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Thwarting Iranistan: Iran and the USSR in the 1970s and early 1980s: Savka Andic

June 18, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

he remarkably settled nature of the Soviet-Iranian relationship during the late Pahlavi period was followed by a period of cautious Soviet activism in the early revolutionary years (1979-1980). In a bipolar world, the Shah had apparently succeeded in tempering his pro-American orientation by establishing multiple cultural, technical and economic ties to the Soviet Union – just enough investment to provide good insurance against a possible souring of relations. The Soviet leadership was not unappreciative of his efforts and reciprocated as much as was diplomatically acceptable to a nation on the other side of the Cold War divide. This was followed by a period of greater activism from 1979-1980, when Iran’s internal turbulence provided more opportunities and incentives for the Soviet Union to spread its influence in Iran. Yet even at this propitious moment the Soviet leadership was remarkably circumspect in dealing with Iran’s Communist Party, the Tudeh. Superpower politics and pragmatism, rather than socialist ideology or solidarity, remained the driving forces of Soviet policy in Iran.

This talk is based on research conducted at the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF)[1] , the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI)[2] , the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History (RGANI)[3] and the Foreign Policy Archive of the Russian Federation (AVP RF).[4] In addition I interviewed faculty members from the Oriental Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IVRAN)[5] and consulted several Russian language memoirs.

Savka Andic holds an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies and a DPhil in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford. Her specialisms include modern Iranian history, British-Iranian relations and Soviet/Russo-Iranian relations.

[1] Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii

[2] Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv sotsialno-politicheskoi istorii

[3] Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv noveishei istorii

[4] Arkhiv vneshnei politiki Rossiiskoi Federatsii

[5] Institut vostokovedeniia Rossiiskoi Akademii nauk


June 18, 2018
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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