Consequently, the American policy towards Iran became: “The United States will exert all feasible efforts to prevent the loss of Iranian independence to the U.S.S.R. ‘.¹ Furthermore, the United States’ policy in the Persian Gulf became:


The United States shall look to the nation directly threatened to assume the primary responsibility of the manpower for its defense.²


According to the State Department, the “United States has a vital interest in assisting free world countries to defend themselves against Communist subversion. ³


Though the Americans did not have enough materials, and funds to allocate to such an urgent need as the Persian Gulf, nevertheless they started by giving Iran equipment and training. According to the State Department:


The US has the co-operation of the Iranians in a rather extensive special program for indoctrination of the Armed Forces, using films. local military radio and printed matters.4


In the post Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s crisis, by 1956 Iran became stable and possessed considerable military power.


Safeguarding British interests

On 24th February 1955, Turkey and Iraq signed in Baghdad a mutual defence pact. Turkey had been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation since 1952 and was therefore allied with the West.

To reinforce the defence of the Persian Gulf, and block Soviet expansion towards it, the United Kingdom on 4th April 1953 adhered to the pact. Later in 1955 the adherence of Pakistan and Iran took place.

The Baghdad Pact, as it became known, with the participation of Britain, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey, formed a defence line against Soviet influence towards the Persian Gu1f.

The United States was supportive of the Baghdad Pact as a means of defence against Soviet influence in the Middle East, but was reluctant to become one of its members. This was because Britain was being criticised by the radical Arab countries “for the sake of strengthening the West’s defence (and for trying to isolate the radical nationalist leader of Egypt, President Nasser)”.5 America’s membership of the Baghdad Pact “would thus have offended the more radical independent Arab countries, as indeed it would have Israel, though for rather different reasons.”6

      1. Y. ALEXANDER and A. NANES, op. cit., p.27.
      2. C.A. KUPCHAN, The Persian Gulf and the West: The Dilemmas of Security, (London: Allen & Unwin, 1987), p.34.
      3.  Department of State: Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, (Washington DC, Annual), 1955-57, Vol. X, p.7, Foreign Aid and Economic Defense Policy.
      4. Ibid., p. 116.
      5.  A.P. DOBSON, The Politics of the Anglo-American Economic Special Relationship 1940-1987, (Brighton: Wheatsheaf Books, 1988), p .144.
      6.  Ibid.

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