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2. Containment and Confrontation.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Vasilis Dimitriadis

3. Containment & Confrontation Western Confrontation  Iranian Crisis 1945-1946  During WWII, USSR almost came to a collapse because of Operation Barbarossa, and the West has to contain the Russian war effort. Britain & USA offered Lend Lease support to Russia, but they could only be delivered in two ways:  Arctic circle (takes 2 months)  Go through the south through Iran. – Iran is strategic!! (Also Iran is a big oil producer, can’t let it fall to Germany – that’s British concern)  Reza Khan; balance relations with Britain, Russia & Germany; Cooperative relations with Germany during WWII; refused to expel German experts.  Operation Countenance – Britain & USSR invaded Iran (1942 – 1945)  Reza Khan’s son – forced to be a pro-Ally government; Tripartite Treaty of Alliance: Britain, the Soviet Union, Iran – withdrawal of all foreign troops within 6 month of the end of the war; transit rights; Iran’s political independence.  When is war is over, the British pull out but the USSR doesn’t, why?  Throughout those three years, USSR established communist parties in Azerbaijan and Kurdistan;  USSR wanted to extend the border and create a buffer zone (like Poland);  This is totally against what was previously agreed to.  Moscow openly challenged the West (for the first time); backed down when Iran went to the UN.  Iranian government negotiated settlement with USSR: substantial autonomy for the Northern Province, the Soviet Union gets oil drilling rights for 50 years, in exchange that Moscow terminates support for the separatist movement, and withdraw all troops.  The Agreement was repudiated by Iran in Dec 1946 and Oct 1947;  In Oct 1947 Washington concluded an agreement with Tehran with U.S. military assistance  Turkish Crisis  In 1945, the Soviet Union denounced the 1925 Non-aggression pact with Turkey and asked for:  Concession of provinces of Kars and Ardahan  Revision of the Montreux Convention of 1936 to share command of the straits with the Turks  Western powers were empathetic and understanding of Russia’s strategic interest in the waterway during the war at Yalta; but later on Truman viewed this as aggression  U.S. provided Turkey with military assistance to withstand pressure with the Soviet Union  Once again, western unification of interests compels Stalin to back down and give up his dream of having a foothold in the Mediterranean. This demonstrates that if the Soviet Union could have a gain, they would push for it. This fell in line with Western attitudes of Soviet motivation. Containment  Series of events leading to the final official rivalry between the two great powers:  Stalin’s speech to the Supreme Soviet, February 1946  Argues that the world is divided in two, ideologically competing parts (Communism vs. Capitalism) and identifies the USA as the main antagonist to the Soviet Union pushing for a Capitalist agenda and American takeover of the world.  Because of these competing economic systems and ideologies, war is inevitable, there is no escape, and they cannot coincide.  Lack of cooperation on serious issues in 1945;  US Sent warships to Turkey meaning that they were ready to fight.  Britain created the “Russian Committees” – decided to follow the US. Frank Roberts, says compromise is no longer a solution for Britain.  September 5 1945 Gouzenko Affair  U.S. Public Opinion poll
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