The eight year Iran-Iraq War was, by the standards of international conflicts, a very long one. It lasted longer than both World War I and World War II. In this conflict, the two most powerful states in the Persian Gulf, Iran and Iraq, who were the world’s largest producers of petroleum, were locked in mortal combat and appeared intent on destroying each other. The war began when Iraq invaded Iran, simultaneously launching an invasion by air and land into Iranian territory on September 1980 and ended with a United Nations brokered ceasefire in 1988.
The causes of the war are deeply rooted in the ideology and ambitions of the leaders of the countries to gain and maintain control over internal and regional politics, as well as by concerns over internal security, which was tied with notions of nationalism and territorial boundaries. The personal ambitions of the leaders concerned the issues of consolidation of their political power at home and projecting an image of strength in the region that would assure dominance over neighboring countries. Saddam Hussein, during the mid-1970s, had formally secured his position as leader of Iraq. His regime was fundamentally secular, though he did sometimes try to appeal to the religious sentiments of all the Iraqis. Saddam envisioned himself as a great leader and modernizer who would make Iraq into the leading state in the Middle East. During this time, Iraq’s primary competition for regional dominance was its neighbor Iran, and Iran seemed vulnerable because of the Iranian revolution, which was occurring at this period of time, that had not yet ended. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was still in the process of being the unchallenged Iranian leader, but he had not yet ...
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...4. "Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)." GlobalSecurity.org - Reliable Security Information. Web. 09 May 2011.
5. Karsh, Efraim (2002). The Iran–Iraq War, 1980–1988. Osprey Publishing. p. 22.
6. Levy, Jack S., and William R. Thompson. Causes of War. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
7. "The Iran Iraq War and WMD." Conservative Blogs, Websites and News Media. Web. 09 May 2011.
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9. Workman, Thom. THE SOCIAL ORIGINS OF THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR. Mar. 1991. Web.
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