Columbia University Seminar on Iranian Studies

5:30 PM—7:30 PM
Faculty House of Columbia University 64 Morningside Drive New York, New York 10027




The sixth meeting of the 25th consecutive year of the Columbia University Seminar on Iranian Studies for the academic year 2012‐2013 will take place on: Wednesday March 6, 2013, 5:30pm at the Faculty House of Columbia University.

Our speaker will be:
Dr. Andrew Cooper from the Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, who will lead the discussion on the topic of Oil War and the Iranian Revolution


What if any role did the oil markets play in destabilizing Pahlavi-era Iran in the late 1970s? In 1977 the Iranian government suffered an unexpected shortfall in oil revenues when Saudi Arabia broke from its OPEC partners and tried to flood oil markets with cheap crude. Faced with a severe cash crunch, the government of Iran imposed tough austerity measures that weakened the foundations of the Shah’s autocracy. Although Iran’s financial crisis on the eve of the revolution was already well known, its origins have only recently come to light in Dr Cooper’s The Oil Kings. He examines the complex economic, financial and geopolitical calculations that weighed on the governments of oil producers and oil consumers in the 1970s, the role of personal relationships between a few key players, and how and why oil, the same commodity that brought Iran’s Pahlavis and America’s presidents together, ultimately drove them apart.


Andrew Scott Cooper is the author of The Oil Kings: How the United States, Iran and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East (Simon & Schuster 2011).

A graduate of Columbia University and the University of Aberdeen, Dr. Cooper has worked at Human Rights Watch, the United Nations and Columbia University. This year he taught a history course at Victoria University in New Zealand on US-Iran relations from 1941-79. His work has appeared in the Middle East Journal and Tehran Bureau, and reported in media outlets including The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and Los Angeles Times. Dr Cooper's new book project, the sequel to The Oil Kings, is focused on the Islamic Revolution.


To reach the Faculty House:

Enter the Wien Hall Gate on 116th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive. Walk past Wien Hall, then turn right to the Faculty House.

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