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Cold War in the Islamic WorldSaudi Arabia, Iran and the Struggle for Supremacy$
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Dilip Hiro

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190944650

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190944650.001.0001

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Faisal’s Enduring Imprint; The Shah’s Vaulting Ambition

Faisal’s Enduring Imprint; The Shah’s Vaulting Ambition

(p.39) 3 Faisal’s Enduring Imprint; The Shah’s Vaulting Ambition
Cold War in the Islamic World

Dilip Hiro

Oxford University Press

King Faisal added intelligence-sharing to the existing commercial and military cooperation with Washington. Opposed to pan-Arabism favored by Egypt’s president, Gamal Abdul Nasser, he promoted pan-Islamism. After Egypt’s defeat in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Nasser ended his rivalry with Faisal. During that war, Arab oil producers stopped supplies to America and Britain for supporting Israel. Though their boycott was brief, it led to the formation of the Organization of Arab Oil Exporting Countries (OAPEC). After the failed attempt by a Christian zealot to set alight Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in August 1969, Faisal was instrumental in the formation of the inter-governmental Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Next year, following Nasser’s sudden death, he found rapport with his successor, Anwar Sadat. During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Faisal led OAPEC’s oil embargo in response to America’s massive military aid to Israel. The subsequent spike in oil prices provided Faisal with huge funds which he deployed to extend Saudi influence abroad. The Shah extended his influence to Afghanistan by bank-rolling the cash-starved regime of President Daoud Khan, and training his secret agents to murder Marxist leaders. In response, leftist army officers, led by Nur Taraki, mounted a coup in April 1978.

Keywords:   King Faisal, Gamal Abdul Nasser, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, OAPEC, Al Aqsa Mosque, OIC, Anwar Sadat, 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Afghanistan President

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