News ID : 147853
Publish Date : 8/19/2023 3:00:41 PM
Shah's weakness led to separation of Bahrain from Iran

Shah's weakness led to separation of Bahrain from Iran

According to a Professor of political science, 2nd Pahlavi's illusion and weakness resulted in the separation of Bahrain from Iran, eroding and weakening Iran's geopolitical influence in the region.

NOURNEWS- According to a Professor of political science, 2nd Pahlavi's illusion and weakness resulted in the separation of Bahrain from Iran, eroding and weakening Iran's geopolitical influence in the region.

On August 14, 1971, Bahrain gained its independence from Britain and separated from Iran with the treason of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who renounced Iran’s claims on Bahrain. 

To know more about the issue, we reached out to Nader Entessar, professor emeritus of political science from the University of South Alabama.

Here is the full text of the interview with him:

In 1336, Bahrain was separated from Iran. Why? How do you see the weakness of the then rulers of Iran?

Although several accounts of the second Pahlavi monarch's decision to make a 180-degree turn in the Iranian government's long-standing public position on Bahrain have been written in recent years, we still don't have a full picture of what transpired that led to this decision. The supporters of the monarchy have argued that by the time the Shah made his decision, Bahrain had already been outside Iran's control for more than 150 years and that there no longer existed an organic and meaningful decision between Iran and Bahrain.   They also argue that without acceding to the British demand, Iran had to resort to war to reclaim Bahrain.  These are spurious arguments at best, and their validity needs to be scrutinized against countervailing evidence.  The Shah's character as a weak and indecisive leader, especially during crises, may have played a role in the monarchical government's ultimate decision to renounce Iran's sovereignty over Bahrain.  Asadollah Alam's diaries still remain the best insider's account of the Shah's modus operandi and his character flaws in the monarch's private and public life.

 Why didn't even nationalist figures oppose the Shah's decision?

By the time the Bahrain decision was announced, many of the prominent nationalist figures were a shell of themselves and were generally weak, powerless, or servile.  Even during their heyday, the nationalist figures and groups (including the National Front) were at best a hodgepodge of disorganized and meek political entities.  That is why except Mohsen Pezeshpour, the Pan-Iranist majlis deputy who opposed the measure approving Bahrain's secession, much of the rest of the country's public figures remained silent and blindly acquiesced to Shah's decision.

What have been the event's negative effects on Iran's geopolitical and political authority and influence generally in the world and particularly in the region? 

Notwithstanding the Shah's desire to become the preeminent regional power after the British withdrawal from the Persian Gulf, the Bahrain decision was yet another indication of the Shah's illusion.  The Bahrain decision eroded Iran's geopolitical influence in the region and did not lead to the strengthening of the Shah's desired image as a regional or global leader. 


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