Soviet-Iranian Relations and the United States in 1979-1989

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Institutional Affiliation : 
Yerevan State University
Academic Bio: 
Frik Khatami-Tirgordi holds a BA in History and an MA in World History from the Yerevan State University. His MA thesis was entitled ’’The US-Iranian Relations in 1945-1979’’. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of World History, working on the theme of ’’Iran’s Foreign Policy and US in 1978-1989’’. He is a participant in the 2005 American Studies Winter Institute, organized by the United States Embassy in Armenia (January 18-25) and in the ATHGO International`s Armenia 2005 International Symposium ”A Path toward Peace and Prosperity: Developing a Global Partnership for Development” (October 10-14). His field of specialization is the modern history of the Middle East with a focus on the history of Iran’s foreign policy in the 20 th century. He is also interested in Iran’s current relations with the West, in which the main issue is Iran’s nuclear program and the threat it presents to international security and regional stability. He has published a number of articles, among which “The US and the Iran-Iraq war in 1980-1988,- ’’Qantekh’’ (’’Chandelier’’), / Collection of Essays/ vol.3(24),Yerevan 2005; “Iran and the Afgan Civil War in 1979-1989, ’’Merdzavor Arevelq’’ Patmutyn, Qaxaqakanutyn, mshakuyt, (’’Middle East’’, History, Politics, Culture) /Collection of Essays/, Yerevan 2005; 3.The Idealogical Preconditions of the Islamic Revolution of Iran,-’’Iran-Name’’, /Armenian Journal of Oriental Studies/, vol. 39, 2005. 4.Iran- United States: the begining of the New Level of Regional Confrontation, ``Hayots Ashkharh`` (Armenian World), /Magazine/,October 22, 2008. And 5.Iranian-Turkish Relations and the United States in 1979-1989,-``Lratu``,(Bulletin), /Collection of Essays/,vol 1(5),Stepanakert 2009.

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.

Academic Discipline : 
Middle Eastern Modern History
Time Period : 
Other : 

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