Iran-Ottoman/Iraq conflicts since 1514 and the role of international politics

Rezania, A., 2000. Iran-Ottoman/Iraq conflicts since 1514 and the role of international politics. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

10290130.pdf - Published version

Download (44MB) | Preview


Political developments in the northern Persian Gulf region have been dominated by the conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and Iran, and latterly Iraq and Iran. There has been a complex overlay of nationalist aspiration, religious belief and expansionist invasions. The major research question addressed in this study is: what have been the constituent factors in the Ottoman/Iraq-Iran conflicts, from 1514 until the present day.

This question refers mainly to the history of the conflicts. It raises the issues of the circumstances in which these conflicts arose. Moreover, when opportunities arose for peaceful settlements, how did external interests disrupt the achievement of such settlement. A theoretical debate on the causes of conflicts, based on a historical realist understanding, which benefited from the writing of Thucydides about the Peloponnesian Wars and the famous Kenneth Waltz's discussion on Man, the State and War, is presented here.

However, in answering this question a second specific question needs to be addressed. This deals with the political history of European capitalist expansion into the Middle East. The question is: How were European trade ambitions in the East developed into a dominant and asymmetrical relationship affecting Ottoman/Iraq-Iran relations. The study therefore also explores the rivalries between the European powers prior to the twentieth century and those later in the twentieth century, between the superpowers and the effects these had on Middle Eastern social, political and economic developments. More specifically, the thesis examines the process of state building in the wake of Ottoman demise. This study will argue that the Ottoman collapse was to facilitate future external expansionist policies.

However, as far as the first question - the causes of conflicts - is concerned, these conflicts caused gradual deterioration of social, economic developments of the Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War, Trans: By Rex Warner, (Penguin Books, England, 1959). Kenneth N. Waltz, Man, The State and War, (Columbia University Press, New York, 1959). region, compared with those underway in Europe. Therefore, the ground for the future European capitalist expansion into the region in the 200 years was prepared.

The Europeans, especially the British, established cordial relations with local powers and regional courts through influence and often bribery. By doing so, their original trade ambition changed its nature to the political and economic domination first - in the nineteenth century - and influence later - in the twentieth century.

European policies were based on their diplomatic skills, financial facilities, technologies, on deceits and their military might if necessary. They used commercialisation and state-building processes to facilitate the integration of the Middle East into the evolving world capitalist system as this was generated from Europe.

However, the European dominance and influences inserted a strong element of change into the economies, and later on the geo-politics of the Middle East. The British strategy was based on safeguarding the Indian sub-continent, as this was threatened with Russian and then by French and German interests. These rivalries exacerbated the asymmetrical relations between the capitalist world and the Middle East.

The econo-geopolitics of oil, the Russian Revolution of 1917, the impact of two great wars on international politics, highlighted the importance of the Middle East in international affairs. Policies of external powers were largely responsible for the development of asymmetrical relations. However, regional conflicts prepared the ground for European exploitation. On the other hand, regional policies played a notable role in resisting external policies, sometimes with success and often with failure.

Nationalist aspirations in the region after the Second World War, OPEC's obstructive activities to Western energy policies (reaching greatest impact in the early 1970s), the Algiers Agreement (1975) between Iran and Iraq (with consequences for peace and the geo-politics of the region), and the accumulation of petro-dollars earned by oil-producing countries were becoming a matter of concern for the capitalist world.

Regional political arrangements developed in the 1940s could not contain the radical changes in the 1970s Middle East. The Pahlavi demise, the eight years war between Iran and Iraq, the ineffectiveness of OPEC, were perhaps the least unwelcome possible events. They served to release pressure on the West's economies.

Ironically, Western strategy in the 1970s, based on religious representations all over the world against the 'heretic' East, coincided with the rise of a theocratic government in Iran.

The study, therefore, prepares the reader for a concise five centuries history of the region and its developments, with special regard to the prosecution of European capitalist policies in the last three centuries. The main features of these developments are investigated and their causes are revealed. The reader will also be informed about different intellectual insights and scholarly responses to these developments in both Europe and the Middle East.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Rezania, A.
Date: 2000
ISBN: 9781369323795
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 02 Oct 2020 13:50
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2023 11:37

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year