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The Soviet Union and Revolutionary Iran

Auteur : Aryeh Y. Yodfat
Éditeur : Date & Lieu : London & Canberra, Croom Helm
Préface : Pages : 1984
Traduction : ISBN : 135x210 mm
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 168
Code FIKP : Liv. Eng. Yod. Sov. N° 1372Thème : Politique

Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
The Soviet Union and Revolutionary Iran

The Soviet Union and Revolutionary Iran

Aryeh Y. Yodfat

Croom Helm

Relations between the USSR and Iran during the period from the overthrow of the Shah and the establishment of the Islamic Republic up to early 1983 are reviewed in this book. It begins with a brief survey of Russian-Persian relations in earlier years, with a focus on the developments that served as a background to the current events.
It examines Soviet attitudes and reactions to Iran's foreign and internal policy and highlights the way in which the Soviets often raise events of which they do not approve in order to draw Iran closer to them.
In particular, the book discusses the Soviet response to the Iran-lraq war and the position of the Tudeh Party and the other leftists within Iran.
Iran's policy towards the USSR is treated at length and it is shown that it is suspicious of a tacit USA-USSR agreement over the fate of Iran. Khomeini’s attempts to isolate Iran from both East and West, proclaiming a policy of 'neither East nor West, but as an Islamic Republic' are also reviewed.
This is the first attempt in book form to discuss this crucial dimension in Middle East politics and it makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the forces driving the Iranian Revolution.

Aryeh Y. Yodfat is in the Lavon Research Institute, Israel General Federation of Labour.


This book reviews and analyses relations between the Soviet Union and Iran, from the time of the overthrow of the Shah’s regime and the establishment of the Islamic Republic up to mid 1983. It begins with a brief survey of earlier periods in Russian-Persian relations, with a focus on the developments which served as a background to the current events.

While much has been written about Iran during the Shah’s regime, very little has been published about the period since 1979, and almost nothing about the USSR and Iran - what relations were actually like between them and how these relations were viewed by either side, Here the subject is dealt with extensively in an attempt to present both facets, together with views and a commentary.

Extensive background material is given on both internal Iranian developments and wider Middle Eastern politics. Emphasis has been placed on matters which attracted the Soviets’ attention, and to which they attached considerable importance. These influenced their policy and views in regard to Iran. Both Iran’s ‘neither East nor West’ policy, and the Soviet attempts to attract Iran and influence it, are examined in depth.

The term ‘Russia’ is used when dealing with the period of Russia’s old regime. The expression ‘Soviet Russia’ represents the country during the first years of the Soviet regime; and the terms ‘Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’ (USSR), ‘the Soviet Union’ or ‘the Soviets’ refer to the same country after the adoption of the Soviet constitution in 1924. The term ‘Iran’ became current in Western usage after 1927. In this book the term ‘Persia’ is generally used until the late 1920s and from that time onwards the country has been referred to as ‘Iran’.

The author would like to express his thanks to the documentation centres and libraries of the Shiloah Centre for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University; and of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute, Jerusalem, and to their staff — whose help has been of inestimable value.

Aryeh Y. Yodfat


Russia's Old Regime -Persia 'Slipped out of Russian Hands'

Russia’s Moving Frontier

Russian history has been characterized by constant expansion — from the principality of Moscow to an empire. The movement was in all directions: east and west, north and south. The frontier was a moving one similar to that of pioneering America, a frontier of the hunter, fisherman, trader, miner, bandit, freebooter, military conqueror and colonizer.

The conquest of Transcaucasia by Russian forces began in the late eighteenth century. Its western part, the Black Sea coast, and its hinterland were at that time in the sphere of influence of the Ottoman Empire. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Eastern Georgia (Gruzia) in the east were under Persian control. The rivalry between Persians and Ottomans was much to Russia’s advantage and facilitated its conquests. Generally, the Russians had to fight only one of these powers at a time; only from 1806-12 did they fight Persia and Turkey simultaneously. Tbilisi, the capital of Gruzia, was captured by the Russians in 1801, Baku in 1806, Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, in 1828. The Russian frontier advanced to the river Araxes, where it has remained. The occupation of the Caucasus was accomplished only in 1864.

The conquest of Central Asia by Russia was similar to the colonial history of West European powers in Africa. In both cases trade came before the flag and traders before soldiers. Deserts played the same role for the Russians as the sea for the West Europeans in separating metropolis from colony. The remoteness and the unfamiliar climate made Central Asia a place more for exploitation than for colonization. The Russians (adopting a strategy similar to that of the British in India) made the weaker states of Kokand and Khorezm a part of their empire. The more productive areas, such as the Fergana Valley and Samarkand, were put directly under Russian control with the intention of growing cotton. Bukhara and Khiva were left as native states, nominally independent, with the freedom to control their own affairs.1

The advances in Central Asia brought the Russians close to the sphere of British interests. The Russian occupation in 1844 of Merv, from which a road was open to Herat and further south to India, led to British …

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