This part is going to be centered on modern-day Iran. Or, that territory that sits where ancient Persia used to sit. The great empire that challenged Greece. The great empire that challenged Rome, often extremely successfully. The country that freed the Hebrew slaves to return from Babylon. The country that instituted the first written charter of human rights to do with free religious worship.
Our tale begins in Afghanistan with the Soviet invasion in 1979. This came out of a blue sky, military speak for there were no clouds, there were no warnings. But suddenly the Soviets invaded the country in support of a Soviet-inclined government. But a government which aroused huge resentments and resistance on the part of many many people in Afghanistan.
If the 1979 Iranian revolution was a turning point in late 20th century history, what followed set the scene for a series of betrayals and revivals of the sort that the Western world could not have envisaged.