“Dear Anthony,” “Dear Leo:” Britain’s Quixotic Flirtation With Dynastic Change in Iran During World War II

Shaul Bakhash

Abstract


In the midst of the Second World War, with the British unable to persuade Reza Shah Pahlavi, the ruler of Iran, to reduce the large number of Germans in his country—Germans they feared would sabotage vital oil installations or succeed in installing a pro-German, anti-British government in Tehran—Leo Amery, the secretary of state for India, penned a note to the foreign secretary, Anthony Eden, with an unusual proposal. Amery took as his starting point one of several cables from Sir Reader Bullard, the British envoy to Iran. Bullard had been stressing Reza Shah’s growing unpopularity and the serious damage that he thought Britain suffered because of its association, in the mind of Iranians, with the “universally detested” king...


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