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The Shah's Petro-Diplomacy with Ceausescu: Iran and Romania in the era of Detente

In CWIHP Working Paper No. 74, authors Roham Alvandi and Eliza Gheorghe explore Iran's relations with Romania and the socialist bloc during the 1960s and 1970s. As the Persian Gulf became a Cold War battleground following the British withdrawal from the region, Iran's role as a major oil supplier took on increased significance. Using 16 newly declassified documents from the Romanian archives, the paper sheds new light on the external relations of Iran's Tudeh party, and the role of oil in Iranian diplomacy towards the Soviet Union and the socialist bloc.

Roham Alvandi is a historian of Iran and the modern Middle East. He is the author of Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah: The United States and Iran in the Cold War (Oxford University Press, 2014), in which he examines the rise and fall of Iran’s Cold War partnership with the United States in the 1970s. He has written extensively on the history of Iran’s foreign relations and is currently working on a second book, Iran’s Cold War, an international history of Iran’s role in the global struggle between the capitalist West and communist East from the 1940s to the 1980s. His work has appeared in the British Journal of Middle Eastern StudiesCold War HistoryDiplomatic History, and Iranian Studies.

Eliza Gheorghe pursued her PhD in International Relations at the University of Oxford, working on a thesis on Romania’s negotiations for nuclear technology in the 1960s and 1970s. She has worked both as a tutor at University of Oxford and the Johns Hopkins University - Bologna Center; as a Research Assistant at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Georgetown University; and as a consultant for the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland.


Cold War International History Project

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The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more