February 5, 2023

Secret dealings which offered an end to Britain’s realms in the Middle East are disclosed in a joint BBC News Arabic and Persian documentary. Secret deals finishing Britain’s control in Gulf exposed 67.

The film Secrets & Deals: How Britain Left the Gulf includes information on just how it left Iran in control of disputed islands, along with eyewitness accounts of a British-organised successful stroke.  

Secret packages finishing Britain’s management in Bay revealed

The winter of 1967–1968 was a time of crisis for the British economic situation. Many Arab leaders were convinced Britain had actually secretly aided Israel to victory over its Arab neighbors in the Six Day War of June 1967. Israel had captured East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, the Sinai Peninsula, and also the Golan Heights. 

Punitively, the oil-rich Gulf states began liquidating their holdings of British currency.  The pound crashed.

Determined to save cash, Harold Wilson’s Labor government decided it was time to end Britain’s imperial support commitments in the Middle East.  Britain never had swarmed in the Gulf, despite being the preeminent foreign power there since the 18th century.

The Arab emirates of Bahrain, Qatar, and the Crucial States (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and their smaller neighbors) had actually signed treaties of security with Britain. 

This suggested Britain controlled their support as well as diplomacy, while regional leaders mainly oversaw neighborhood affairs.

  In 1965, the most politically, socially, and educationally dynamic of the sheiks in the Crucial States, Saqr Sultan al-Qasim of Sharjah, fell foul of the British. 

His offense was to have actually conspired as much as Egypt’s President, Jamal Abdel Nasser, the essential of the Arab nationalist motion.  Sheik Saqr was gotten rid of in a British-sponsored coup d’état, as well as changed by his cousin. 

Formally, the ruling family members concurred that he needed to go.andnbsp; Sheik Saqr was invited to Dubai for a meeting. Britain’s regional military force, the Crucial Oman Scouts, were waiting.

It was a catch, and also Sheikh Saqr was sent right into expatriation.  The film reveals just how Britain arranged the coup.

Sir Terence Clark (later British Ambassador to Iraq) first told the BBC how it was done: andnbsp;” A detachment of our Crucial Oman Scouts showed up.

They disarmed Saqr’s bodyguards. ” When I saw they were sitting steadly, I informed the Deputy Agent, “The message has actually been delivered.

This was the signal.  The Deputy Agent told Sheikh Saqr that the ruling family had actually decided to eliminate him.andnbsp; “Shocked, Sheikh Saqr stood up. He saw his males were sitting unarmed. He could do nothing.  He needed to approve the decision.

  “We will certainly take these islands.  When Britain announced in 1968 that it meant to withdraw from the Gulf, stress expanded between the Arab leaders and also Iran. 

Top secret deals finishing Britain’s command in Bay revealed

The row focused on Bahrain and three strategically placed but small islands near the Strait of Hormuz: Abu Musa, as well as the Greater and Lesser Tunbs.

The Shah (ruler) of Iran’s stance on the British withdrawal was firm, according to a secret note recounting a meeting between him and a British preacher.  With the exception of what he called “that island,” he agreed to grant independence to all the Arab-ruled areas bordering the Gulf. “That island” was Bahrain. 

Iran traditionally asserted Bahrain as well as the 3 islands as part of their territory, which was “taken” by Britain. 

What followed was a burst of behind the curtain diplomacy in between the Arab rulers, Britain, and also the Shah.andnbsp; As the British Ambassador to Tehran later recalled in an unreleased audio recording: “London said,‘Alright, we’ll try this, yet it’s a very fragile procedure due to the fact that we don’t rely on the Iranians, the Iranians don’t trust us, and also the Bahrainis don’t rely on either.

 In public, the Shah’s mindset transformed. He softened his case on Bahrain and also allowed the UN to take duty on the choice that it should end up being independent, based upon a study carried out in 1970. 

By the summertime of 1971, the shape of today’s Arab Gulf states was becoming clear. Bahrain and Qatar each came to be totally independent that August, as plans were established for Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and four other emirates to found a new federation called the United Arab Emirates. 

There continued to be 3 challenged islands. They were asserted by Iran, but were ruled by emirates that would certainly enter into the UAE in December 1971.  A recently found secret note from the Iranian foreign ministry, dated June 1970, videotapes the Shah informing Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Sir Alec Douglas-Home: “These islands come from Iran and also must be gone back to Iran … No matter what, we will certainly take these islands. ” 

In public, British officials insisted that the three islands belonged to the Crucial States. However, declassified cables discovered by the BBC reveal that Sir William Luce, a long-serving British colonial manager and diplomat, covertly agreed with the Shah to turn over two of the three islands to Iran before British forces took them out in December 1971.  

The recently declassified records reveal that despite the UAE’s many subsequent protests concerning “Iran’s profession” of the three islands on November 30, 1971, Sheikh Zayed of Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Rashid of Dubai-the founding heads of state as well as vice-president of the UAE-were made aware of Britain’s choice before Iranian naval forces moved   The records additionally show that Sheikh Zayed agreed with the decision.

The emir of Sharjah, on the other hand, agreed at the last minute to share the administration of Abu Musa. This lasted up until 1992, when Iran took full control of the island.  By December 1971, Britain’s visibility in the Gulf-the last remnant of its empire in the Middle East-mored than.  Today, the UAE still disputes Iran’s case of sovereignty over the three islands. This remains a source of stress in Iran as well as the Arab world.

Many Arab leaders were persuaded that Britain had actually covertly assisted Israel to victory over its Arab neighbors in the Six Day War of June 1967. Sheikh Saqr was invited to Dubai for a conference. Britain’s neighborhood armed forces, the Crucial Oman Scouts, were waiting.

The emir of Sharjah, at the same time, agreed to a final offer with Iran to share the management of Abu Musa. This lasted till 1992 when Iran took complete control of the island.

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