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The Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s.Whom did the U.S Support what Role did They Play - Essay Example

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Summary
The Iran-Iraq war began in 1980 and lasted for eight years. Originally it was known as the Persian Gulf War before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent defeat by American forces became known by this name. There were many factors that lead to the outbreak of war between these two powerful states in the Middle East…
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The Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s.Whom did the U.S Support what Role did They Play

Download file to see previous pages... As a result, many of the people living along the channel were Arabs, not Persians. Sadaam Hussein, the leader of Iraq, claimed that this area should be a part of his country because of the historical connection to Iraq and the ethnic identity of the inhabitants. Iran saw right through this and accused Iraq of trying to control the shipping lanes. Iraq began to charge tolls on ships coming out of the channel, but the Iranian’s would not comply (Willett, 2004). Iraq invaded and tried to take over the land on either side of the river. This was one economic reason for the war. The second economic reason Iraq started the war was to try to get at Iran’s oil reserves. They realized that if they could control this much oil, they would become the most powerful and important Arab state along the Persian Gulf. They would be a rival to the powerful Saudi’s to their south and would be able to easily trade with Russia and India to the east. Iraq wanted to get their hands on Iranian oil. This was the second economic reason for the war. One ideological reason the war started came from the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979. Iran is a country dominated by Shiite followers of Islam. In many countries, including Iraq, Shiites are considered to be second-class citizens. They only make-up about 10% of Muslims worldwide, so they are often a persecuted minority. In Iraq and Iran, Shiites are actually a majority. The Iraqi government suppressed the majority Shiites. The Islamic Revolution in Iran started to encourage Shiites in Iraq to rise-up against the government (Arjomand, 1989). This revolution said that it was up to Shiite believers to rise up and take power so Islam could be taken to all the world. The Iraqi’s did not like this, so they started to protest against the Iranians to the League of Arab States. Nothing was resolved. The ideology of Islamic Revolution was a major factor in the start of the Iran-Iraq War. Another ideological reason that led to the Iran-Iraq War was the capture of the islands of Abu Musa, Greater and Lesser Tumb (Amirahmadi, 1996). Persian and Arab forces had disputed these islands for many years. The Iranians took them from the newly formed United Arab Emirates in 1971. Arabs in the Persian Gulf region regarded this as a modern version of Persian aggression. Iran had stated in the past their ideological desire to restore the borders of the old Persian Empire. Iraq started a war with Iran in response to this ideology. The United States had an important role in this conflict for both Iran and Iraq. Before the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the leader of Iran bought lots of weapons such as tanks, artillery and fighter jets from the United States. During the revolution, American citizens were held hostage in the American embassy in Tehran. This event caused the United States to cut off all trade ties with the Iranians. The United States refused to supply the Iranians with machinery and replacement parts for their equipment during the war. As a result, the Iranian army was weakened until they could figure-out a way to buy weapons from other countries. They eventually turned to Russia for much of their weapons. The United States was more directly involved in supplying the Iranians with weapons (El, Azhary, 1984). Iraq had grown wealthy from oil revenue. They decided to spend lots of money on jets, tanks and bombers. The United Stat ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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