What if Iran never had a revolution?

bobtdwarf

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Sure, they were so fed up with the Shah that they ranked islamists and communists as "preferable options" - or maybe they hoped they would neutralize each others.

Brilliant thinking, really...
In fairness the US has been strong supporters of the Islamist Saudi's for a long time...
 

bobtdwarf

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How about we go back a little further and the CIA didn't aid in overthrowing the Iranian democratic government of Mosaddegh and install it's own dictator in the form of the Shah of Iran? Due to the falling out of favor with Great Britain, once the refused them access to their oil anymore, but this time, the CIA refuses to overthrow the government, who would they have turned to being a democratic country, but needing to build up their military? Would the U.S. have given them aid in order to base assets there, considering their access to the Caspian Sea? Or would the U.S. have remained non-committal because of what happened to G.B. not having access to Iranian oil anymore?
That was an Ike decision.. Truman was approached by the UK to help out in replacing the Iranian government but refused: Did not think it something you do to a government you are not at war with. OF course we would still have sold them guns
 

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F.14 Tomcat, F.15 Eagle, F.16 Falcon, F.17 Cobra (apologies re. references, saved from various online sources)
 

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TsrJoe

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IIAF. KC.135 refuelling F.111, USAF. KC.135 refuelling IIAF. F.14 Tomcat (delivery flight)
 

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Justo Miranda

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What if the hostages at the embassy were killed?
this one is also pretty easy... US invades. Reagan runs as a "peace" candidate as had Nixon and Eisenhower railing against endless "Democrat" wars... hell Bob Dole was still trotting out that line in '92 as I recall.
When the Libyans assassinated the American ambassador, nothing happened so as not to damage Hillary's image.
 

bobtdwarf

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What if the hostages at the embassy were killed?
this one is also pretty easy... US invades. Reagan runs as a "peace" candidate as had Nixon and Eisenhower railing against endless "Democrat" wars... hell Bob Dole was still trotting out that line in '92 as I recall.
When the Libyans assassinated the American ambassador, nothing happened so as not to damage Hillary's image.
nothing happened because there wasn't a nation state to strike AT... and the people behind it all eventual ended up dead. Had F all to do with Hillary.

Iran kills the hostages in '79 and Carter invades... we aren't talking Reagan here who withdrew from Beirut after the Marines were killed with his tail between his legs.. we are talking about an old school liberal democrat and they have a at that point 40 year history of bombing the living crap out of anyone that looked at the US cross eyed: Ask the city fathers of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
 

Justo Miranda

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What if the hostages at the embassy were killed?
this one is also pretty easy... US invades. Reagan runs as a "peace" candidate as had Nixon and Eisenhower railing against endless "Democrat" wars... hell Bob Dole was still trotting out that line in '92 as I recall.
When the Libyans assassinated the American ambassador, nothing happened so as not to damage Hillary's image.
nothing happened because there wasn't a nation state to strike AT... and the people behind it all eventual ended up dead. Had F all to do with Hillary.

Iran kills the hostages in '79 and Carter invades... we aren't talking Reagan here who withdrew from Beirut after the Marines were killed with his tail between his legs.. we are talking about an old school liberal democrat and they have a at that point 40 year history of bombing the living crap out of anyone that looked at the US cross eyed: Ask the city fathers of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
That's the best way for your allies to distrust you and for your enemies not to respect you.
 

Justo Miranda

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What if the hostages at the embassy were killed?
this one is also pretty easy... US invades. Reagan runs as a "peace" candidate as had Nixon and Eisenhower railing against endless "Democrat" wars... hell Bob Dole was still trotting out that line in '92 as I recall.
When the Libyans assassinated the American ambassador, nothing happened so as not to damage Hillary's image.
nothing happened because there wasn't a nation state to strike AT... and the people behind it all eventual ended up dead. Had F all to do with Hillary.

