America for long has wanted a close relationship with Iran. This is because of its strategic location. America has always tried to control events and in 1953 a coup supported by the CIA successfully deposed the democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and allowed Shah Reza Pahlavi to consolidate his power. The Shah was a stooge of the Americans and he became the pivot of American policy in the Middle East. He was also rabidly anti -Soviet Russia and became the lynchpin of the various defense pacts against the Soviets.

Dethroning the Shah

Unfortunately, the Shah lived in a dream world and alienated the majority of the Iranian population.

He also carried out a totalitarian form of government and executed thousands of his opponents. During 1977-78 a popular uprising dethroned the Shah and the man who had supported America for long years was left in the lurch as the USA tried to curry favor with the new dispensation that had seized power. The Shah had no place to go as he was not allowed even to settle in the USA and died a broken and forlorn man in Egypt.

Anger against the USA was high in Iran as people recounted how the Shah had ruled with American support. America became the "great Satan" and relations took a nose dive with the Iranians capturing hundreds of US embassy personnel as hostages. The failure of the USA to act was a body blow and many in America wondered why no action was taken. The hostages were released after millions of dollars as ransom was paid.

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For the next 3 decades, the cornerstone of Iranian policy was anti-America. The arrival of Obama  had a negative effect on Iran which had been pursuing a nuclear weapons policy. The nation was allowed to get away with the hope that the nuclear program would be capped and America could regain its influence in Iran. The relationship with Iran never developed.

Failure of Obama

Obama seriously miscalculated and the belligerence of the Iranians did not end as they propped  up regimes in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. They also moved into the Russian sphere of influence by allowing the Russian TU-22 bombers to operate from the Hamadan airfield close to Tehran to bomb targets in Syria in support of Assad. This was a surprise to America and showed the bankruptcy of the Obama policy to bring Iran closer to the USA, by signing the so-called nuclear accord. Many of my colleagues in the USAF privately confided that Obama had committed a blunder in agreeing for the nuclear accord. Many wondered why the American hand of friendship was spurned. In any case, a belligerent Iran even arrested 8/9 US sailors who had come close to Iranian territorial waters.

The situation in the Middle East is fluid and with Iran in the Russian camp, America has cause for worry.