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lordroel 09-29-2018 03:08 PM

Soviet Domination - A Red Dawn story (preview)
So i decide to publish some chapters of a great WW III timeline that is going on on Alternate Timelines called Soviet Domination - A Red Dawn story.

[Part I]

Chapter One – Beginnings


October 1976: During the second presidential debate, President Gerry Ford almost puts his foot in his mouth but stops himself from saying something that might come back to haunt him later. He recalls a pre-debate brief with his chief-of-staff, the young Dick Cheney, about Soviet Domination over Eastern Europe. There naturally was, and Ford confirms that there is during the debate. He adds that he wishes to see that end one day so that the Poles, the Czechoslovaks and others too no longer feel dominated by the Soviet Union.

November 1976: Ford wins the presidential election. He takes Ohio and Wisconsin by tiny margins after his campaign has continued to improve since a bad start. Jimmy Carter actually wins the popular vote, but Ford wins the only game in town: the Electoral college vote. There is surprise yet everyone agrees that Ford has won fair-and-square.

January 1977: Ford is sworn in for his second term. He is term-limited in 1980 but before then aims to do much domestically and abroad. The president keeps his pre-election cabinet and most senior appointments too. Dole is his VP, Kissinger at State, Rumsfeld at Defence, Simon at Treasury and Bush at the CIA. Critics claim more of the same though Ford declares that there will be positive change with his administration.

June 1977: Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev has a fatal slip-and-fall on the steps in his apartment building in Central Moscow. He cracks his head and bleeds out before anything can be done. The jokes inside his country will say that the weight of his self-awarded medals helped bring the heavy man down.

July 1977: A peaceful struggle for succession to replace Brezhnev sees the KGB Chairman get the nod: Yuri Andropov. His colleagues in the Soviet leadership restrain his powers as the new general secretary though those restrictions are something at once seen as challenges to be overcome by Andropov. He has no intention of being an equal with those on the Politburo. One immediate (non-fatal) casualty of Brezhnev’s demise is his hanger-on Chernenko: he is shown the door.

November 1977: Talks between Panama and the United States over a renegotiation of the status of the Panama Canal come to an abrupt halt when General Torrijos – Panama’s ‘Maximum Leader’ – walks out in a huff. Kissinger denies claims afterwards that Panama was offered nothing as Torrijos says was the case. The US Senate is pleased; Ford is too for his own party especially, but the whole senate as well, doesn’t want to see the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama led by a military strongman.

January 1978: Violent clashes between religious students and security forces in the Iranian city of Qom. A newspaper of the government of The Shah had published an article defaming the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini: a man whose son everybody ‘knew’ had been murdered by government agents a few months past. Sources differ on the number of killed in Qom, those being anywhere from two according to the government and up to seventy from what it said by senior religious figures.

February 1978: The forty days process begins in Iran. Following traditional customs, forty days after the death of those martyred there will be memorial services for them: Khomeini has called for blood. The first series of memorials see riots nationwide with Qom and Tabriz erupting in violence. The Shah has the army send in and they do a terrible job of containing trouble… they effectively cause more. The riots target symbols of ‘the West’ too. Deaths occur with the numbers officially at six, unofficially in the hundreds. The Shah tries to concede to the demands of what is starting to become an organised opposition by firing members of his intelligence services but differing over a further, real response.

March 1978: Once forty days is up, the memorials-cum-riots start again. Over fifty cities, including the capital Tehran, are hit by trouble. The army is present again, so too are organised rioters. New non-lethal riot control equipment sent by the United States for the soldiers has been misappropriated in the notoriously-corrupt Iran. The use of the army comes alongside promises from The Shah of liberalisation and an end to corruption: this seems to anger everyone. Meanwhile, hundreds are reported dead again by the opposition with the government downplaying the numbers below ten in a ridiculous falsehood.

May 1978: The forty days are up again. Back come the protesters who fast riot and are met by the police then the army. You can set your watch by this now. It is nationwide and cannot be stopped. As to the latest round of riots, they are as vicious as before. The death toll is huge. There is an anti-Western / anti-American tone to the protests which is prominent among the ringleaders. In this round of violence, there are shots fired at the house of the prominent religious leader Ayatollah Shariatmadari – a rival of Khomeini who is across in Iraq – and one of his students is killed. Kissinger had been due to visit, sent by an anxious Ford who was concerned over Iran’s stability, but The Shah wavers back and forth over the impact of that and the US Secretary of State doesn’t come. Andropov, still with one foot in the door at the KGB when he isn’t supposed to, instructs his successor Chebrikov to pay more attention to Iran for any opportunities which might arise to protect the Soviet Union by the possible spread of influence to Iran.

June 1978:

The mood in Iran seemed to change come June. The ‘scheduled’ protests were meant to happen in the middle of the month but the opposition – religious and secular both – had been meeting with the representatives of The Shah. Shariatmadari had been among the leaders and there had come an apology for that shooting of one of his students. When the protests did occur, there was little of the previous violence. Khomeini was furious but he was abroad and not on the ground where he could direct events.

