Iran's Future and U.S. Policy.
Policy planning project rept. no. 1,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF EXTERNAL RESEARCH
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Despite all the difficulties between the United States and Iran, that country remains critical to achieving American goals in the Middle East. Geographically Iran bars the northern approaches to the Middle East. Thus, one-third of the Free Worlds supply of oil, the strategic routes connecting Europe with East Africa and South Asia, and the security of all the states in the area may be undermined by events in Iran. The danger is twofold. Iranian internal chaos or a Soviet invasion could lead to control by a pro-Moscow regime. Iran itself, with its military power and urge to spread Islamic revolution, could endanger pro-Western Arab regimes. Either development could destabilize the region. In the face of these dangers the primary U.S. interest is the same as it has been since 1946-- to support the countrys independence, unity, and sovereignty so that it continues to bar Soviet expansion. As for a second historic U.S. interest in Iran -- namely oil -- the world has learned to get along with low Iranian production. The U.S. concern is not over Irans oil but rather for continued security of oil fields, facilities and transit in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc. -- in short, the protection of the Gulfs southern shore.
- Government and Political Science