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By Steve Marsh (auth.)
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Extra resources for Anglo-American Relations and Cold War Oil: Crisis in Iran
Direct intervention seemed unnecessary and possibly detrimental to Britain's wider world concerns, such as protecting the sanctity of contract, preventing the spread of communism, and avoiding inflaming both Third World nationalism and US anticolonialism. As for the Truman administration, it was content that the dispute was a commercial one and a British responsibility and simply monitored the situation primarily for any implications that a settlement might have for US oil interests in the Middle East.
Instead, it preferred informal collaboration74 that avoided association with imperialism and being locked into British policies with which it disagreed. 76 The British became extremely sensitive both to any indication of a US challenge to their traditional interests and role in the Middle East and to American interference in matters which did not concern them. One of the bitterest issues of this type was the Palestine mandate. The British were infuriated by America's erratic, impetuous and grossly insensitive policy.
The establishment of a consistent longterm policy was a slow process and one often overtaken by developing crises. For example, in March 1950, Acheson was under heavy criticism over policies toward China, Formosa and the hydrogen bomb, and there were vocal bipartisan demands for a more positive foreign policy. Sir Oliver Franks, British Ambassador to the US, saw this as a situation to be exploited: 'The Americans seem to me to be groping desperately for ideas on foreign policy, both as regards Europe and South East Asia ...
Anglo-American Relations and Cold War Oil: Crisis in Iran by Steve Marsh (auth.)