Under Bush’s directorship, the CIA made it’s later infamous pronouncement to the White House that Iran ‘is not in a revolutionary or even a pre-revolutionary situation’. The Shah was telling his friends in America that everything was fine: this was believed by those who wanted to hear such a thing. Kissinger came to Tehran for his visit with The Shah yet Iran’s leader still had the time to talk with the opposition and make further concessions to them.

Across in neighbouring Iraq, Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko paid a visit to President Al-Bakr and met with the powerful Vice President who was Saddam Hussein. Tensions over the brutal treatment of the Iraqi Communist Party were eased over somewhat. In addition, to further help Iraqi-Soviet relations, Saddam accepted a request from Gromyko when it came to refusing the pleas from The Shah to have Khomeini thrown out of Iraq: Saddam was told this came from Andropov personally who wanted the Iranian exile to stay in Najaf rather than go aboard.

July 1978:

The Shah authorised his government to further treat with the opposition and allowed them to present their case. The secularists – with Sanjabi prominent among them – were given the opportunity to express what they wished to see as the future for Iran with changes made as to how it would be governed. Shariatmadari too was given a voice that Iran’s prime minister had instructed to listen too and treat with respect as the voice of the religious opposition was heard too. Others in Iran – such as the communists – weren’t treated the same way and those that were allowed to air their grievances were promised nothing in return.

In Moscow, the KGB was given express permission by the Politburo to take a more active role in Iran despite the apparent winding down of protests there in the country. There were indications that the Islamic movement was more powerful than suspected and this was seen as an area of concern for the Soviet Union should they manage to do the impossible and bring down The Shah. Andropov had worked to convince his colleagues of this and they prepared to agree for support to be given to the Iranian communists, the Tudeh. Risk on this matter was something seen as of little concern and any fallout from failure would fall upon the Iranians themselves. Security of the Soviet state was at this time the only interest of the Politburo as they aimed to maintain the geo-political balance of power should Iran collapse into chaos.

August 1978:

The pendulum swung back the other way. The troubles across Iran restarted due to unconnected events creating a perfect storm for a month of violence. The government had cut spending and this had the affect of releasing many young men from employment who were angry and ripe for recruitment by extremists to express their anger. There were protests underway in the city of Isfahan over the detention of a local religious leader who attracted many of these new recruits to an element of the religious opposition not linked to Shariatmadari. Tudeh protests too gained some of the disaffected willing to cause trouble and ultimately give the communists a bigger role in the future of the country with numbers that couldn’t be ignored.

Then there came the cinema fire in Abadan. Over four hundred died when arson destroyed the building, a symbol of Western culture subverting Iranians, and killed those inside when the doors were locked. At once, the cries of deliberate murder of those inside by ‘agents of The Shah’ came from Khomeini: any suggestion that it was rather convenient for him and his cause apparently had no substance to it. He called for their vengeance from across in Iraq where his voice wasn’t just heard by the faithful there but fast spread by word of mouth and audio recordings into Iran. Those being corrupted by the ideas of the West were now martyrs.

Iran was getting a new government and The Shah had more focus on that. He brought in an old hand who at once cracked down on corruption and promised that there would be democracy: the people would prosper. Sanjabi and Shariatmadari were given more room to have influence by the new prime minister including on how and when elections should commence; once their ideas came to The Shah though, he wasn’t that sure and dithered over whether such things should be carried out.

September 1978:

Summer heat, angry disadvantaged youngsters, long-standing widespread political discontent and agitators wanting a conflict with the forces of the state. Put them all together and what do you get? Answer: a country up in arms and revolution in the air.

The early part of the month saw a series of big marches in Tehran eventually turn violent as their daily presence caused an unauthorised use of force by the local commander in the city. The protesters were shouting for Khomeini, calling for his return from exile. A general disobeyed The Shah’s standing instructions that martial law didn’t mean what it did and had his men open fire when they ‘reacted’ to shots fired against them. They would call it Black Friday. As before, declaration would come afterwards inflating the numbers – Khomeini picked the number four thousand seemingly from the sky – but there had been a lot of killing done regardless of lies.

In response, more marches were planned to protest those deaths and The Shah reaffirmed his orders that they would be ignored so he could continue his process of talking with the opposition. As had been the case all year, this was done through intermediaries as The Shah was an ill man. That was hidden and those engaged in talks with his government were unaware of that. The problem was though that this would all be for naught because following Black Friday, there began the outbreak of strikes. First they were in the oil industry, export revenues which had made Iran rich, then among government workers. These were uncoordinated and only partially effective in the short-term: that wouldn’t be the case if they continued and there was a uniting of common cause.

Soviet interference in Iran’s affairs was now becoming significant. There were KGB spies watching Khomeini in Najaf – which Saddam knew about; he wanted to know what they knew as that was how the game of intelligence affairs was done – while the KGB had its locally-recruited network inside Iran expand and connect better with the Tudeh. Those communists weren’t Moscow-aligned (who needs perfection?) but they would do for now. Information was shared with them and weapons supplied: the latter being stolen Iranian ones, not direct Soviet arms.

