May 2nd, 2013
At the conclusion of World War II, U.S. foreign policy was directed at promoting democracy and preventing the spread of communism. U.S. resources were devoted to building relationships within the Middle East. Good relations with the Middle East were important due to its strategic geographic location and the presence of oil. In 1951, Iran, an ally of the U.S., elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh, who was believed to be sympathetic to the communist cause. In order to maintain influence over Iran, the U.S. assisted in over-throwing the Prime Minister and restoring to power Shah Mohammed Raza Pahlavi. This would prove to have dramatic repercussions for Iran's future. Ultimately, U.S. foreign policy would play an instrumental role in the fall of Mohammed Raza Shah's government and facilitate the rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Americans had long been wary of Soviet communism and concerned about Russian leader Joseph Stalin's tyrannical, bloodthirsty rule of his own country (Cold War).
Russia eventually came to resent the American government as well, fostering competition between the two countries. The Middle East was a focus of the power struggles between the U.S. and the Soviet Union (Stachecki). The United States actively pursued diplomatic relations with the Middle East because of it strategic geographic location and because of the U.S. oil interests in the region (Stachecki). The Middle East was a critical front in the developing Cold War.
Iran's importance to the United States crystallized as Cold War tensions mounted. As most of the Middle East was aligned with Russia, it was vital to U.S. interests to keep Iran from becoming a communist country (Stachecki). In 1950, Iranians revolted and toppled the existing government of Mohammed Raza Shah. Approximately one year later, in 1951, Iranians elected...