversies, this study instead claims that the Shah wanted closer relations with all the conservative Arabs and revolutionary Iraq to protect the region from the US “bargains” with the Soviets. He actually protected his Sheikhly Arab neighbours from the Western military threat during 1968-71; extended direct security guarantees to Saudi Kingdom and Pakistan during 1972-75; and never harboured ambitions to take a security role under Nixon Doctrine thrgouh an aircraft Carrier navy well after 1971.
The work discovers that the Shah had actually become resistant to President Johnson and Nixon’s advice on Iran’s security and relations with the Soviet Union, after refusals to provide necessary defensive weapons; threatening the Shah with arms embargoes and refusing any security guarantee to Iran from the Soviet, Nasserite or the Marxist threats during 1967-72.
In fact, the study suggests that contrary to the stated objectives for US stationingthe MIDEASTFOR in Bahrain as security presence, Nixon intended to increase his bargaining position viz-a-viz the Soivet vulnerability along the southern borders; seek Soviet restraint against Europe and agree to Strategic Arms Limitations. The Shah was assured supplies of high-tech arms as a “recompense” for quiescence over US presence and Détente, and act as a conduit for arms to Pakistan after the 1971 War.
The Shah’s interest in containing revolutionary Iraq after 1972 through the Kurds is also demonstrated as contradictory to Kissinger’s motives for Shah to act along Soviet borders and “neutralize” Iraq from the anti-Israeli quation. This study uncovers that the Shah did not act unilaterally against Saddam during 1972-75, but received support from King Faisal, Hussein and Kuwait, whereas, Nixon and Kissinger were duly warned by the CIA about the Shah’s “heavy-handed” tendencies against Arab neighbours; the dangers of triggering an arms race - without commensurate Iraqi threat -and which could elicit Soviet counter-actions should Iran threatened its southern borders or regional clients.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:"Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi", "Iran", "US-Soviet competition in the Persian Gulf", "Indian Ocean", "Britian and East of Suez", "Bahrain", "Abu Musa-Tunbs", "OPEC", "Arabian Peninsula", "Pan Arab", "Marxism", "Iraq", "Kurds", "CIA", "OPEC", "Detente", "Cold War", "Carte Blanche", "MIDEASTFOR", "withdrawal", "OPEC", "advisers", "NASSERISM", "Yemen", " bases"
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:10 Mar 2014 15:05

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