Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Second Department


Reader 1

Lisa Koch

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2023 Luca Amrit Khalsa


This thesis examines the effects of the 1970s Energy Crisis on nuclear proliferation efforts in the Persian Gulf region. The OPEC oil embargo of 1973 shocked global energy markets and forced the Atlantic Alliance to fragment and engage in continuous cut-throat bilateral deals with oil-producing countries. What started as oil-for-arms deals quickly transitioned into oil-for-nuclear reactor deals once countries struggled to find new ways to remain competitive in the trade market. When France initiated the first transfer of nuclear infrastructure to Iran, the morality taboo of trading nuclear secrets dissipated. Countries were now encouraged to engage in their own nuclear deals to maintain their supply of oil and natural gas, oftentimes even at the expense of safety protocols and security measures preventing proliferation. In an environment where the energy spoils go to the most prolific nuclear exporter, it was the oil-producing states who controlled the Atlantic Alliance’s foreign policy decisions.