Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. The Iran-Contra Affair was a secret U. The controversial dealmaking—and the ensuing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of neighboring Kuwait in early August Alarmed by these actions, fellow Arab powers such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt called on the United States and other Western nations to intervene.
Hussein defied United On November 4, , a group of Iranian students stormed the U. Embassy in Tehran, taking more than 60 American hostages. On October 6, , hoping to win back territory lost to Israel during the third Arab-Israeli war, in , Egyptian and Syrian forces launched a coordinated attack against Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Taking the Israeli Defense Forces by Following years of diplomatic friction and skirmishes between Israel and its neighbors, Israel Defense Forces launched preemptive air strikes that The United States and Iran have never been at war, but by imposing unilateral sanctions, the U.
But ironically, the reason Iran has the technology to build these weapons in the first place is because the U. This nuclear assistance was part of After demanding Russian evacuation of the Danubian Principalities, British and French forces laid siege to the city of Sevastopol in The campaign lasted for The Persian Empire is the name given to a series of dynasties centered in modern-day Iran that spanned several centuries—from the sixth century B.
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Iraq -- Military policy. Related Articles. Perhaps attempting to see if he could make the world blink first, Saddam refused to withdraw Iraqi forces from Kuwait, leading to a Western and allied Arab military buildup in the region. The United States wished to both keep Iran away from Soviet influence and protect other Gulf states from any threat of Iranian expansion. Foreign Policy.
Iran-Iraq War. Coalition Forces in Iraq.
American Hostages Released from Iran. Take the war in Syria.
How will it end? How can it be ended, when the participants themselves show no sign of being ready to end it? The Iran-Iraq War offers as useful a case study as any in how conflicts begin and are brought to an end.
The new republic had also become isolated internationally as a result of the US hostage crisis. By contrast, Iraq, while vulnerable on a number of fronts, was gathering strength with the help of Arab and Western support. Yet the war was brought to an end, and what clinched it, Pierre Razoux argues in his new history of the conflict, was the Soviet decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. This made possible a rapprochement between Tehran and Moscow, which the Soviets were eager to achieve, afraid that a defeat for Iran would permit the US to extend its influence in the Gulf.
According to Razoux, Reagan and Gorbachev agreed that if the Soviets put pressure on Iran to end the conflict, Washington would persuade Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to facilitate the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. The broader point is that no headway can be made in negotiations for peaceful settlement of local conflicts until the international context allows for it.
Perspectives Report: Saddam's Senior Leadership on Operation Iraqi. Freedom . Iraq War • transition of Iranian leadership and Military • decision to Invade. The first volume, Saddam's War: An Iraqi Military Perspective of the Iran-. Iraq War, contained interviews with Lieutenant General Ra'ad Hamdani, a former Iraqi .
It is heartening that, despite their significant differences, both Russia and the US are now sponsoring an inclusive process to end the war in Syria. In Iran , the experience of the war still reverberates.
A great deal continues to be written about military and strategic decision-making during the war. Yet the Iranian debate, while valuable, is limited. Controlled by the Revolutionary Guard war research centre, it overemphasises military strategy, highlights the heroism of Iranian soldiers, and reflects a very particular perspective, based as it is on a daily record thirty thousand cassette tapes of wartime discussions between commanders.
In Iraq, the study of history is hardly a priority now, with its middle class severely damaged by two wars Iran then the first Gulf War , 13 years of crippling UN sanctions, then the second Gulf War and the mayhem ensuing that continues to this day. What remains of the educated elite is just trying to get by, or trying to leave. US military researchers debriefed Iraqi generals after , but their views are useful only in relation to wartime decision-making and operational matters; some of their more outrageous claims about the regime, or about Iran or the Kurds, went unchallenged by their questioners, who appeared knowledgeable about individual battles but clearly had little or no understanding of the political and historical context in which they took place.
The Kurds themselves, who chose Iran as their ally in an attempt to free themselves from the Iraqi yoke and suffered grievously in consequence, have undertaken very little historical inquiry, with the exception of a few autobiographical accounts.
So we have reason to be grateful to Razoux, who between chapters zooms out of the battlefield to focus on the international power struggles and diplomacy that helped shape various confrontations in the war. What emerges is that the mindsets driving state policy in Iran and Iraq today, or the actions of sub-state actors, including Islamic State, are largely rooted in the instincts that propelled the war in the s. Persian, Sunni v. Shia, secular v. Each side drew on its religious traditions in its propaganda, using a coded language that would be clearly understood by the other, and was meant to injure.
Battles deriving from the seventh-century schism between Sunni and Shia continue to be waged in the popular imagination.
There have been long historical periods of peaceful commingling and extensive intermarriage. Rafsanjani was the gregarious son of wealthy pistachio farmers, Khamenei the ascetic product of a Shia theological seminary. As the war drew to a conclusion, he made sure that his mentor, Khomeini, took the responsibility for ending it, thereby securing his own political survival. By contrast, Khamenei alternately supported and opposed continuing the war, making sure never to contradict the Supreme Leader.
Razoux may be correct when he says that Rafsanjani made the only mistake of his long political career by allowing Khamenei to succeed Khomeini, giving him the last word on all major decisions. As a result, over time, Rafsanjani has largely been sidelined, though this has done little to temper his ambition or cramp his ability to promote his disciples, including the current president, Hassan Rouhani.
They belong to the political wing that, while wanting to preserve the revolution and the regime it produced, sees the value of opening Iran up to the outside world — an approach Khamenei fears will be the beginning of the end. The use of militias to counteract established state institutions as a way of protecting the Islamic Revolution is a model that Iran is replicating today in Lebanon Hizbullah , Iraq the Popular Mobilisation Forces and Syria the National Defence Forces.
Once the Iraqi nuclear threat had been removed by the Israeli strike on the Osirak reactor in June , Iran no longer felt the need to pursue a nuclear path. The war ended without Iran having deployed these weapons. The decision to pursue nuclear weapons is primarily rooted in fear and can only be adequately addressed by a building of trust. In this respect, the US and Iran still have a long way to go.
But Iran argues that Western states have no business throwing their weight around in the Middle East, that Western military interventions, rather than solving problems, have created a whole host of new ones, and that the root cause of instability — the failure to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict — remains unaddressed. What Iran leaves unsaid is that one of its primary motivations is its need for a corridor through Syria to its principal ally, Hizbullah in Lebanon. As for Iraq, Iran has an abiding interest in seeing a nominally friendly Shia-dominated government in Baghdad, presiding over a weak state in no position to threaten its neighbour.
But Iran suffered the most, its income reduced by a half or even two thirds in a very short time.