October 1978:

President Ford had been most-displeased at the turn of events in Iran. He had been assured by the CIA and then Kissinger had given him an indication too – though the Secretary of State hadn’t committed himself there like Bush had – that the situation earlier in the year was getting better. Then it went worse than before. With revolution in Iran before being impossible and now looking possible, Ford was concerned. He met with his advisers and spoke with foreign leaders. There was consensus everywhere that things were doomed for The Shah but no one had ‘the answer’ to solve all of this. Contact with Iran’s leader itself was never the best too: the crazy man saw foreign conspiracies everywhere, especially from those whom had previously before interfered in Iranian affairs… like the United States. The inability to act in any meaningful way along with trying to deal with an unreasonable supposed ally frustrated the president.

The Shah declared an amnesty for exiles abroad, Khomeini included. No one in Iran seemed to care. He too ordered the army and the police not to break up strikers nationwide who were now coordinating despite geographical and political differences into a country-wide general strike. His latest idea was to wear them down. Concessions had been given to the opposition leaders and he believed that would satisfy them; with the strikers, they would go back to work soon… just because. Some of those strikers, like many of the unemployed, were joining with extremists though. There were also deserting soldiers: the Iranian Army was bleeding them, many who left with their weapons. Those extremist organisations growing in strength were religious radicals committed to the idea of Khomeini (his true motives not revealed) and the Tudeh. There were secular, constitutional and student groups as well, those opposed to the rule enforced by The Shah on principle and they were gaining support, yet nothing like the numbers of the preceding two. Opposition to Iran’s leader as multi-faceted and the only thing they had in common was to be rid of him. Supposedly keeping a check on all of this was the Iranian secret police. Where were they? The SAVAK had been hit with supposed reforms and been a political football that included a marked weakening of its previous power in some matters yet an unreasonable strengthening elsewhere. As with everything, The Shah was incapable of deciding anything firm on them and what he wanted from the SAVAK now.

Far away, unrelated to events in Iran, but with significance elsewhere to many, a new Pope was elected. The Polish national chosen to be the head of the Catholic Church after the unexpected death of his predecessor took the name John Paul II. His country was under Soviet Domination. He would want to do something about that in the future. The Soviet Union would later pay attention to him like they were with another religious leader at the moment: one being discussed much in Moscow.

November 1978:

A Persian Trotsky. That was the official KGB view of Khomeini following the reports which came from their intelligence activities within his immediate circle. A panel of experts had then brought those reports together and other information to come to the conclusion which KGB Chairman Chebrikov presented to the Politburo in Moscow. This man, the elderly politicians were told, was not just a threat to the rule of The Shah. He was a threat to other regimes in further Middle Eastern nations. He was a threat to the Americans with their position in the region. Above all of that, he was a threat to the Soviet Union too. His public statements on Iran were one thing; what was more important were his long-term goals. He was a fanatic, a man rooted in his religion that was fundamentally opposed to anything but his interpretation of what his God wanted for his fellow Muslims. Those people Khomeini wanted to act on the behalf of – professing his goal wasn’t power for himself; as if that was the case, really? – were spread all over the world including those in Moscow-aligned Afghanistan which neighboured the Iran from where he was exiled yet also those of the faithful in the parts of the Soviet Union where religion had never been fully stamped out. Once the presentation was finished, the Politburo considered their options. Ignore him? Have the Iraqis keep him in Najaf and unable to leave? Work to discredit him? Meet his challenge head-on? Or… get rid of him? These options were discussed. Andropov pushed for one of those options with the support of Chebrikov but the others weren’t so sure. There was thinking on this matter to be done and consideration having to be taking for the unwanted effects that might cause. How to solve a problem like Khomeini, if he truly was such a problem, would take some time to work out.

Down in Iran, whose borders with the Soviet Union were long and of great significance for the Soviets, the violence continued unabated. Student opposition groups fought with the authorities and the army after arming themselves. They ran riot (literally) inside Tehran, joined by mobs of teenage boys infused with religious zeal but also caught up in events, and attacked symbols of the hated ‘West’. Among those were the embassies of Britain and the United States: the former being burnt down and the latter being lucky not to suffer the same fate. Large parts of the Iranian capital were left on fire. This caused The Shah to fire his prime minister and appoint a military government. It was a step meant to project strength. The military lacked the authority to act though. In Tehran, they hadn’t responded to the rioters following those standing orders to not do so because the country was under martial law in name yet not in reality. That obeying of orders there had come when the army were under extreme duress when being attacked with petrol bombs and gun-shots. Elsewhere in the country, protests in support of the continuing strikes and the calls for the return of Khomeini weren’t matched by official armed interference either.

