Naomi R. Rosenblatt

Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities

20082009 Forum on Change

Naomi R. Rosenblatt


College '09

Oil and the Eastern Front: US Foreign and Military Policy in Iran, 1941-1945

During World War II, the United States established a military presence in Iran that marked a dramatic change in U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Unlike earlier centuries when Americans traveled to the Middle East primarily as missionaries, merchants, and pilgrims, during WWII, the U.S. government began to establish deep political and economic ties to the region. How did U.S. foreign policy towards Iran develop within the context of a global war? What sort of tensions developed between the State Department's long-term diplomatic goals and the War Department's urgent short-term military aims? Through my research, I hope to illuminate how the United States balanced its own competing interests in Iran: that of ensuring a speedy victory at minimal human and financial cost, while all the while keeping in mind that its military efforts could very well disrupt its long-term diplomatic interests.