The Separation of Bahrain from Iran

  • Masoumeh Rad Goudarzi
  • Sediqeh Nazarpour


The decline of Iran’s Qajar dynasty, followed by a consequent politico-military crisis during the Pahlavi era, is associated with the firm establishment of British hegemony in the Persian Gulf with a view to guaranteeing India’s security. At the same time, the discovery of oil and its importance to Britain’s military and global economic empire doubled Britain’s resolve to dominate the southern edge of the Persian Gulf. Hence, this paper investigates Bahrain’s role in Britain’s economic, political and military diplomacy in the region, along with the tactics Britannia employed to gradually separate Bahrain from Iran. The authors also disclose Iran’s failed efforts to retain territorial integrity. Critical analysis suggests that by undermining traditional Iranian authority in Bahrain, Britain managed to protect India’s western border while also gaining control over maritime traffic and the development and distribution of the region’s oil resources.


Bahrain Separation from Iran British diplomacy Persian Gulf Oil resources 


  1. Adamiyat, F. (1954). Bahrain Islands: A legal and diplomatic study of the British Iranian controversy. New York: F. A. Praeger.Google Scholar
  2. Amin, S. H. (1981). International and legal problems of the Persian Gulf. London: Middle East and North African Press.Google Scholar
  3. Amin, S. H. (2005). Sargozasht, Seresht va Sarnevesht-e Hameporsi (Trends, characteristics and fate of election). Hafez Monthly, 17, 58–68.Google Scholar
  4. Arlowe, J. (1962). Persian Gulf in the twentieth century. London: Cresset Press.Google Scholar
  5. Asadi Azghandi, B. (2002). khalije fars va Masaele an (Persian Gulf and its Problems). Tehran: Samt Publication.Google Scholar
  6. Chamankar, M. J. (2000). Estemer-e Britaniya dar Mantaghe-ye Khalij-e Fars va Darya-ye Oman az Sheklgiri ta Payan-e Qajariyye (British Colonialism in the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea from the early stages to the end of the Qajar Era). At: Accessed November 25, 2017.
  7. Curzon, G. (1994). Iran va Ghaziyye-ye Iran (Persia and the Persian Question) (G. A. Vahid, Trans.). Tehran: Elmi.Google Scholar
  8. Daemi, M. H. (1999). Esteghlal-e Bahrain va Esterdad-e Jazayer-e Segane-ye Iran-i dar Khalij-e Fars (Bahrain independence and the restoration of the Persian Gulf Triple Islands) (Unpublished master dissertation). Tehran: Imam Sadeq University.Google Scholar
  9. Deldam, E. (1984). Khalije Fars (Persian Gulf). Tehran: Novin.Google Scholar
  10. Ebrahimi, M. (2016). The British role in Iranian domestic politics (1951–1953). Cham: Springer International Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eghtedari, A. (1991). Joghrafiyay-e Tarikhi-ye Masqat va Oman (Historical geography of Masqat and Oman). Tehran: Donyaye ketab.Google Scholar
  12. Elahi, H. (1991). Khalij-e Fars va Masael-e an (Persian Gulf and its problems) (Vol. 2). Tehran: Ghumes.Google Scholar
  13. Eqbal Ashtiyani, A. (2005). Tarikh-e Iran az Sadr-e Islam ta Enqeraz-e Qajariyye (Iran’s History from Early Islam to the Collapse of the Qajar Dynasty) (Tehran: Samt Publications).Google Scholar
  14. Farahmand, A. (2007). Kargardani-ye Engelis dar Tajziyye Bahrain az Iran (The British role in the separation of Bahrain from Iran). Journal of Tarikh-e Ravabet-e Khareji, 31, 85–145.Google Scholar
  15. Farid, N. (1978). Asr-e Este’mar Zodaee (De-Colonization Era). Tehran: Amir Kabir.Google Scholar
  16. Ghaem Maghami, J. (1982). Bahrain va Masael-e Khalig-e Fars (Bahrain and Persian Gulf problems). Tehran: Tahouri.Google Scholar
  17. Hedayat, M. G. (2006). Khaterat (Memories. Tehran: Zavvar.Google Scholar
  18. Houshang Mahdavi, A. (2009). Siyasat-e Khareji-ye Iran Dar Asr-e Pahlavi (Iran’s foreign policy in Pahlavi Era). Tehran: Alborz.Google Scholar
  19. Ibn Battuta, M. (1997). Safarnameh (Travel literature). Tehran: Agah.Google Scholar