The Shah spoke to his people. He told them he would lead the revolution, not oppose it. He was also ordering arrests of those who were corrupt and once more made his promises of equality to all Iranians as part of his process of engaging with the opposition to him rather than fighting them. To Iranians, he looked weak, powerless and clutching at straws to save himself. To outsiders, it seemed like he was delusional and had finally lost control. Khomeini – who The Shah had promised last month could return from exile – instructed all Iranians to overthrow their ruler instead, sending the message through intermediaries while also trying to figure out a way out of the prison which Saddam was trying to make Iraq for him.

Unable to have direct dealings with Khomeini, who there was great distrust for yet also a secret yearning to have influence like his, the secular opposition which had formed into the National Front approached Shariatmadari. That religious leader had no interest in uniting with the political figures who were already disillusioned with The Shah and had turned that into a realisation that he had no interest in the future for Iran which they saw. Sanjabi at the head of the National Front had contacts made with the non-extremist student groups, including those promoting women’s rights too, and also reached out to the Tudeh. He was looking for an understanding, not an alliance. There were those Iranian communists thought of as moderates. Maybe they could all work together? There were fundamental disagreements in some areas yet agreement in others. Everyone wanted the same thing: The Shah to step aside from his leadership role. Should that happen, the thinking was that order could return to the country and that would rob Khomeini of his interest and his ability to keep stirring up trouble. This goal was something seen as possible… if only Khomeini was out of the picture. The KGB’s contacts within the Tudeh passed that thinking of those who wanted to be their allies and give them an opening onwards to Moscow.

December 1978:

Protests inside Iran against the rule of The Shah had been undertaken by a large number of people yet the vast majority of the population had stayed away from them. Their support for their ruler or wish for him to be gone wasn’t publicly expressed by them taking to the streets. That changed in December. The people came out onto the streets. There were millions of them now where there had been tens of thousands beforehand. Even if the security forces and the army had been ordered to turn on them, they wouldn’t have been able to, not with those numbers. As to that army, the figure who were deserting was previously alarming but now outrageous. Men walked away from uniformed service, some killing their officers first. Like the street protesters, their political views and the future which they wanted for their country were multiple but they were united in the cause of opposition to The Shah. He himself – who had declared last month that he would lead the revolution rather than oppose it – tried desperately to maintain his position as he made more concessions to the demands of the opposition leadership with political prisoners released and promises made on elections; he once again was seeking a new prime minister too with his deck-chairs on-the-Titanic approach. What troops were still in the streets were ordered back to let the demonstrations continue so there was only very little trouble between them and the people. Some soldiers were given flowers by the people to show no ill intent. The protesters chanted for Khomeini, a man who was all things to all people. He was still stuck in Iraq though when the mass protests started at the beginning of the month and so inside Iran it was another religious leader, this time Ayatollah Taleghani (Shariatmadari still refused to take any leadership role), who along with Sanjabi from the secularists formed that united front as they professed to lead the people… all the while with the communists from the Tudeh snapping at their heels to be allowed to play with the big boys.

Iran was bulwark against communism for the United States. The country was an ally of the Americans with relations on regional security, the global oil trade and vital military contracts too. President Ford had been coming under pressure for months from within to first not let The Shah fall then later to help get rid of him because his continued presence put the stability of Iran in a dangerous situation. To abandon The Shah wasn’t that much of an issue for Ford himself yet it was for others though such as his secretary of state Kissinger. The CIA were now doing the opposite of what they had previously been doing and saying that the country was past its revolution and heading for civil war if something wasn’t done as the various opposition groups were arming themselves ready to fight if they had to. It would only take one spark… However, Ford couldn’t make a decision on the matter when it came to actively supporting The Shah or turning on him. There were all sorts of theories about the motives of Khomeini and also the influence that outside forces such as the Soviet Union might have in all of this. The only thing that Ford could agree to do was send an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf and to also warn American military personnel in-country – those contracted to maintain the expensive equipment which supposedly projected Iranian military strength – to be prepared to leave if ‘the unthinkable’ happened and civil war did come.

In Moscow, General Secretary Andropov had convinced his colleagues of the danger from the Persian Trotsky that was Khomeini. It had then taken some talking and deliberations for them to decide that he must be dealt with before he endangered them all. There had been rumblings from some of ‘adventurism’ and this drew back into the ill-feeling among certain Politburo figures of that taking place now in Iran after it was already occurring in Central America: Soviet arms and money, used by Cuban surrogates, was keeping the fight going against the American-backed regimes in Guatemala and Nicaragua. Chebrikov kept on feeding the reports though from Najaf of what Khomeini was supposedly planning and Gromyko told his colleagues of how the West had no interest in getting involved in Iran as long as there was nothing to point to a direct, overt Soviet interference that they could identify easily. A decision was taken to see the end of the threat from the Persian Trotsky.

Days before the New Year, The Shah appointed his newest prime minister, a National Front colleague of Sanjabi in the form of Bakhtiar and struck an agreement with him where the royal family would take a vacation from Iran. It was a vacation which The Shah wasn’t intending to be returning from. He was running away, he knew the game was up. The people wanted Khomeini and SAVAK told him that Iraq was letting the exile leave and helping him return to Iran. Sanjabi had told The Shah though that they in the opposition would make sure that they had Khomeini under control. Now as to Khomeini, he arrived in Tehran on December 31st. He was met by adoring crowds… and a bullet too. He died in Iran at Iranian hands with the gunman being identified as a supporter of The Shah. The shocked and outraged mob killed the assassin before he could talk. The Shah had always spoken of the all-powerful KGB being active in his country though this he, nor anyone else for that matter, could have been foreseen as something they would do.

