Working to improve mutual understanding between the Middle East and the West


No products in the basket.

Iran and Global Decolonisation

Iran and Global Decolonisation


Politics and Resistance After Empire

edited by Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet & Robert Steele

Format: Hardback, 153x216mm
Published: 28 September 2023
Pages: 445, 29 b/w illustrations
ISBN: 978-1914983085

Series: St Andrews


This volume explores the myriad ways in which Iran’s unique position in the world and its painful encounters with colonial powers affected and defined its treatment of decolonisation. The occupation of Iran during the Second World War subordinated it to the imperial powers, an experience that changed Iran’s relationship with the West and the emerging bipolar world. Most scholarly work on Iran’s global interactions in the post-war period until the revolution is centred around the Cold War and Iran’s relations with the Soviet Union and the West. Little attention has been paid to how Iran interacted with other regions, such as Africa, Asia and Latin America, or to its engagement with global concerns over racism, gender discrimination, and economic inequality.

Adding to an important and growing body of literature that discusses the profound and lasting impact of colonialism, Iran and Global Decolonisation contributes to the historical and theoretical debates around the reshaping of the world brought about by the end of empire. It considers the influence of global decolonisation on ideas within Iran and assesses how Iran’s unique experiences of imperialism shaped these ideas. In this way, this volume contributes to the historiography of the Iranian Revolution and its anti- imperialist impulses.


Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet is Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania.

Robert Steele is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Iranian Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences.



Introduction: Iran and Global Decolonisation

Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet and Robert Steele

  1. The ‘Bridge of Victory’: The Allied Occupation of Iran and its Consequences, Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet
  2. Trauma and Decolonisation: The Sultanabad (Arak) Camp, German Espionage, and the Allied Occupation of Iran during the Second World War, Pardis Minuchehr
  3. Iranian Oil Nationalisation as Decolonisation: Historiographical Reflections, Global History, and Postcolonial Theory, Mattin Biglari
  4. Iran and the Dominican Republic, 1958–1961: Trade and Intelligence Cooperation during Leland Rosemberg’s Mission to Tehran, Fernando Camacho Padilla
  5. Iran’s Foreign Policy and the Algerian War of Independence, 1954–1962, Thomas Bédrède
  6. Iranians and the Vietnam War: Cold Warrior Enmities or Anti- Colonial Solidarities?,  Arash Azizi
  7. Iran and the Ogaden War, 1977–1978 237, Robert Steele
  8. Global Civil Rights in Iran: Race, Gender, and Poverty, Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet
  9. Red Star Over Iran: Maoism and the Shah’s Regime, William Figueroa
  10. Radical Voices from within the Metropolis: Decolonisation and the Iranian Left in Europe, 1957–1967, Leonard Willy Michael
  11. Fighting for an Islamic Liberation Theology: Iranian Intellectuals and Global Decolonisation, Javier Gil Guerrero
  12. The ‘International Family’: The Organisation of Iranian People’s Fadaʾi (Majority) and the ‘Anti-Imperial World’ in the Age of National Liberation, Carson Kahoe

    Picture Sources 










‘The articles in this volume analyze episodes in post-World War II Iranian history and foreign policy that have remained unexplored for too long. They firmly place Iran in the context of global history and thereby deprovincialize the study of Iran. This book is an invaluable addition to both the literature on Iran and to global history.’

Houchang Chehabi, Boston University


‘This book provides an excellent and vital contribution by writing Iran and Iranians into the global history of decolonisation and by taking the focus beyond the Soviet Union and the USA. It is not only essential for historians, but also students and scholars of the social sciences interested in decolonisation.’

Shabnam Holliday, University of Plymouth


‘An essential account of Iran’s relationship with decolonisation. From fascinating studies of the Shah’s relations with the Dominican Republic and Somalia as well as contributions on Iranian radicals’ relationship to anti-colonial movements in China and Vietnam, this collection shows how decolonisation in the Global South shaped Iran and vice versa. This is transnational history at its best.’

Timothy Nunan, University of Regensburg