The United States and Iran, 1951-1953: The Cold War interaction of national security policy, alliance politics and popular nationalism.
AuthorTisdale, Tyron Earl, Jr.
KeywordsNational security -- United States.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Iran.
Iran -- Foreign relations -- United States.
AdvisorAdamec, Ludwig W.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe years 1951 to 1953 are among the most important and controversial in Iranian history. The period is significant not only for the domestic dynamics of popular nationalism under Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, but also for the role that United States policy played in an interaction with the conflict between a lingering British economic presence and the Iranian move to nationalize its oil industry. An examination of United States national security policy of that time reveals that policy toward Iran was consistent with the overall post-war policy of the United States, dominated as it was by the central theme of preventing the spread of communism. The task for the men who were charged with the application of U.S. policy in Iran during those years was to accommodate two factors which complicated the search for an order which would ensure post-war national security for the United States: Iranian nationalism as epitomized by Mossadegh; and the economic and diplomatic interests of Great Britain. The United States sought to resolve the conflict so that instability in Iran would not invite communist influence or takeover. United States policymakers were influenced by several factors which combined to eventually decide the outcome. The centrality of the perceived world communist expansion threat, McCarthyism in the United States, the role of several key figures with experience in U.S.-Soviet diplomacy, and the change from a Democratic to a Republican administration at the time Mossadegh was experiencing a deterioration of his own domestic political situation; all worked toward the still-controversial outcome of U.S. policy: the overthrow of Mossadegh. The primacy of containment of communism in United States policy did not preclude variations in its application, nor did this emphasis ignore the forces of Iranian nationalism and self-determination. Nonetheless, given the men involved in the policy decisions, the information available to them and the context of the post-World War II international order, the outcome was predictable and entirely consistent at the time with creating an international order conducive to the national security interests of the United States.
Degree ProgramOriental Studies