The Search for Cyrus the Great, Alternate History Scenario, late May 2014.
A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for the EC2003 Battle for the IOPG Battleset and the HCDB-130818 1980-2015 Platform Database.
Image: source Wikipedia. Iranian F-14A. 2008-04-14 18:09 taked by Amirmgh. This picture is taken in an exhibition in Tehran.
This scenario is designed to be played mainly from the Blue/US side. You should play many times first the Blue side to avoid spoilers, and only later play the Red/Imperial Islamic Iran side.
On November 27, 1978, when visiting San Francisco a few days away from his long and mild Paris exile, in a meeting deeply impressed and touched by the stringent gay rights ordinance for the city, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini besides the Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated at the City Hall by former Supervisor Dan White.
As consequence, the 1979 Islamic Revolution not happened, and the old Shah keeps in power to 1988, when forced by the people abdicated in favour of his son Reza.
The Soviet/Russian occupation of Afghanistan lasted only to 1985 because the strong Shah support to the anti-Soviet not-Islamist Afghans. And in support of the Shah, the United States does generous weapons transfers, keeping Iran as the Persian Gulf Guardian. With a stronger Iran, the Iraq-Iran War neither happened, and Saddam Hussein keeps in power in 2014.
Aside the planned weapons programs, in 1978 the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42) was not scrapped, she was transferred to Iran to be renamed Darius the Great. After a long and painful conversion process, to almost the level of the USS Midway SCB-110.66 conversion, she was recommissioned in 1986 and employed mostly for training. After, in 1988 and because the Darius the Great was too small to operate the F-14A Tomcat the Imperial Iranian Navy want to operate and in service previously in the Imperial Iranian Air Force, the United States transferred Iran the USS Forrestal (CV-59) and was renamed Cyrus the Great. It was possible because after the Afghanistan debacle in 1985 and the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident the Soviet Union was dissolved a few years earlier than in our timeline, on 1987, and the US Navy can ride out of some carriers.
But from 1988 the problems begun in Iran. As in our timeline violent Islamic movements spread all the planet as consequence of the lack of balance between two hyperpowers and the multiplicity of power poles. And in Iran turmoils and rampant Islamism forced the old Shah to resign, abdicating on his elder son Reza, formed as fighter pilot in the West.
The new state entity of Imperial Islamic Iran survives from 1989 to 2014 with a very difficult balance between Imperial and Islamic traditions, keeping the Pahlavi dynasty nominally on power and with the clerics supporting Islamic terrorist groups worldwide. But directly this politic almost isolated Iran, and was punished with successive weapons embargoes from 1990. The Imperial Islamic Iranian Armed Forces now are not state of art as in the 1970s, but count with some semi-clandestine support from China, India and Israel.
And when from February 21, 2014, erupted multiple crises in Ukraine, Baltic States (well staged by President Putin) and China, and in front of the feeble and hesitating Obama Administration, Iran saw his opportunity as a major player.
Iran menaces to close the Persian Gulf with his carrier force and control the oil flow with very superior power to previous historical attempts.
Some days before, pressed by Iran, the Gulf minor States forced the Western forces to quit Al Dafhra and the other Persian Gulf bases.
With his forces divided between Europe and the Far East, only the isolated small Bush CVBG with very little support from Camp Lemmonier in Djibouti and some occasional SSN can prevent the Persian Gulf blockade.
Enrique Mas, May 13, 2014.