12Iran and the Arc of Crisis

Iran had been at the center of US Middle Eastern policy for decades. Its size, population, and position bordering the Soviet Union and the Strait of Hormuz gave it an extraordinary geopolitical importance for US decision makers. Maintaining Iran within the Western sphere of influence was thus a crucial objective. However, it was a generalized belief that following the 2nd World War, Turkey and Iran posed the greatest risk of succumbing to Soviet territorial expansion and political subversion (Lenczowski, 1979). Thus, in order to secure its political goals, the US had long been involved in Iranian politics, especially in trying to secure a regime which would be favorable to US interests. As a result, in 1953 the US ...

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