Iran would now erupt into civil war.

lordroel 10-06-2018 07:58 AM

[Part II]

January 1979:

Everyone in Iran knew who had murdered Khomeini. He had been slain on the orders of The Shah. Beyond that, there were conspiracy theories upon conspiracy theories on who else was involved ranging from the CIA, the British, the Zionists, the Soviets and the Iraqis: they all had their motives for helping The Shah do this but what was important was that he was the one responsible. Those who had little regard for Khomeini all went along with the narrative that the man was a martyr afterwards because it made sense: it had been Khomeini who had been trying to bring down The Shah and The Shah had then played along with pretending that he was giving in and saying he would be exiling himself all the while planning to murder Khomeini at the last minute. That was reinforced too by the behaviour from The Shah following the killing of the returning exiled ayatollah when he at once went back on the promises made to the National Front leadership – they weren’t in fact promises, he said – and decided to stay to take charge of the situation following the assassination. Prime Minister Bakhtiar was asked to resign and when he refused, standing up to The Shah who wasn’t used to dealing with such behaviour, he was fired then arrested. Sanjabi complained about this: another arrest. The leading religious figures in the form of Shariatmadari and Taleghani were both targeted for arrest too with The Shah claiming that they were supporting the mass of rioting Iranians who were tearing the country apart. They couldn’t be found though. The SAVAK agents sent after them reported back that both men had vanished… there was no suspicion in The Shah that he wasn’t being told the truth on that matter nor that with Sanjabi his arrest had been done in the manner ordered. The Shah was no longer leaving and stayed in Tehran while around him the city was in chaos like most of the country.

The news of the assassination rocked the Iranian people into action. The murder of such a man as Khomeini was too much. They no long protested, they fought. Anyone who wanted to stand in their way regretted it. Almost all of the army shared the mood of the people on this and what members didn’t desert, stepped aside and let the people take out their anger day and night for almost a week. Every symbol of the regime to be found was trashed. Every symbol of the West got the same treatment. They went for the American Embassy – the den of spies – and burnt that down after storming it at night and the Iranian police leading the Americans there away to safety with the crowd in such a state where the lives of the diplomats were in mortal danger. Residences of The Shah were attacked soon enough too with his palaces being looted then burnt out as well. He watched from a helicopter – like he had done through the troubles of last year – when the Niavaran Palace went up in flames. The Shah went to a military base outside of his capital and tried to govern by issuing emergency decrees that no one was taking any notice of. The guard force there started slipping away and there were more SAVAK secret policemen brought in. Every city, every province was in revolt against The Shah and there was no one who wanted to fight for him. He kept on saying that the anger would burn itself out and he would make his case to the people in time. There were politicians he would appoint who would fix things so that the people knew that their ruler had their best interests at heart.

After six days of delusion, and a country in ruin where no one – politicians or religious figures had been able to stop that – was able to stop what happened, there finally come the moment where The Shah was removed from power. The opposition were brought into see him by those among the SAVAK whom he had considered loyal to him personally. The Shah hadn’t before dealt with such people in person due to the effects of the cancer ravaging him and therefore his appearance, but he was made to. They saw the state he was in and there was some compassion… just a little. However, meeting with Sanjabi and Taleghani was something he was forced to do and they told him that he had to abdicate. He could do so in favour of his son or leave the Peacock Throne empty. Either way, he was done. The country had to be saved and it couldn’t be with him there. Go, man, just go!

The Shah took the former option and departed from Iran the next day, heading for Egypt from where his queen hailed from. He left behind quite the mess which wasn’t something that anyone was going to be able to fix with just the news that he was gone, really gone this time.

January 1979:

There was a power vacuum in Iran which came with the departure of The Shah. Sanjabi attempted to fill it with his National Front government where he planned to bring in religious figures too but his authority was challenged from many quarters along with his legitimacy. His position of that of acting prime minister was supported by elements of the SAVAK, the military and what other elements of the government was left: none of these had the support of Islamists, the Tudeh and other small opposition groupings though. Moreover, the people wanted change and the secular National Front wasn’t it. Iranians wouldn’t give their backing to the secularists who were seen (unfairly) as more of the same. To rule Iran, others challenged for that leadership of the country in armed clashes across January.