Iran kills the hostages in '79 and Carter invades... we aren't talking Reagan here who withdrew from Beirut after the Marines were killed with his tail between his legs.. we are talking about an old school liberal democrat and they have a at that point 40 year history of bombing the living crap out of anyone that looked at the US cross eyed: Ask the city fathers of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Ask the grandchildren of the Americans who did not die in the conquest of Japan, they simply would not exist without the bomb.
 

bobtdwarf

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What if the hostages at the embassy were killed?
this one is also pretty easy... US invades. Reagan runs as a "peace" candidate as had Nixon and Eisenhower railing against endless "Democrat" wars... hell Bob Dole was still trotting out that line in '92 as I recall.
When the Libyans assassinated the American ambassador, nothing happened so as not to damage Hillary's image.
nothing happened because there wasn't a nation state to strike AT... and the people behind it all eventual ended up dead. Had F all to do with Hillary.

Iran kills the hostages in '79 and Carter invades... we aren't talking Reagan here who withdrew from Beirut after the Marines were killed with his tail between his legs.. we are talking about an old school liberal democrat and they have a at that point 40 year history of bombing the living crap out of anyone that looked at the US cross eyed: Ask the city fathers of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
That's the best way for your allies to distrust you and for your enemies not to respect you.
I would double check your game theory on that hot take.

Invasion after they kill the hostages is the absolute best way to keep the trust of your allies.

Oh I think I understand your statement... you are reacting to the exaggerated for domestic political consumption remark about bombing those that look at the US cross eyed...
 
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Desertfox

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Possibly President Carter would have found a way to lose another country

And the election, too.

It always blew my mind to think the Mullahs released the hostages at a date carefully chosen to piss him off to the very end.

Random iranian fanatic "Carter has lost the election, yeah ! Now, can we release the hostages ?"

Khomeini "No."

Random iranian nutjob "Why, now that he is out ? we played a good trick on him, ha ha ha"

Khomeini "Sure, but that ain't enough to my taste. I suggest we wait for Reagan to enter the White House. Wait for his inauguration. Carter humiliation will be maximum."

Random iranian whacko "Good idea !"

Khomeini "Of course it's a good idea !"

Seriously - whatever your opinion of Carter, the Mullahs really were absolute arseholes there (they were, and still are, assholes - make no mistake. But that day, they really went beyond that).
Probably because the date was chosen by Reagan himself to make him look good. Ya'll remember all those shipments of weapons and parts made to Iran during the Reagan administration? The Mullahs weren't assholes, they were businessmen and it was a business transaction.
 

zen

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The consequences of Iran being much more integrated with the West must ultimately result in Iranian industrial development.
Presumably we'd see licensed production. Probably F5s for training to start with, but what next?
Licensed F14s seem a step too far at the time. But F16 seems reasonable.
However would this see F15 Strike Eagles assembled in country?
Or maybe Tornado earlier?

We'd also see Patriot SAM systems. But would Iran opt into THAAD?

Assuming Shir/Challenger, wouldn't Iran be exerting significant influence over British Army decisions on heavy armour?

Presumably HIMARS GMLRS and ATACMS.
But also the Iranian nuclear weapon effort. Rather than Pakistan, it would would be a Persian Bomb as the counter to Soviet and Indian nuclear weapons.
This alone could trigger all sorts of crisii and negotiations.

It also raises not just foreign policy issues to the east with Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. But westwards with Iraq, Turkey and involvement with the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict.
 

Lascaris

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The consequences of Iran being much more integrated with the West must ultimately result in Iranian industrial development.
Presumably we'd see licensed production. Probably F5s for training to start with, but what next?
Licensed F14s seem a step too far at the time. But F16 seems reasonable.
However would this see F15 Strike Eagles assembled in country?
Or maybe Tornado earlier?

We'd also see Patriot SAM systems. But would Iran opt into THAAD?

Assuming Shir/Challenger, wouldn't Iran be exerting significant influence over British Army decisions on heavy armour?

Presumably HIMARS GMLRS and ATACMS.
But also the Iranian nuclear weapon effort. Rather than Pakistan, it would would be a Persian Bomb as the counter to Soviet and Indian nuclear weapons.
This alone could trigger all sorts of crisii and negotiations.

