Iran–Iraq War  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Iran-Iraq War was an armed conflict between Iran and Iraq lasting from 22 September 1980, when Iraq invaded Iran, to August 1988. The war followed a long history of border disputes, and was motivated by fears that the Iranian Revolution in 1979 would inspire insurgency among Iraq's long-suppressed Shi'ite majority, as well as Iraq's desire to replace Iran as the dominant Persian Gulf state. Iraq planned to annex the oil-rich Khuzestan Province and the east bank of the Shatt al-Arab.

Although Iraq hoped to take advantage of Iran's revolutionary chaos and attacked without formal warning, it made only limited progress into Iran and was quickly repelled; Iran regained virtually all lost territory by June 1982. For the next six years, Iran was on the offensive.

The conflict has been compared to World War I in terms of the tactics used, including large-scale trench warfare with barbed wire stretched across trenches, manned machine gun posts, bayonet charges, "human wave attacks," extensive use of chemical weapons by Iraq, and later deliberate attacks on civilian targets. The world powers United States and the Soviet Union, together with France and most Arab countries provided support for Iraq, while Iran was largely isolated. After eight years of war, war-weariness, lack of international sympathy as Iraq was targeting Iranian civilians with weapons of mass destruction, and increasing direct military tension between Iran and the United States eventually led to a UN-brokered ceasefire.

Half a million Iraqi and Iranian soldiers, with an equivalent number of civilians, are believed to have died, with many more injured; however, the war brought neither reparations nor changes in borders. A number of proxy forces participated in the war, most notably the Iranian People's Mujahedin of Iran siding with Ba'athist Iraq and Iraqi Kurdish militias of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan siding with Iran—all suffering a major blow by the end of the conflict. In an effort to recoup following damage caused by the war, Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, only to be repulsed by a US-led coalition in the Persian Gulf War.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Iran–Iraq War" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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