The army wouldn’t fire on the crowds of people who now came out in support of the extremists. The numbers of protesters weren’t as strong as they had been in December and what was left was generally the hard-core supporters of religious and communist movements who shoved aside moderates, reformers and such like to oppose the military in the few instances when they did stand their ground and instead go after the other side. This was done through the use of armed militias. There were the Islamic Marxist People’s Mujahedin (MEK) who were the biggest but split themselves between support for the Islamists and also non-Tudeh communist groups. The Tudeh had co-opted the Fedai Guerrillas to their side. The Maoist-inspired EMK wanted nothing to do with either of the two big extremist groups and fought them both plus government forces. There were Kurdish nationalists and Kurdish communists. Street thugs were being organised by the Islamists too though they had little organisation and zero discipline. Apart from the latter, who had rather serious dedication to fight in memory of Khomeini, these groups all had access to arms from domestic & foreign sources as well as an established network of support from years of being underground. Their ranks had swelled with army deserters and they fought.

Mid- and late-January saw Iran tear itself further apart with death and destruction. Urban areas saw much guerrilla fighting though across the provinces too there was a lot of trouble. Much of Iran’s oil infrastructure was left in ruin, so too its military capabilities. Human rights abuses were widespread and death squads operated. The government tried to fight fairly and this left them with one hand tied behind their back against others who had no concept of acting in good faith nor following the laws of warfare. Sanjabi himself found himself targeted in an attempted coup d’état which went wrong when certain military officers tried to topple him but when their bomb missed him, they went after each other. Meanwhile, the rebel militias took territory and fought each other while pushing aside government forces who continued to haemorrhage their own numbers. The MEK leadership did an about-turn soon enough and came out in support of the Tudeh when promises were made by the new leader of Iran’s communists in the form of Kianouri who had returned from exile in Eastern Europe: the former Tudeh general secretary Eskandari – who had been opposing Soviet ‘aid’ for some time now – was pushed aside after he wanted to do a deal with the National Front when left aghast at all of the killing. As to the Islamists, their street thugs and what parts of the split MEK they had couldn’t fully fight off the communist militias plus also the Maoists in the EMK who were trying to carve out their own piece of the pie. The Tudeh pushed its nationalist message and this alienated much Kurdish support which could have come their way yet the Kurds fought with the Islamists rather than them.

There was a tilt towards the Tudeh in the support of the people not caught up in the fighting directly. Away from that, where the communists had control, they started to do what The Shah had promised and what the National Front had said they would do too: bring about equality and punish those whose actions were caused injustice to the people. The communists were quick in the propaganda war here as they oversold what little they did but they were doing something where all that had come before had been empty words. Sanjabi was making his statements from Tehran about what he would do, and the Islamists had their own ideas, but the Tudeh were already in action. This mattered. It mattered in so much as there was a near dearth of internal opposition in areas under Tudeh control – that wasn’t the same elsewhere – and when the state military lost soldiers from its ranks, those deserters quickly went over to the communists rather than to anyone else. Unless something dramatic happened, the Tudeh were on course to win.

January 1979:

If Iran had been invaded by an outside force – i.e. the Soviet Union, maybe Iraq – then the United States could have directly intervened. Iran had been undergoing a revolution before the civil war erupted though. President Ford wasn’t about to get his country involved in another internal conflict abroad. The Vietnam War had ended only four years beforehand and the public mood wasn’t there. There was deep concern about Iran’s future, especially with the rise of the communists when before the Islamists had been seen as the danger, but getting involved was off the table. From afar, all that took place was watching with an inability to act to any effect. Kissinger approached the Sanjabi government and asked about the future of Iran under the National Front while also talking of a visit: the latter would be a very bad idea, the US secretary of state was told. There was a rise in oil prices that came with the conflict in Iran, starting back in September, that only got worse when news broke that much of the oil industry had been fought over and what trickle of exports there had come were to cease. As to Americans in-country, the majority of those from the burnt-out embassy departed for Turkey leaving the ambassador and a very small staff at a temporary location in Tehran. Further Americans had left already, including all of those military contractors, as the anti-Western atmosphere inside Iran was deadly for the unlucky. Representatives of arms manufacturers inside the United States had already been bugging congressmen and senators about the future of their contracts for maintenance of existing equipment and the supply of further orders. Arming Iran had been good for many companies and the money tap was certain to be turned off if either the communists or Islamists won. Nothing could be done though by the Ford Administration.

A communist Iran would be good for the Soviet Union. The Politburo was impressed at how far the Tudeh came in such a short space of time. The leading position which they took – supported as they were by KGB assistance in terms of intelligence support and ‘advice’ – happened very fast. Those old men in the Kremlin started to look upon Iran as their revolution, one which they had created by getting rid of the Persian Trotsky who had been Khomeini. Taking credit like they did, they wanted to do more to ensure the signs of success being shown paid off. Earlier hesitancy was pushed aside. Iran offered countless opportunities to ensure the security of the Soviet Union as well as the spread of Soviet influence elsewhere in the Middle East now that Iraq had shown a friendliness too. There was still concern over America and whether they would get involved but there were no signs that they would do so. A panel of economists submitted a requested report to the Politburo when it came to what the future would hold in regard to oil exports and how those would fill state coffers following events in Iran. The Politburo was pleased. The Soviet Union was already on its way to becoming a leading exporter of hydrocarbons – oil and gas – to fill the needs of the greedy West who paid in hard currency. Now with the damage done in Iran but also fears of Western shipping in the Persian Gulf despite that stretch of water having not seen violence, the West would want more. The demand was there and there was the oil available. However, the Politburo questioned the right method to fill that demand. Was it wise to keep giving the West what it wanted at a low price when they wanted so much? Surely it made better sense to charge them more and gently restrict the flow. Not too much of either, just a little. That was something to think about. These would usually be the concerns of the despised capitalists but the communist leadership in Moscow was starting to think like them too.