It also raises not just foreign policy issues to the east with Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. But westwards with Iraq, Turkey and involvement with the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict.
Didn't Iran want 250 F-18L and to build them locally? There's your industrial development I would think and along with it you just gave Northrop her lead client so more can follow...
 

zen

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Didn't Iran want 250 F-18L and to build them locally? There's your industrial development I would think and along with it you just gave Northrop her lead client so more can follow...
Good point, and a major departure from history.
F/A-18L would exert quite some pull on others.
One might suspect Israel would follow suite.
 

Justo Miranda

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What if the hostages at the embassy were killed?
this one is also pretty easy... US invades. Reagan runs as a "peace" candidate as had Nixon and Eisenhower railing against endless "Democrat" wars... hell Bob Dole was still trotting out that line in '92 as I recall.
When the Libyans assassinated the American ambassador, nothing happened so as not to damage Hillary's image.
nothing happened because there wasn't a nation state to strike AT... and the people behind it all eventual ended up dead. Had F all to do with Hillary.

Iran kills the hostages in '79 and Carter invades... we aren't talking Reagan here who withdrew from Beirut after the Marines were killed with his tail between his legs.. we are talking about an old school liberal democrat and they have a at that point 40 year history of bombing the living crap out of anyone that looked at the US cross eyed: Ask the city fathers of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
That's the best way for your allies to distrust you and for your enemies not to respect you.
I would double check your game theory on that hot take.

Invasion after they kill the hostages is the absolute best way to keep the trust of your allies.

Oh I think I understand your statement... you are reacting to the exaggerated for domestic political consumption remark about bombing those that look at the US cross eyed...
You can have an empire or a circus but centurions can't be clowns at the same time.
 

alertken

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zen/las, #56/57. NWASI (Northrop Worldwide A/c Services Inc) was the template for {BAC....}BAES-in-Saudi (through clenched teeth, under direction from DoD - the Lightning deal counted as offset to F-111K). It was the (later in UK for SERCO: ) Mutli-Activity Contract originator: all work on a combat base, except only combat. That is, for example, why BAe. went on to buy a Property Management Co (Arlington) and to go down the conglomerate route of anything-that-turns-a dollar. NWASI started by supporting RSaAF and IIAF F-5s, found it could be a nice little earner, stand-alone, then found it could ease (lubricate) the way for future sales - F-20 was NWASI-inspired.

#56/57 are wholly credible, as is a Northrop-led (F/A-18), Shah-funded.

Strong pro-Western Shah: no USSR-in-Afghanistan, so maybe no/delayed collapse of the Soviet Communist Party. Whole new world.
 

Keyboard Commando

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I posed this question on AlternateHistory.com so I'll ask here too, let's say that for whatever reason the US doesn't support the 1953 coup and sweeps in with a more fair oil deal, keeping Iran democratic and hopefully more stable while also turning them against the British. Since Iran is a more populous and industrialized nation, the US does whatever it can to support them and keep them allied at the expense of the Gulf states like withholding higher tech defense products etc. Could this create a divide with a strong US supported Iran and the western aligned Arab kingdoms who feel threatened by Iranian power turning more exclusively to European defense items?
 

zen

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I don't think the situation was really stable under Mossadegh, so it wasn't really a case of non-interference. Rather a case of better our man than Moscow's.

So it's also questionable why the US would back him, since the path he was on would inevitably clash with US interests.
 

Pioneer

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Didn't Iran want 250 F-18L and to build them locally? There's your industrial development I would think and along with it you just gave Northrop her lead client so more can follow...
Good point, and a major departure from history.
F/A-18L would exert quite some pull on others.
One might suspect Israel would follow suite.
If Iran becomes such a large launch customer for Northrop's F/A-18L, what year would you be guessing this occurs? For with such an order for 250 x F/A-18L's, there's more possibility of the likes of Spain, Canada and Australia actually selecting the F/A-18L over that of the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B's....


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Pioneer
 

Pioneer

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Yugoslavia would seem ideal and potentially South Africa.

