The "War Aims" of neutral Iran during World War I

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  • Authors:
  • Oliver Bast

Abstract

Although Persia had declared its neutrality at the beginning of World War I it soon became a battleground, which wreaked havoc on an already weak state. Persia’s inability to prevent the violations of her neutrality means that the existing literature mostly focuses on the policies of the belligerent powers toward Persia, and not on Persia’s own policy. This article draws on Persian sources in order to invert the prevailing perspective. Examining the responses of Persia’s foreign policy makers to the severe war challenges that they faced, this articles reaches the conclusion that Persia’s leading war-time statesmen, contrary to their usual portrayal, were neither helpless victims, nor the corrupt executive agents of foreign powers. They were shrewd tacticians aptly pursuing a concerted foreign policy aimed at attaining a set of clearly defined war, or rather, peace aims.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-110
Number of pages16
JournalRelations Internationales
Issue number160
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014