February 1979:

It was all about pragmatism. What was left of the forces of the state had forced out The Shah when he tried to stay in Iran. Those in uniform, the army and the secret police, came to the same conclusion when it came to abandoning Sanjabi and his National Front in favour of the Tudeh. The country was being destroyed by those in charge and this just had to come to an end. By going over to the communists, the intention was to assist them in finish off the last of the opposition from the Islamists and put an end to the civil war. February 3rd saw SAVAK agents arrest Sanjabi – once again! – and detain his ineffective ministers. There were snatch and/or kill missions against several leading figures in the Islamist movement too with military leaders from there being sought as well rather than their political masters. For years, The Shah had used the SAVAK against the Tudeh and they had been ruthless in their crushing of the communists. Now, the secret police were on their side. Information had been passed from Tudeh figures on the Islamists as well for them to act. As can be imagined, this didn’t sit too well with many in the SAVAK as they were smart enough to realise the links between the Tudeh and the KGB with this. There were fears over their own personal future under the communists with not all trusting the promises made to cement the alliance when the threat of Moscow loomed. Some SAVAK personnel had links with other intelligence organisations abroad such as the CIA and Mossad: there were physical defections and defections in-place where these concerns were passed on to those abroad of how the revolution and subsequent civil war had been covertly subverted from Moscow.

The fighting inside Iran continued with the communist militias taking it right to the Islamists as they got their government off their back and well as more propaganda moves. The message of nationalism – long a Tudeh strategy – was pushed and pushed again. There was talk of a referendum with the participation of the people in deciding the future of Iran with regards to its government and the departed monarchy once the Tudeh had won… there were only a few questions on how that was supposed to be impartial! Jobs were promised for all of those in Iran out of work and land reform was to come too. The influx of soldiers and especially heavy weapons when the army went over to the communists allowed them to score many more victories against the Islamists. More importantly, it allowed them to scatter that opposition and leave areas not under communist control with the inability to support each other. They would be picked off one by one like this.

Outside of the country, there was the continued international crisis with regards to oil prices. The disruption from the Iranian civil war was mainly one of panic and perceptions rather than reality. Iran was a big exporter yet other countries were producing oil. The actual gap in the market was small. However, the fear was there that the prices were going to keep going up. This was being taken advantage of by the unscrupulous too. In the United States, there were memories of 1973 and the oil shock then. The country had price caps for domestic consumption and there was no need to panic, Ford told the American people when speaking on the subject of Iran, yet far too many did and there was panic buying in places. Elsewhere, Western Europe wasn’t happy either with leaders from Britain, France and West Germany – Prime Minister Callaghan, President d’Estaing and Chancellor Schmidt – meeting in a summit on Iran and agreeing to halt another oil crisis from hitting the Continent as had been the case six years before. Measures were to be taken to calm the panic in the short-term and in the long-term diversify sources of oil for domestic consumption. There was an agreement too that they didn’t want to become reliant on Soviet oil too because even while that may be convenient, there were political considerations on that matter. Whether Western Europe would remain committed to this line on dealing with Soviet oil in the future, was another matter though.

February 1979:

A further conflict in another part of the world erupted at the same time as the civil war in Iran was ongoing. This came in South East Asia where Chinese demands that Vietnam withdraw from Cambodia were ignored and so China rose to the challenge presented by its smaller southern neighbour. China’s Paramount Leader, Deng Xiaoping, informed Kissinger that the ‘naughty children need a spanking’ and that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would be the ones to give them that. The resulting conflict was about more than just that though. China’s hostility towards Vietnam came with the latter country’s occupation of islands within the South China Sea which the former claimed as their own as well as the ties between Hanoi and Moscow which aggravated tensions between Beijing and Moscow following on from the Sino-Soviet Split ten years beforehand. Deng wanted to show the Vietnamese that Moscow couldn’t protect them and believed that that could be done with an armed conflict.

The PLA went over the border into the northern part of Vietnam. Chinese soldiers marched onwards into Vietnamese territory and engaged defending forces. There had been a rise in tensions preceding the incursion and much of Vietnam’s professional forces had pulled back leaving behind them militia units. PLA attempts to steamroll this defence worked in some ways but not in others. The Chinese got a bloody nose as they drove onwards and reinforced their initial forces with follow-on troops. Difficult and bloody fighting took place with the Chinese eventually making the breakthrough which they wanted to though at a high cost. By the end of the month, they had started to close in upon Hanoi with the threat presented to the Vietnamese capital. Deng was waiting for Vietnam to withdraw troops from Cambodia to come northwards to defend their capital. China had the manpower to fight them when they came forward though there was no intention to actually go into Hanoi or make a deep strike far inside Vietnam. The conflict had limited goals for Deng which were linked to what was going on along the long border between China and the Soviet Union too.