Under the table the US would want to reestablish listening posts in Iran, in return for turning a blind eye to Iranian activities......
Yes Zen, I too thought South Africa might be able and willing to include weapons development and manufacturing under the support of Iranian $$$$....


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Pioneer
 

apparition13

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The consequences of Iran being much more integrated with the West must ultimately result in Iranian industrial development.
Presumably we'd see licensed production. Probably F5s for training to start with, but what next?
Licensed F14s seem a step too far at the time. But F16 seems reasonable.
Didn't Iran want 250 F-18L and to build them locally? There's your industrial development I would think and along with it you just gave Northrop her lead client so more can follow...
Northrop had a global production plan for the P530 that included Iran as one of the participants. They had a good relationship after the F-5A/B and F-5E/F buys. Although I don't think Iran needed F-18s at all. F-14s and F-16 are plenty - now if they had looked at an F-111F wing around 1976 that would have been interesting. Add some A-10s (NAW maybe) and that's a pretty perfect mix.
 

zen

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I'd have thought a rationalisation on F/A-18L would make the most sense. As it came with Sparrow capability and AMRAAM for the future.

F14 is the obvious solution for Soviet Bombers and Recce flights.

Wasn't Iran connected to Israels Kfir ?
 

Lascaris

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Didn't Iran want 250 F-18L and to build them locally? There's your industrial development I would think and along with it you just gave Northrop her lead client so more can follow...
Good point, and a major departure from history.
F/A-18L would exert quite some pull on others.
One might suspect Israel would follow suite.
If Iran becomes such a large launch customer for Northrop's F/A-18L, what year would you be guessing this occurs? For with such an order for 250 x F/A-18L's, there's more possibility of the likes of Spain, Canada and Australia actually selecting the F/A-18L over that of the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B's....


Regards
Pioneer
NFA was selected in April 1980 by the Canadians but the F-18L had been eliminated in 1978 out of fears Canada would be the sole operator. So unless things have been changed in Iran early enough for it to be ordered very early the Canadians are out of the picture. On the other hand the Australians I'd think do go for it with Iran already as a lead customer with the Spanish a definite possibility.

Then you have other potential customers. The Greek air force very much wanted F-18 with a distinct preference to F-18L ideally. Even if the order is split between France and the US, hardly unlikely, if F-18L is already in production for Iran and Australia there's a pretty good chance it is bought in place of F-16, after all one side effect of no Iranian revolution is that there is no second oil crisis...

As for other potential customers, Israel has just lost its first F-16s which were Iranian order machines passed to it. What's taking their place?
 

apparition13

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Didn't Iran want 250 F-18L and to build them locally? There's your industrial development I would think and along with it you just gave Northrop her lead client so more can follow...
Good point, and a major departure from history.
F/A-18L would exert quite some pull on others.
One might suspect Israel would follow suite.
If Iran becomes such a large launch customer for Northrop's F/A-18L, what year would you be guessing this occurs? For with such an order for 250 x F/A-18L's, there's more possibility of the likes of Spain, Canada and Australia actually selecting the F/A-18L over that of the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B's....


Regards
Pioneer
NFA was selected in April 1980 by the Canadians but the F-18L had been eliminated in 1978 out of fears Canada would be the sole operator. So unless things have been changed in Iran early enough for it to be ordered very early the Canadians are out of the picture. On the other hand the Australians I'd think do go for it with Iran already as a lead customer with the Spanish a definite possibility.

Then you have other potential customers. The Greek air force very much wanted F-18 with a distinct preference to F-18L ideally. Even if the order is split between France and the US, hardly unlikely, if F-18L is already in production for Iran and Australia there's a pretty good chance it is bought in place of F-16, after all one side effect of no Iranian revolution is that there is no second oil crisis...

As for other potential customers, Israel has just lost its first F-16s which were Iranian order machines passed to it. What's taking their place?
Iranian F-16s passed on to it. The F-18s were to be in addition to the F-16s. That's why it's pointless, especially since the F-16C/D are just around the corner. And since the revolution happened before any order would have been placed there wouldn't be any F-18Ls to pass on to interested parties either.
 

