Quandt, William B.
December 1979
Foreign Affairs;1979 Special Issue, Vol. 58 Issue 3
Academic Journal
This article presents information regarding political crisis in Middle East. No area of the world had a greater impact on U.S. politics, national security, and economic well-being than did the Middle East in 1979 With the fall of the Pahlavi regime in Iran early in the year, a profound change in the regional balance of power took place. When the deposed Shah was admitted to the U.S. for medical treatment, militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and at the end of the year were still holding about 50 Americans hostage, with the support of Ayatollah Khomeini, the head of the new Iranian Islamic Republic. In all, the events of 1979 have created awesome problems for the Middle East and for the U.S. policy in the region. The revolutionary situation in Iran, the challenge of Soviet power, the stalemate in the search for a broad Arab-Israeli settlement, the insecurity of moderate regimes in the area above all Saudi Arabia confront the U.S. policymakers with extraordinarily difficult choices. The stakes include the continued access of the U.S. and the West to Middle Eastern oil, as well as whether the price of that oil can be kept within manageable limits.


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