The international history of the Gulf, 1958-1979
This dissertation examines the international history of the Gulf region during the period from 1958 to 1979. It begins with the fall of the Iraqi monarchy and ends with the fall of the Shah of Iran. Particular attention is paid throughout to the establishment of the new Gulf states and their emergence into `modernity'. In Chapter I we deal with the historical background of the Gulf states, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Besides the historical background we also deal with recent social, economic and political developments within all of these states. Special attention has been paid to the culture, religion and society of our subjects since these factors play a major role in the domestic and external decision-making. Faysal of Saudi Arabia, for example, formed his policies according to his strong Islamic beliefs. In Chapter II we deal with the conflicts and disputes among our subjects. Disputes over whole territory, as in the case of the Iraqi claim over Kuwait and the Iranian claim over Bahrain or disputes over islands which one state believes to be part of its national territory but which claim is disputed - the Iranian claim to the two Tunbs and Abu Musa or the Bahraini claim to Zubara, for example, or disputed claims by several parties - in the case of the Buraimi Oasis between Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Oman. These claims became important as a result of the oil discoveries in our region and the establishment of new states deepened some of these conflicts. There have also been important strategic considerations at stake - for example, with regard to the Iraqi claims to the two Kuwaiti islands of Warba and Bubiyan. In Chapter III we look at the involvement of the superpowers in the region. Particular attention is given to the relationships between the United States and Iran and between the United States and Saudi Arabia on the one hand and that between the Soviet Union and Iraq on the other. Attention has inevitably focussed upon military rivalry and the development of armed forces. In the subsequent chapters the emphasis changes. We deal with the region as a whole and look at events as they involve all the countries concerned. These chapters cover the entire period from 1958 to 1979 on a daily basis by watching its politically dynamic developments, starting with the fall of the Iraqi monarchy and the emergence of the revolutionary regime in its place and ending with the downfall of the Shah of Iran in 1979. That has entailed consideration of the fate of the Iraqi revolution and the emergence and fragile independence of Kuwait. Another significant landmark is the British announcement in 1968 of their determination to bring their long-established role in the region to an end three years later. That in turn leads to a consideration of the politics of the establishment of the United Arab Emirates and also of the international aspects of the Omani question. The final chapters consider the `Algiers Accord' between Iran and Iraq and the dispute over the Shatt al-Arab waterway. Considerable note is taken of the Kurdish revolt in its various phases. The thesis comes to an end by describing the downfall of the Shah and the international evaluation of its significance.