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dc.contributor.authorDonovan, Michael Patricken
dc.date.accessioned2018-01-31T11:42:46Z
dc.date.available2018-01-31T11:42:46Z
dc.date.issued2000en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1842/27927
dc.description.abstracten
dc.description.abstractThis Ph.D. thesis examines United States political intelligence in regard to the regime of Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, the accuracy of this intelligence, and it's influence on American policy from 1950-1979. Based on archival material, declassified documents, and interviews with relevant personalities, this thesis seeks to chronicle nearly three decades of intelligence analysis on the factors governing political stability in Iran, and establish the veracity of this analysis vis-a-vis the historical record. In the early 1950s, American intelligence operatives contributed to the overthrow of the nationalist government in Iran headed by Dr. Muhammad Musaddiq, and the restoration to a position of authority of the Shah. In its exploration of the motives behind the 1953 covert political intervention to unseat Musaddiq, the thesis finds that the Eisenhower administration acted out of a set of Cold War priorities that included the need to maintain cohesion in the Anglo-American special relationship and fears of Iranian neutrality.en
dc.description.abstractThe United States gained a pliant ally, but one whose power base was tenuous. By the end of the Eisenhower administration, intelligence analysts concluded that, in the absence of significant economic and political reform, the Shah's regime had become so unstable as to virtually guarantee revolutionary change. Acting on a broad consensus among the intelligence community about the regime's weakness, the Kennedy administration sought to bolster the government with limited financial and political support while encouraging reform. American pressure on this front led the Shah, in 1963, to announce the "White Revolution," a six point program for reform designed to shift the monarch's base of support from the traditional ruling elite to the lower classes. The announcement of the "White Revolution" marks a rough watershed in the intelligence-policy relationship in Washington as it pertained to Iran. While American policy makers viewed the program as a progressive step forward, intelligence analysts were inclined to view the Shah's reforms as ill-conceived and, given the lack of meaningful political reform, designed largely to consolidate power in the hands of the Shah. Thus began a period during the Johnson administration where intelligence analysts emphasized the need for the diffusion of power and the inclusion of the middle classes in the decision-making process, while American policy makers placed their hopes for stability in economic determinism.en
dc.description.abstractan policy makers placed their hopes for stability in economic determinism. The thesis explores the reasons behind the end ofthe intelligence-policy consensus on Iran and the failure ofthe intelligence community to communicate their position in an effective way. The reasons included the decreasing standing of the intelligence community in the US domestic context, the appearance of enhanced stability in Iran, the multiplicity of opinions within the diplomatic and intelligence reporting system, and most importantly, the changing international strategic environment.en
dc.description.abstractThe Shah's value as an ally and proxy for American interests increased substantially after the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict and the announcement, in 1968, that the British would end their presence in the Persian Gulf. The thesis concludes that sensitive analysts within the intelligence community continued to report that the regime in Tehran had failed to institutionalize itself and that the increasing economic prosperity brought about by the oil boom would eventually foster demands for democratization. By contrast, American policy became predicated on the highly personalized and prowestern policies of the Shah, and thus, the continuation of one-man rule in Iran. Consequently, policy makers in the Nixon administration sought to bolster the Shah's regime through unprecedented levels of military and diplomatic support. These policies helped to exacerbate the grievances of the Shah's domestic critics.en
dc.description.abstractMeanwhile, intelligence on the viability of the Shah's regime was downgraded as a priority by policy makers. Nevertheless, implicit concerns about the long-term consequences of the Shah's policies and ambitions can be found in much of the intelligence analyses of this period. Additionally, while failing to predict any imminent conflagration in Iran, this reporting did identify many of the factors that would play a decisive role in the 1978 revolution. In exploring these varying degrees of skepticism about the long-term viability of the Shah's regime, the thesis demonstrates that the intelligence community was not entirely surprised by the revolutionary forces that would bring about the downfall of the Pahlavi system, even if the exact identity of these forces were unknown. The work concludes that the intelligence community's tacit understanding of the weaknesses of the Pahlavi system enabled analysts to react more quickly to the Iranian revolution than has been previously supposed.en
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.relation.isreferencedbyen
dc.subjectAnnexe Thesis Digitisation Project 2017 Block 16en
dc.titleU.S. political intelligence and American policy on Iran, 1950-1979en
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen


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