Pioneer

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F-111s and E-3s for one

Doubling his F-14 order and funding a "B" model?
What the Shah had planned:

70 more F-14s (although I've also heard F-15s or Mirage 4000, but more F-14s makes the most sense). I doubt he would have funded an engine, but they would have been upgraded with F-110s later in the 80s.
If Iran did support such an upgrade of it's F-14's, this could possible lead to Iran's F-16 incorporating F110 engines for commonality......
Although I don't think Iran needed F-18s at all. F-14s and F-16 are plenty - ......
Agree!

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Pioneer
 

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The Shah showed a lot of interest in the British helicopter carrying escort cruiser - aka Invincible class

"In the mid-1970s, the Shah of Iran expressed interest in acquiring three Invincible-class ships and a fleet of twenty-five Sea Harriers to provide fleet defence. When the Iranian Navycould not commit to providing sufficient personnel for manning the vessels, the ship order was cancelled in 1976."

(1979, Aviation & Marine International magazine)

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apparition13

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The Shah showed a lot of interest in the British helicopter carrying escort cruiser - aka Invincible class

"In the mid-1970s, the Shah of Iran expressed interest in acquiring three Invincible-class ships and a fleet of twenty-five Sea Harriers to provide fleet defence. When the Iranian Navycould not commit to providing sufficient personnel for manning the vessels, the ship order was cancelled in 1976."

(1979, Aviation & Marine International magazine)

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Pioneer
I don't know if it's related, but if that's the case 6 (later reduced to 4) Kidd DDGs makes a lot more sense.
 

apparition13

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An order for 8 Kortenaer class frigates was also cancelled. Put it all together and you're looking at the possibility of 2 carrier groups, each composed of 1 Invincible, 3 Kidd (prior to the cancellation of 2 of the original 6, 2 after), and 4 Kortenaer. That's a pretty potent escort group for a carrier.
 

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The Ayatollah class... ROTFL. To think they ended in Taiwan's navy (are they still in service ? Were they upgraded along the years ?)
 

RLBH

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Didn't Iran want 250 F-18L and to build them locally? There's your industrial development I would think and along with it you just gave Northrop her lead client so more can follow...
Good point, and a major departure from history.
F/A-18L would exert quite some pull on others.
One might suspect Israel would follow suite.
If Iran becomes such a large launch customer for Northrop's F/A-18L, what year would you be guessing this occurs? For with such an order for 250 x F/A-18L's, there's more possibility of the likes of Spain, Canada and Australia actually selecting the F/A-18L over that of the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B's....


Regards
Pioneer
NFA was selected in April 1980 by the Canadians but the F-18L had been eliminated in 1978 out of fears Canada would be the sole operator. So unless things have been changed in Iran early enough for it to be ordered very early the Canadians are out of the picture. On the other hand the Australians I'd think do go for it with Iran already as a lead customer with the Spanish a definite possibility.

Then you have other potential customers. The Greek air force very much wanted F-18 with a distinct preference to F-18L ideally. Even if the order is split between France and the US, hardly unlikely, if F-18L is already in production for Iran and Australia there's a pretty good chance it is bought in place of F-16, after all one side effect of no Iranian revolution is that there is no second oil crisis...

As for other potential customers, Israel has just lost its first F-16s which were Iranian order machines passed to it. What's taking their place?
Iranian F-16s passed on to it. The F-18s were to be in addition to the F-16s. That's why it's pointless, especially since the F-16C/D are just around the corner. And since the revolution happened before any order would have been placed there wouldn't be any F-18Ls to pass on to interested parties either.
In 1977, Iran already had 80 F-14s, 160 F-16s, 7 E-3s and the four KOROUSH class cruisers on order. Future plans called for the following to be procured from the US:
  • An additional 140 F-16s were on the Shah's immediate agenda, making up the 300 originally requested but reduced to 160 for US political reasons.
  • Another 160 F-16s beginning in 1985 as replacements for F-5s, beginning about 1985. The F-5s were expected to no longer be useful past 1991 or 1992.
  • A replacement for the F-4, which had a useful life until 1994. 250 aircraft were expected, beginning in the mid-1980s, which (from the US perspective) might be F-18s, F-15s or F-16s. Presumably Dassault would have tried to get a Mirage into this competition, and the UK might have tried with the Tornado.
  • A replacement for the C-130 from the late 1980s - 100 aircraft were required, envisaged by the US as the AMST. This might have turned into new C-130s.
  • Eight frigates - the order that eventually turned into modified KORTENAER class, though the Iranians requested information from the US (FFG-7 class), the UK, Germany and Italy as well.
  • Four 'large fleet replenishment ships' - which would presumably be the KHARG plus three sister ships


