Graduate Program


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Brian Mann


The Cold War and global politics brought upheaval to the Middle East in the 1950s. The conflict between the United States and Soviet Union shaped the history of the region at the same time it brought war to Korea. Britain's relationship with the U.S., especially in the Middle Eastern theater, was shaped by the Cold War. British intelligence, political, and press members and agents used the tensions to bring the United States in to help them in the various crises that swept the Middle East in the 1950s. This strategy served to bring the two countries closer together in the Middle East in the short term, yet drove long term wedges in the Anglo-American relationship which would erupt in the second half of the 1950s.

The 1953 coup of Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran and the 1956 Suez Crisis are used in this thesis as the lenses examine the changing Anglo-American relationship in the Middle East. These two events serve exceptionally well considering both are crises stemming from nationalization of a resource and both featured very similar actors in key roles such as Anthony Eden, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the Dulles brothers. Ultimately, it is shown that the post-1956 fracturing of the Anglo-American relationship stemmed from the actions of both countries in 1953. The questions raised by American politicians, diplomats, and intelligence agents resonated throughout the decade and the pursuit by British actors of similar goals and the use of similar stratagems proved disastrous for Britain's long-term position in the Middle East.