Presentation on theme: "Causes. Who started the Iran-Iraq war? What were the causes of the Iran-Iraq War? How long did it last? What were the Foreign influence in the."— Presentation transcript:
Who started the Iran-Iraq war? What were the causes of the Iran-Iraq War? How long did it last? What were the Foreign influence in the war? How many died?
Iraq's foreign minister, Sa'adoun Hammadi, (1981) "The problem is neither new nor simple. It goes back over 460 years of history.” traditional rivalry - both powers attempting to impose their hegemony on the Gulf region
Hegemony is the political, economic, ideological or cultural power exerted by a dominant group over other groups, regardless of the explicit consent of the latter.
The Shah saw himself as the sole guardian of Gulf security. (1971)”I believe that the Persian Gulf must always be kept open - under Iranian protection - for the benefit of not only my country but the other Gulf countries and the world…after the British withdrawal from the Gulf, the safety and security of the area had to be guaranteed, who but Iran could fulfil this function?” Repeated attempts to make regional military alliances with monarchy/US allied states in the Gulf
Iranian forces took over control of the three islands at the mouth of the Gulf (Abu Mousa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs) in 1971 Iraq: Iran's massive military modernization program in the 1970s = expansionism at the expense of the Arab neighbors
Claims to sovereignty over Bahrain were renewed (Encouraged) entire population of the Gulf states in general, to stage "Iranian-style" Islamic revolutions
Iraq's Ba'athist ideology: Pan-Arabism resulted in Iraq’s desire for Arab leadership Seeks to unify those Arabs within the boundaries of one Arab nation-state "from the Gulf to the Ocean Present political boundaries as temporary and artificial and foreign inspired and imposed. Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel in 1979 – leadership vacuum in Arab world. ◦ Iraq saw an opportunity to become “undisputed leader of the Arab world”
Khuzestan – large Arab population enclave in Iran. ◦ Iraq supports secessionist movements ◦ “Arabistan which is part of Iraq's soil and was annexed to Iran during foreign rule” ◦ Renaming Iran cities with Arabic names and inclusion of province in Iraqi maps (Nasiriyyah) ◦ Iraqi agents and radio activitly calling for revolt ◦ Most oil rich province in Iran
70,000 Iraqis of (questionable) Iranian origin were forceable expelled in 1971
Pre-World War 1 – Desire for independent state After World War 1, Kurds found themselves divided between five countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the Soviet Union) Kurdish nationalist goal = sovereignty and political integrity of the regional states would be undermined Iraq is the most vulnerable and volatile since the Kurds constitute a full 20% of the population, a much higher percentage than in any of the other states
Result - guerilla warfare and rebellion have broken out since the 1920s in Iraq Iraqi Kurdistan - main source of oil revenue ◦ “ to give up the region was considered tantamount to committing economic suicide” The Shah's Iran actively supported the Kurdish rebellion ◦ financially, ◦ politically – appealed to international community, ◦ Militarily – base of operation, military training, and supplied with arms, ammunitions and logistics.
Iran was supporting Shi'i elements in Iraq and encouraging them to stage a take- over of politics; and Iraq was supporting ethnic unrest in Khozestan and Baluchistan, in addition to Kurdistan
Discuss how a causation link could be made between the ethnic issues and the start of war between Iraq and Iran
Since 17 th seventeenth century - subject of political confrontation and negotiations “characteristic of the Iran-Iraq relationship is a tendency to unilaterally abrogate treaties which no longer seem to serve the interests of the stronger party.” “Iran's politics since the 1600s have been marked by an obsession with seeking at least partial, if not full, control over the Gulf” Iran repeatedly traded northern territory for more concessions along the Shatt
Iraq's longest border is with Iran. Narrow waterway formed by the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers 120 miles long
◦ Only outlet for Iraq/ important Iranian port of Khorramshahr ◦ Part of the Khuzistan province which is the major oil producing area for Iran (Arabic speaking)
1847: Treaty of Erzerum: gave sovereignty of the water way to the Ottomans. 1932: Britain gives all of the water to the new state Iraq. Disputed by Iran 1937 Agreement: Unimpeded Iranian access to the water way 1969: Iran unilaterally annuls the 1937 agreement. ◦ Begins support of Kurdish separatist movements 1975 Algiers Agreement
Mid-point of the waterway will serve as the dividing line between the two states Iran and US will stop supporting the Kurdish uprising Iran was to compensate territorially with 400 square kilometers in the central Ahwaz zone Commissions were established to redraw the boundary lines ◦ The work not complete when the Iranian Revolution started Iranian leaders expressed their intentions to export their revolution to neighboring countries Renewed fighting in Kurdish areas and revolution support in AlDa'wa Party – Hussein viewed as violation of treaty Agreement publically torn up by Hussein 5 days before invasion
Dispute lead to series of minor military exchanges along border that were increasing in intensity.
