The socio-political moves and the Cold War conditions in the Middle East in the 1970-80‘s changed the geopolitical situation and the equilibrium of powers in the region, and contributed to the shifting of some aspects of Soviet Middle Eastern policy. These changes took place especially towards the end of the 1970’s, when the Islamic Revolution triumphed in Iran. The change of the political situation in Afghanistan in 1979 led Moscow to confine military intervention to that country. After the victory of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, the new Islamic regime made fundamental changes in Iran’s foreign policy.
This paper analyzes the post-revolutionary relations between Iran and the Soviet Union, the American factor in them, and Iran’s place and role in the US-Soviet regional confrontation throughout the 1980’s. The victory of the Iranian Islamic Revolution changed completely the geopolitical map of the Middle East. Ayatollah Khomeini’s “Neither East, Nor West” doctrine was anticipating the severance of Iran’s political-military alignment with any superpower. Khomeini’s foreign policy ideas and the willingness of Iran’s clerical leadership to realize them, created some concern in Kremlin and the White House. Iranian Islamic fundamentalism was threatening their vital interests in the Middle East, so the US and USSR were trying to redirect Iranian Islamic fundamentalism against each other. Khomeini’s “Neither East, Nor West” doctrine gave many possibilities to Iran’s leadership to maneuver between the superpowers throughout the 1980’s. The main issues which the paper discusses are the US and Soviet-Iranian relations during the Bazargan government ( February-November 1979), the Soviet policy towards Iran during the US-Iranian hostage crisis; Iran and the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan; The Soviet Union and the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), and the relations after the cease-fire.