Journal of history of Iran)

Document Type : review paper


After several years of presence in the Persian Gulf, Britain eventually decided to leave the region by the end of 1971. Despite the resources that they gained by virtue of their persistent presence in the Persian Gulf, the English were compelled to pay massive expenses for resisting against nationalist movements. Britain’s decision to withdraw from the area triggered different reactions from the Persian Gulf countries as well as trans-regional powers that were searching their own interests in the post-withdrawal period. The present study mainly tries to find an answer to this question: What was the reaction of the countries that enjoyed profit and loss due to the mentioned decision? The findings of this research which are based on descriptive-analytical method, suggests that after the withdrawal of Britain from the Persian Gulf, the countries of the region attempted to increase their endeavors. Iran was aware of the critical importance of Persian Gulf, so tried to increase its military strength to rely on regional superpower. Moreover, Saudi Arabia took a conservative manner, after having recovered from internal threats, and was aligned with Iran. Iraq adopted a strong stance against Great Britain and sought aid from the Soviet Union. Kuwait, on the other hand, pursued a peaceful policy. Egypt also perceived its interest in leaving Britain and the small countries like Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE asked help from Britain due to their fear from more powerful countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Therefore, the United States and the Soviet Union as two transregional powers and world powerful poles, sought more profit from the absence of their old rival.