Baath Party ◦ Party of Saddam Hussein ◦ Characteristics ◦ Secular group Non-religious government ◦ Uses oil money for government projects ◦ Hussein begins to eliminate opponents
Baath Party gains control of Iraq in 1963 1968 Saddam takes part in coup ◦ Named deputy to the new president ◦ Becomes deputy chairman of Baathist Revolutionary Command Council
Progressive politician ◦ Modernized Iraqi economy ◦ State welfare and development programs ◦ Oversaw seizure of oil interests
1976 ◦ Saddam becomes general in Iraqi armed forces ◦ Took increasing role as face of government ◦ Architect of foreign policy ◦ De facto leader until 1979 July 16 1979 officially assumes presidency of Iraq
Causes ◦ Border disputes ◦ Fear of Shiite revolution Saddam was Sunni Feared impact of Iranian revolution Ayatollah Khomeini and Iranians were Shiite ◦ Iraq wanted to assert itself as dominant Arab nation
Goals for Iraq ◦ Remove Iranian leaders ◦ Gain oil and land Wanted access to Persian Gulf ◦ Make Saddam a national hero
September 22, 1980 ◦ Iraqi forces invade Iran War lasts 8 years ◦ Oil fields and oil tankers attacked ◦ Mines placed in Persian Gulf ◦ 1987 – US Navy sends ships to protect tankers
Long, brutal war ◦ use of chemical weapons on both sides ◦ more than a million combined deaths
Several billion dollars in aid Sale of dual use technology ◦ Technology used for both peaceful and military aims Weapons Military Intelligence Special Operations training Why would the US support Iraq?
Anti-Iranian sentiments Oil interests Desire to promote stability in both Persian Gulf and Middle East
Results in a Stalemate, UN cease- fire in 1988 U.S. puts sanctions on Iraq and decreases its support b/c of human rights violations What next?