How could a territorial dispute cause a conflict when there was a diplomatic agreement four years earlier?
Historical disputes over the legitimacy and authenticity of theology in following the "true" religion 1420s traditional rivalry intensified and formalized politically ◦ Safawi (Safavide) dynasty established in Persia rebelling against O.E ◦ Established Shi'ism as the state religion “The Iranian Revolution revived an inter- Islamic rivalry that had been dormant for centuries between Sunni and Shi'i elements”
Concept of vilayat-e faqih – Khomeini as Imam Iraq, Bahrain and Gulf states threat from Iranian- inspired secessionist movements among their Shi'i populations or political Islamic communities Exportation of the revolution ◦ Monarchy system “un-Islamic” “Western” ◦ Nationalism (including Arab nationalism) is part of an imperialist conspiracy which aims at destroying the Islamic Umma (nation)
The Ba'ath Party: secularist but not atheistic, Arabs not all Muslims – Arab nation is a mix of different religious orientations. Religion in its proper perspective, side-by- side with other considerations Hussein: “Khomeini is a mad mullah seeking personal power and to return Iran to the 'dark ages'."
Iranian population 80% Shi'i and Iraqi Shi'is more than 50% Iraqi Baath Party policy of “marginalizing and delegitimizing the Shia majority” Ayatollah Khomeini had developed a network in Iraq during his time in exile in Iraq Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Baqr al Sadr inspirational leader - was known to be a personal friend and a protege of Ayatollah Khomeini. J July 1979 riots broke out in An Najaf and in Karbala Ad Dawah al Islamiyah (the Islamic Call) Assassination attempts (Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz – only non-Muslim Minister) followed by number of attempted assassinations of government officials Executions of Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Baqr al Sadr
◦ Fear over the spread of Khomeini revolutions ◦ Riots in Bahrain, ◦ Bombings in Kuwait ◦ Violent seize of Grand Mosque in Mecca: November 20 - December 4, 1979
Khomeini : “We are fighting to protect Islam and he [Saddam Hussein] is fighting to destroy Islam. At the moment, Islam is completely confronted by blasphemy, and you should protect and support Islam”
Iran’s military destabilized by revolution ◦ Nearly all officers with ranks above colonel were eliminated ◦ Desertion rateshigh among the regular military personnel ◦ Replaced with Revolutionary Guard ◦ Iraq large military of 190,000 men, with 2,200 tanks and 450 aircrafts – Soviet supplied
Iranian economy was in a shambles ◦ Shortages and oil production virtually halted ◦ inflation and unemployment ran high International diplomatic cover: ◦ Radical student elements were holding Americans hostage in their own embassy ◦ International unease over “radical state” ◦ US elections, Afghanistan, Poland issues Unclear leadership ◦ Assembly of Experts (split between moderates/Parliamentarians (Freedom Movement) and the Council of the Islamic Republic, 12 member Council of Guardians and the “Hidden Iman” ◦ Kurds and leftists openly rebelling
Anticipated support of ethnic minorities war with limited military objectives – goal of destablizing and toppling Iranian government while still keeping ease of supply lines
“Iraq's leaders chose an excellent moment to attack Iran. “
Both leaders recently in power Khomeini Feb 1979 Hussein purging of the Baath Party July 1979
Iran challenges from moderates and the radical Islamic socialist In process of writing and modifying the constitution Bani-Sader elected as first President (committed to concept of a secular government Tensions with the United States over Embassy hostage crisis and attempted rescue
US Anti US rhetoric and hostage crisis in Iran Loss of major ally in Iran – double ally policy in the Middle East
Iran: The beginning of the war as September 22, 1980, the day the Iraqi forces crossed the Iranian borders by land, sea and air Iraq: September 4, 1980, when the Iranians pounded several civilian, economic and military targets in the Shatt al-Arab area ◦ Iran had placed its military forces on high military alert (April – following assiassination attempt and A; Sadr’s execution) ◦ “preemptive action in self-defense”
Using your understanding of Iran and Iraq hegemony, Explain the following historical conclusion: During the 1970’s Ba'ath and Khomeini had a marriage of convenience
THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR: CAUSES AND ORIGINS OF THE WAR by: Ahmed H. El-Afandi 270/iran-iraq-war.htm