No moment has changed the modern Middle East more fundamentally than the year 1979. Within months, three major events sparked a deep rivalry that plagues the world to this day. In Iran, a popular revolt took down the Shah, but a theocratic government seized the vacuum and took his place. In Saudi Arabia, a group of insurgents opposed to the House of Saud seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca, holding the venerated Kaaba hostage. Finally, in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union invaded and occupied the mountainous country. The combination of all three events triggered a new era of great power competition in the region, and its consequences were immense. This episode of Up To Speed will discuss Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the monumental events of 1979, and how the effects of this ongoing conflict reverberate across majority-Muslim countries today.
This episode of UTS was written by Cameron Brown and Hardy Williams, Voiced by Cameron Brown and Leo Kramer, and Edited by Zach Wheeler and Samuel Koh.