The loss of Iran in 1979 cost the United States a strategic foothold in the Middle East, a loss it never recovered from. Losing a NATO ally that borders the Black Sea, Aegean Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Balkans, Caucasus, Iran, Iraq, and Syria—would be tantamount to serving all these strategic regions on a silver plate to Russia.
It is a luxury Washington cannot afford.
Harun Karčić is a journalist and political analyst based in Sarajevo covering foreign influences in the Balkans. He tweets @HarunKarcic