The Shah's interest in F-111s dates from the 1960s, and had dropped off the radar by the late 1970s, as had any prospect of F-4Gs. The often-reported interest in A-7s and/or A-10s doesn't appear to have turned into a formal requirement either. I'm not sure when the requirement for the second batch of 70 F-14s got dropped, but it seems to have been gone by 1977.

One claim I've seen, but can't find evidence for, which does seem plausible is a plan to purchase 1,000 BMPs from the Soviet Union. Despite being US-aligned, the Shah seemed to have a policy of ordering equipment from elsewhere so as not to be totally dependent on one supplier. In the absence

Despite the seemingly-endless wish lists one can find online, the Shah wasn't totally devoid of common sense. A lot of the 'Iran wanted to buy eleventy bajillion stealth submarine fighter tanks' type pieces actually turn out to be multiple bids for the same requirement, and requirements that weren't active at the same time. The interest in the INVINCIBLE class and Sea Harriers is one such case: I'm not sure how serious the interest actually was, but once it was obvious that it wasn't a feasible option, it wasn't taken further.

For that reason, I'm very wary of things saying 'Iran was going to buy X' unless there's a primary source verifying it.
 

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  • 73 Chieftain Mk.3's, 634 Chieftain Mk.5's, 312 Chieftain 4030/1's, 1,225 Chieftain 4030/2's, 1,297 Chieftain 4030/3's, 400 M-47's, 260 M-48's, 460 M-60A1's and 400 M-60A3's.
  • 75 F-84's, 40 F-86's, 237 F-4's, 309 F-5's, 151 F-14A's, 90 F-15C's, 300 F-16A's and 250 F/A-18A's.
  • 1 Battle-Class Destroyer (ex. HMS Sluys), 6 Spruance-Class Destroyers, 2 Gearing-Class Destroyers, 4 Kidd-Class Destroyers, 10 Knox-Class Destroyers, 6 Sheffield-Class Destroyers, 8 Bayandor-Class Corvettes, 6 Grisha-Class Corvettes, 4 Alvand-Class Frigates, 8 Kortenaer-Class Frigates, 2 Ticonderoga-Class Cruisers, 16 Osa-Class Missile Boats, 2 Tarawa-Class Amphibious Assault Ships, 2 Iwo Jima-Class Assault Ships, 3 Tang-Class Submarines, 6 Type 206 Submarines, 6 Type 209 Submarines, 12 La Combattante IIa-class fast attack craft and 3 Invincible-Class Carriers(!)
This was the plan anyway for the 1985 force, now I doubt the small cariors were going to go through and I don't know what they were planning to do with the old f4s and f5s (ithere upgrade or get reid of presumably) or the old tanks.
 

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This was the plan anyway for the 1985 force
No it wasn't.

A lot of that list is made up of:
  • Old equipment remaining in service alongside its replacement
  • Multiple proposals for the same requirement
  • Requirements that had been superseded or otherwise abandoned
  • Totally unsourced speculation
This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about in my immediately preceding post. There is a lot of nonsense out there about what Iran was looking to buy.

While the Shah was undoubtedly overambitious, he didn't act as much like a child in a sweet shop as is often portrayed.
 

starviking

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Opportunistic Minnow

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GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
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F.14 Tomcat, F.15 Eagle, F.16 Falcon, F.17 Cobra (apologies re. references, saved from various online sources)
The F-15 needs some desert camo.

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F286_F15C_Iran.jpg
 
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