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Cover for the book Involvement by Invitation

Involvement by Invitation

American Strategies of Containment in Iran Kuross Samii
  • Copyright: 1987
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Page Count: 206 pages
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-00490-7

This book is a perceptive analysis of the historical events that led up to America’s untidy encounter with the Iranian revolution. Based on extensive archival research and written in an engaging and forthright manner, it examines American-Iranian relations against the backdrop of American-Soviet rivalry. Because the diplomatic record beyond the 1950s is not yet available to scholars, the author focuses his inquiry on the critical period preceding the oil agreement of 1954. Special attention is given to the Azerbaijan crisis of 1946 and the overthrow of Musaddiq in 1953. These events are depicted as being central to the study of American-Iranian relations, and are analyzed as examples of different methods and approaches of America’s strategy of containment.

In surveying American-Iranian diplomatic history, the author shows that following the establishment of formal ties between the two countries in 1883, the efforts of Persian monarchs to invite American involvement in their country had the genuine support of the people in Iran. But after the oil agreement of 1954, the benevolent image of America in that country began to change. The eventual result was the vast disparity between the pro-American stand of the Shah’s government and the sentiments of the Iranian people.

Throughout this study, the author is concerned with the efficacy of American policies and their relevance to the subsequent American experience in Iran. In a broader frame, he examines the style and modalities of U.S. foreign policy toward the Third World in general, and the substance and process of covert operation as an instrument of U.S. policy. The conclusions of Involvement by Invitation call for an unambiguous vision of American policies and an awareness that America’s interests are threatened as much, if not more, by the appalling social and economic inequities of the Third World as they are by the Communist penetration of these countries.

Kuross A. Samii is a Washington-based writer and Middle East specialist. He received his Ph.D. from the School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, and has worked as Research Associate at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and as Research Fellow for the United States Senate.

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