In 1951, the democratic elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, attempted to nationalize the Anglo-Persian Oil Company which had been operating in Iran. The contract between the company and Iran allowed the British to claim 85% of the oil profits from the companies’ business. When this happened, the CIA developed a coup that overthrew Mossadegh, and replaced him with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, better known as the Shah. Mohammad Reza Shah became an oppressive dictator. While the people of Iran suffered, he threw lavish parties, such as the 2500th hundred anniversary of the Iranian monarchy, in which he reportedly spent $100 million. He also eliminated political opposition by taking political prisoners with the help of SAVAK, his personal police force. In addition, he was seen as a secular leader who allowed western influence in Iran. In 1979, the people overthrew the government (those who have seen Argo, this is what is happening) and replaced the Shah with Ayatollah Khomeini, a radical Islamist (Herman).
When Iraq attacked Iran in 1980, mostly due to the call of Khomeini to overthrow monarchical regimes, the U.S. government allegedly supported them as far as supposedly helping aid them in developing weapons. However, the United States involvement has helped Islamic radicals come to power and maintain it today, which creates a difficult situation in the Middle East. Recently during the election and post-election, Iran has been one of the main issues of foreign policy. Supposed advancement of creating of nuclear weapons has led the U.S. to impose economic sanctions on Iran, and gave even more reason to maintain a strong military presence in the region (Herman).