Monday, 07 Nov 2011 04:39 PM
Throughout the post-World War II era, Pax Britannica in the gulf was costing the British government $40 million a year.
The Nixon Doctrine stepped into the vacuum left by London's decision. This, in turn, led to the anointment of the shah as the guardian of the Persian Gulf that bore the name of Iran's worldly past.
At its height in 500 B.C., the Persian Empire had conquered Asia as far as the Indus River to the east and Greece and North Africa (including Egypt and Libya) to the west. Delusions of grandeur came easily to the shah and then to his turn-the-clock-back theocratic successors.
In 1972, the shah predicted to this reporter that one day Iran would be a full-fledged nuclear power, anointed by the Nixon Doctrine to keep the Soviet Union and its friend Saddam Hussein of Iraq from troublemaking in the Persian Gulf.
The shah explained that his armed forces had to be able to react in half a day to counteract any attempt by the Soviet bloc and its friends to stage a coup in any of the then disunited sheikdoms and emirates. This led to Iran's purchase of Boeing 747s and huge hovercraft as troop carriers.
In retrospect, it doesn't take an overwhelming effort of imagination to see how Iran's superannuated ayatollahs would spare no effort to get their hands on the ultimate weapon.
In 1987, Pakistan and Iran signed a secret agreement on "peaceful nuclear cooperation," which was the cover for Iranian scientists to be given centrifuge training in Pakistan.
In 1992, Pakistan began missile cooperation with North Korea — in return for nuclear weapons knowhow. This led to Pakistan's Ghauri missile, a copy of North Korea's Nodong design.