Discover more from House of Wisdom
How the West created Islamist Iran
Feb 1, 1979 -- After America impressed on Shah Reza Pehlavi to instruct Iraq's Saddam Hussein to spare the life of Iranian exile in Najaf, Ruhollah Khomeini, the Iranian cleric relocated to France. As the West feared that the Shah's implosion would allow the Soviet Union to expand southward and get a foothold near the oil-rich Gulf, France flew Khomeini back to Tehran to counter Iranian Communist Tudeh Party. America instructed the Iranian military to stand down, make an exception for closing Iranian airspace and let Khomeini's plane land in Iran.
The West wanted Islamism to counter Communism. But Khomeini was fearful Iranian Communists were outmaneuvering him on the Left, so he ordered his people to invade the American embassy, a populist step to brandish his credentials with anti-imperial Iranians.
Khomieni therefore reneged on his promise to the West, just like a much smaller and irrelevant Lebanese Michel Aoun flew from Washington, where he had promised to help eradicate terrorist Hezbollah, to Beirut. A few weeks later he met with Nasrallah and started an alliance, with Aoun being the junior partner. The list of America's allies who reneged on their promises is so long that Americans came to this conclusion: Let the Middle East figure out its mess. The result is what we see now.