  20. Kernoker, G. (2011). Jodaiy-e Bahrain az Iran, Naf’e Iran ya Engelis (The separation of Bahrain from Iran: Iran or British interests). Faslname-ye Motale’at-e Tarikhi, 8(33), 224.Google Scholar
  21. Khosravi, A., & Alimardani, A. A. (2011). Este’mar-e Engelis va Jodaiy-e Bahrain az Iran (British Colonialism and Bahrain’s separation from Iran). Faslname-ye Motale’at-e Tarikhi, 15, 167–193.Google Scholar
  22. Kia, I. (2006). Seyr-e Este’mar-e Engelis dar Iran (Trends of British Colonization in Iran). Tehran: Abi.Google Scholar
  23. Modak, M. R. (1966). The lands and people of India (F. Gorgani, Trans.). Tehran: Tarjemeh va Nashr-e Ketab.Google Scholar
  24. Moghtader, H. (2007). Cheshm Poushi-ye Iran az Bahrain (Iran’s renunciation of Bahrain). Ettelaat-e Siyasi Eghtesadi, 22(34).Google Scholar
  25. Mojtahed-Zadeh, P. (2001). Security and territoriality in the Persian Gulf: A maritime political geography. Tehran: Foreign Ministry Institute for Political and International Studies.Google Scholar
  26. Mojtahed-Zadeh, P. (2006). Keshvarha Va Marzha dar Mantagheye Geopolitice Khalige Fars (Countries and borders in geopolitical region of Persian Gulf) (Vol. 3). Tehran: Daftar-e Motale’at-e Vezarat-e Kharejeh.Google Scholar
  27. Momeni, M., & Zamannejad, S. (2011). Barresiy-e Diplomaciy-e Engelis dar Jodaiy-e Bahrain az Iran (Analysis of British diplomacy role in separation of Bahrain from Iran). Faslname-ye Motale’at-e Tarikhi, 8(33), 209–222.Google Scholar
  28. Monshi, E. (1998). Tarikhe AlamAraye Abbasi (AlamAraye Abbasi history). Tehran: Donyay-e Ketab.Google Scholar
  29. Movahhed, M. A. (2001). Mobaleghe-ye Este’mar (The Colonial Power Exaggeration). Tehran: Karnameh.Google Scholar
  30. Nehru, J. (1971). Negahi be Tarikh-e Jahan (Glimpses of world history) (M. Tafazoli, Trans.). Tehran: Amir Kabir.Google Scholar
  31. Neshat, S. (1971). Tarikh-e Siyasi-ye Khalig-e Fars (Persian Gulf political history). Tehran: Kanoun-e Ketab.Google Scholar
  32. Partovi Moghaddam, A. (2006). Chera va Chegune Bahrain az Iran Joda Shod (How and why Bahrain was separated from Iran). Faslname-ye Motale’at-e Tarikhi, 15, 81–111.Google Scholar
  33. Ramazani, R. K. (1979). The Persian Gulf and the strait of Hormuz. Brill Archive.Google Scholar
  34. Sadid Al Saltane, A. (1991). Tarikh-e Masqat, Oman, Bahrain va Qatar va Ravabet-e Anha ba Iran (History of Masqat, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar and their relations with Iran). Tehran: Eghtedari.Google Scholar
  35. Salimi, A. (1922). Asnad-e Mahramane-ye Siyasi-ye Engelis ya Siyasat-e Engelis va Rusiyye dar Iran Ghabl az Jang (British secret documents or British and Russia policy in Iran before the war). Tehran: Bagherzade.Google Scholar
  36. Tolouee, M. (1987). Nabard-e ghodratha dar Khalij-e Fars (The great powers war in the Persian Gulf. Tehran: Pyke Tarjeme va Nashr.Google Scholar
  37. Valdani, A. J. (Ed.). (1991). Barresi-ye Tarikhi-ye Ekhtelafat-e Iran va Iraq (Historical review of the Iran-Iraq Border dispute) (Vol. 2). Tehran: Daftar-e Motale’at-e Vezarat-e Kharejeh.Google Scholar
  38. Valdani, A. J. (1997). Negahi Tarikhi be Jazayer-e Iran-ye Tonb va Abu Musa (A historical view of Iranian Tonb and Abu Musa). Tehran: Daftar-e Motale’at-e Vezarat-e Kharejeh.Google Scholar
  39. Vosoughi, M. B. (2007). Tarikh-e Khalig-e Fars va Keshvarhay-e Hamjavar-e an (History of the Persian Gulf and its neighboring lands). Tehran: Payam-e Nour.Google Scholar
  40. Wilson, A. (1987). Persian Gulf. Tehran: Elmi Farhangi.Google Scholar
  41. Yarshater, E. (2004). Encyclopedia Iranica (Vol. 3, p. 509).Google Scholar
  42. Zargar, A. A. (1993). Bahrain az Asr-e Baastan ta Emrouz (Bahrain from ancient times to the Modern Era). Tehran: Honarbakhsh.Google Scholar
  43. Zarrin Qalam, A. (1958/1337). Sarzamine Bahryn az Dorane Bastan ta Emrouz (Land of Bahrain from Encient time till Now). Tehran: Ketab-e Sabz.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science, Faculty of Literature and HumanitiesUniversity of GuilanRasht, GuilanIran
  2. 2.University of MazandaranBabolsarIran

Personalised recommendations