US-Iran military dispute easy to initiate, but difficult to control; a conflict will push West Asia into chaos

The US and Iran have hurtled towards potential military confrontation several times in the past but seldom as seriously as the current situation seems to project. The backdrop is well known to reiterate in detail. However, as a short reminder, it all goes back to the tumultuous period of 1979-80 when US protégé.

The Shah of Iran overthrown in an internal uprising which brought the rule of the clergy to Iran. It set on a path of confrontation with US interests in West Asia. These included the security of Israel and the interests of Saudi Arabia, which has remained the chief US protagonist for energy and geostrategic issues in the region.

The course of events of 1979-80, including the 444 days siege of the US embassy, hostage taking of 52 US citizens. The abortive rescue attempt and the downfall of a US President due to these failures. It left deep scars on the US psyche which remains an important aspect of this narrative. No US administration has ever forgotten it.

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