The Soviets were informed of the Chinese intention to attack Vietnam and practically dared to do anything about it. The PLA had mobilised and deployed more than a million troops along the Soviet frontier. Deng informed Andropov that China would fight the Soviet Army if it crossed over the border: the PLA had done so in 1969 and would do so again. When the Politburo’s sub-committee that was the Defence Council met to discuss Deng’s behaviour, there was a lot of anger and a willingness to rise to the Chinese challenge. However, Andropov found himself angry soon enough at another matter: the inability of the country’s armed forces to rise to the challenge that China presented along the border as well as down in Vietnam. Soviet forces were able to fend off a Chinese attack, he was told, but to go into China would mean making substantial mobilisations and take a long time to prepare for: a war in China would be costly… to put it mildly. As to assisting Vietnam, that was difficult to do. Soviet forces weren’t directly able to assist in defence and while there was an ability to send supplies and military hardware, it was a long journey which would take too much time to see any impact made. Deng had outfoxed Moscow. He’d stalked out his position and struck at the right time with plenty of consideration going into what he had done. To do anything about this at the minute was impossible. It was going to be a lesson learnt though, one with far-ranging considerations for the future. Meanwhile, the fighting in Vietnam continued.

March 1979:

Deng had been clever though not clever enough. The Soviets were wrong-footed in response to him having the PLA go into Vietnam but the Vietnamese weren’t. The Third Indochina War didn’t go exactly as planned. Vietnamese regular troops stayed outside of Hanoi and back from the fighting leaving it to forward, lighter militia units. Deng wasn’t willing to send the PLA onwards into an even more bloody fight than had already been encountered. An announcement was made that the mission had been achieved, the gates to Hanoi were open and China had done in Vietnam what it intended to do. A withdrawal was ordered and the PLA started pulling out. Their retrograde manoeuvre took them back north towards the border though they came to a stop inside small slivers of territory long held by Vietnam and what China had always claimed to be their own. Now that claim was enforced with PLA troops encamped there. Vietnam claimed a victory had been won and the country defended. The invasion had been repelled and the Chinese had been beaten like the French and the Americans before them. Much was made in announcements from Hanoi of the deliberate ruin caused by the PLA’s scorched earth policy that was adopted during that ‘retreat’ made too with infrastructure levelled, livestock taken and punitive destruction.

The Soviets hadn’t been able to help Vietnam in time though afterwards, starting in March, they begun the process of establishing themselves inside Vietnam to help protect their fraternal socialist state in the future. Cam Ranh Bay, the air and naval facility on the coast, was opened up to Soviet forces. This was a facility built by the Americans during their stay in what was then South Vietnam: the Soviets now took over, grateful for all that the United States had done here. Early work started at once to make it a fully-fledged Soviet military base. Aircraft would be flying from here and warships based at the Cam Ranh Base for many years to come.

March 1979:

The Islamists had several centres of continued resistance inside Iran and the city of Qom was the largest of those. Qom was where Khomeini had been heading after his arrival in Tehran – where he met with those bullets – with the belief being among many that he intended to set up a Vatican-style city state there: the KGB had known different though. The Persian Trotsky was dead and his followers were fewer in number than they had been before the civil war started. Army deserters to their side had dried up and many of their fighters from the breakaway factions of the MEK had gone back to their parent organisation when that long-establish guerrilla group had fully sided with the communists. What defenders Qom did have were motivated enough to fight though there was a chronic lack of real military leadership. KGB advisers with the Tudeh suggested that focus should be directed towards Qom now rather than elsewhere to other scattered areas of Islamist resistance. The propaganda value of taking it would be immense.

So to Qom the war came. Army units assisted with heavy weapons employed – artillery mainly though some tanks – though the real fighting was done by MEK and Fedai militias joined by men from the newly-raised Revolutionary Guards. It took two and a half weeks to root out the last of the resistance. Casualty numbers were over twelve thousand including many civilians caught up in the fighting. When it was over, Qom was in the hands of the Tudeh-led government. Other pockets of opposition across the country, those held by Islamists and the Maoists in the EMK, plus Kurdish areas too, would be next on the list to be overcome unless they were willing to accept the new order in Iran.

Matt Wiser 10-09-2018 08:20 PM

Glad to see this one....another take on the Red Dawn (1984) timeline.

lordroel 10-10-2018 10:49 PM


Originally Posted by Matt Wiser (Post 79589)
Glad to see this one....another take on the Red Dawn (1984) timeline.

Yep, it is written by one of the members of Alternate Timelines, currently now in year 1984 with full war in North America and China.

lordroel 01-04-2019 01:36 PM

Soviet Domination - A Red Dawn story has ended, read the full complete timeline: Soviet Domination - STORY ONLY thread

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