The Anglo-American relationship through the lenses of the Anglo-Iranian oil crisis : 1950-53
Ong, Zavier Xin Yu
Date of Issue2016
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
In August 1953, Britain and the United States orchestrated a coup d’état, codenamed Operation TP-AJAX, which overthrew Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq and secured the throne of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. More than 60 years have passed but the Iranian political psyche remains deeply scarred by the coup, an event that continues to reverberate in contemporary USIranian relations. The coup has been and continues to be a constant source of debate amongst historians. This paper argues that the joint Anglo-American operation that culminated in the 1953 Iranian Coup reflected the unique bilateral relationship against the backdrop of a new and complex international order that emerged from the ashes of World War II. Britain deferred to American wishes not to engage militarily in Iran in a tacit acknowledgment of America’s military and economic dominance whereas the United States was careful not to pursue an Iranian policy that would undermine Britain’s position in the dispute as they recognized the important role played by the British in containing the advance of Soviet ambitions in the Middle East. The Anglo-American leadership recognized that there was sufficient mutual need accruing to both parties to sustain the integrity of the relationship.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University