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Arming the Shah: U.S. Arms Policies Towards Iran, 1950-1979

McGlinchey, Stephen


Stephen McGlinchey
Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations


This thesis reconstructs and explains the arms relationship that successive U.S. administrations developed with the Shah of Iran between 1950 and 1979. This relationship has generally been neglected in the extant literature leading to a series of omissions and distortions in the historical record. By detailing how and why Iran transitioned from a low order military aid recipient in the 1950s to America’s primary military credit customer in the late 1960s and 1970s, this thesis provides a detailed and original contribution to the understanding of a key Cold War episode. By drawing on extensive declassified archival records, the investigation demonstrates the not only the importance of the arms relationship but also how it reflected, and contributed to, the wider evolution of U.S.-Iranian relations from a position of Iranian client state dependency to a situation where the U.S. became heavily leveraged to the Shah for protection of the Gulf and beyond - until the policy met its disastrous end in 1979 as an antithetical regime took power in Iran.


McGlinchey, S. Arming the Shah: U.S. Arms Policies Towards Iran, 1950-1979. (Thesis). Cardiff University

Thesis Type Thesis
Keywords Iran, Shah, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, Eisenhower, Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Cold War, US foreign policy, arms sales, Gerald Ford
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