Lenczowski, George
March 1979
Foreign Affairs;Spring79, Vol. 57 Issue 4, p796
This article examines the course of U.S. foreign policy in Turkey and Iran and the present situation in these countries and focuses on the implications of the Iranian revolution for the whole area, as of March 1979. With regard to the Northern Tier, much that has happened cannot be easily reversed, but there is no reason to abandon these countries to their own fate and to signal in advance the uncritical acquiescence of the U.S. to disintegrating trends or to communist penetration. In Iran the overriding issue today is whether the present government should be looked at as a mere Kerensky-style prelude to further deterioration or whether it will find ways of restoring order and stability under non-communist auspices. There is no doubt that with the departure of the Shah, the West has lost an ally whose concepts of international security closely coincided with its own. More broadly, in the Northern Tier any genuinely nationalist regime, for example, a regime striving to safeguard its independence, should be considered eligible for normalization of relations with the U.S. and such cooperation as may be required to assure its orderly development. And, in the same way, adherence to the principle of self-determination in the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is basic to assisting the moderate leaderships in the Middle East to make themselves credible in the eyes of their people, and thus to beat back external or externally supported threats to their survival. The factors that have made the arc of crisis an area of vital national interest to the U.S. are, if anything, stronger today than they have ever been. The task of helping to restore fair peace and stability in the area is harder than it has been, it is critical that it be tackled anew from a firm basis of principle.


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