Maybe I've got this figured out, and maybe I am all wet. Let me run this by youse guys.
It seems to me that American Post War policy regarding oil producing nations in the Middle East has been to have at least one significant oil producing nation there as a client state.
After the war, we have a long period of the Peacock Throne Puppet. Iran was a client state used as a wedge against oil producing nation solidarity.
Ironic, in light of today's concerns. The American support of the Shaw is what first gave rise to Islamic Fundamentalism.
By no coincidence, the U.S. started getting real chummy with the Saudi's after they lost Iran, and American influence (mostly military toys, from what I understand) has again more often than not been a wedge in oil producing nations solidarity.
It seems now that there is going to be a question as to just who might succeed the aging and ailing King of Saudi Arabia. There is a pro American faction and an anti-American faction.
I think the American plan to invade Iraq is an attempt by them to gain another puppet oil regime, and hedge their bets on what may transpire in Saudi Arabia.
The not so funny part about it all is that by doing this, the Americans have unwittingly stregnthened Islamic fanatics at almost every turn, and systematically weakend secular regimes.
By training forces like the Shaw's Savak, and repressing human rights, they gave power to the fundamentalists that eventually took over in Iran.
Fast forward a bit, and the U.S. jumping at the chance to entangle the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, gave weapons to fundamentalists that eventually took over there.
If I'm an Arab in the Middle East, it would appear to me that religious fundamentalism is the answer to a lot of my political problems.
It seems to be a very powerful weapon against foriegn super powers.