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The Special Relationship and the Anglo-Iranian oil crisis, 1950–4

Marsh, Steve ORCID: 1998. The Special Relationship and the Anglo-Iranian oil crisis, 1950–4. Review of International Studies 24 (4) , pp. 529-544.

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The Anglo-Iranian oil crisis of 1950–4 provides an ideal case-study for those interested in the postwar Anglo-American Special Relationship. This article investigates the oil crisis with two purposes in mind: first, to demonstrate how Britain and the United States struggled to adjust their bilateral relations in response to their changing postwar world positions; second, to show just how crucial both countries perceived the Special Relationship to be in the early 1950s. This is done by examining the American decision not to pursue a policy in the Iranian oil crisis that would undermine Britain’s position, despite at times severe Anglo-American tension. It is concluded that the problems created by the changing balance of forces within the Special Relationship were mitigated in Iran by a combination of consanguinity and, more important, the US need for British help in its policy of global containment. In short, Anglo-American policy-makers perceived sufficient mutual need to persuade them to actively preserve and develop the Special Relationship.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 25/02/2014).
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0260-2105
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 17 May 2023 12:22

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