Iran War: The Iran War with Iraq took place in the 1980s which began when Iraq decided to invade Iran. The Iran War has often been compared with the brutalities of the First World War, not in terms of the countries fighting it, but in terms of the tactics which were used to fight them.
The war began on 22nd September 1980 and lasted for almost eight years, ending on 20th August 1988. The Iraq-Iran War began when Iraq decided to act upon the territorial dispute violently – by taking over the area of Khuzestan. Khuzestan, being at the border of the two countries towards the Iranian side, consisted mostly of ethnic Arabs, and Iraq claimed certain suzerainty on this land, thus the dispute.
It was on the 22nd of September, 1980, that Iraq first invaded Iran with a more-or-less failed airstrike as it did not do much damage to Iran’s air force. The next day came a ground invasion spanning a front of about 644 kilometres from three different sides, surrounding the concerned troops. A battle on this day at Khorramshahr left thousands of casualties on either side of the war.
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The year 1981 saw the Battle of Dezful and a human wave attack on the side of the Iranians upon falling short of weaponry but holding a surplus of voluntary men. Several operations were carried out by both sides in attempts to outsmart one another and defeat each other in the war, but the war carried forward for six more years even despite this.
In the year 1982, with the support of Ronald Raegan, the American President at the time, Iraq was supplied with weapons, even from France and West Germany, showing great support for Iraq’s motives. 1982 also saw that Saddam Hossein, then President of Iraq, wished to call a ceasefire, but Ruhollah Khomeini (then-Supreme Leader of Iran) refused, only agreeing to the same if the government in Iraq was changed completely.
Over the next five years, the tables turned when Iran began to launch offensive operations against Iraq, and the question was now of not allowing Iran to annexe part of Iraq’s land. The war made a complete about-turn in its final years, as Iraq’s economy was in shambles with the excessive expenditure on military costs.
Towards the end, Iraq had taken in troops from its neighbouring countries which were on its side, and their weaponry outnumbered that of Iran by 6 to 1. Iran continued its human wave attacks, while Iraq built up their offence – at this point, hundreds of thousands of troops had been a part of this war, and most of them were now casualties. Iraq threatened WMDs and so Iran responded with missile attacks, and so it went on until the 20th of August, 1988. It was on this day that both countries signed a ceasefire under the supervision of the United Nations and ended the Iraq-Iran War.
Iraq-Iran War Date and Year | What is the date and year of the Iraq-Iran War?
The Iraq-Iran War date and year begin from 22nd September 1980 and lasted until 20th August 1988. It was a gruesome war where all kinds of tactics and offence techniques were used by both sides. What started as an attack by Iraq on Iran about the territory of Khuzestan turned into many other conflicts over the next near-eight years. With quickly moving defences and offences, the Iraq-Iran War was at the centre-stage of world politics at the time when it took place.
What Were Date and the Year of the Iran War?
The Iran War began on 22nd September 1980 when Iraq landed an airstrike as well as a foot war on the disputed territory of Khuzestan in Iran. The idea of Iraq here was that that land belonged to Iraq, and they had to besiege it from Iran through the power of the force. Iran retaliated in just as powerful a manner as Iraq had attacked, thus, the war went on for almost 8 years, ending on 20th August 1988.
Why Did the Iran War Take Place?
It is a common misconception that Iran is one of the Arabic states when it is not – Iran’s roots lie in that of the Aryan race and not of the Arab world. This is the first thing to understand the main reason why Iraq waged war on Iran. The territory of Khuzestan is a highly oil-rich district that lies on the Iran-Iraq national border, on the Iranian side. Oil is one of the most important resources in the world, meaning that whichever country had access to the most reserves of the same would be richer than the others, and thus, more powerful. Human nature is such that it thrives off of the want for power. Khuzestan also happens to be an area with a dense population of ethnic Arabs, and this was the pull factor and the ownership that Iraq seemed to have to that land.
Adding to this, there was also Shatt al-Arab, a waterway used to transport oil, which was also a waterway under severe dispute between the Iraqis and Iranians. It was because Iraq wanted control of the oil-rich district of Khuzestan populated by Arabs, in contrast with the non-Arab Iranian population, that Iraq waged war on Iran.
How Did the Iran War Start?
On 22nd September 1980, the Iraqi forces landed an airstrike on Iran, which did not do much damage, as it were, due to the well-built defences of the Iranian forces. The day following the failed attempt of an airstrike, the Iraqi forces went in on foot, covering a frontier distance of 644 kilometres, spread out over three attacks divided into six divisions. Four of these six divisions was stationed at the Khuzestan territory, while the remaining two were stationed at the Shatt al-Arab to block shipments. This began the Iran War against Iraq of the 1980s.
Who Won the Iraq-Iran War?
The Iraq-Iran War was declared to a close through a ceasefire overseen by the United Nations on 20th August 1988, thus, there was no particular winner nor loser. The Provincial territory of Khuzestan, however, still remains under Iran.
For How Long Did The Iraq-Iran War Go On?
The Iraq-Iran War began on 22nd September 1980 and ended on 20th August 1988 through a ceasefire operated by the United Nations. However, regular diplomatic relations did not ensue between the troops of the two countries until the formal peace agreement was signed on August 16th 1990. Officially, the war came to a close in 7 years, 10 months, 4 weeks and 1 day.
What Were The Casualties of the Iraq-Iran War?
While the absolute number of casualties remains unknown to this day, hundreds of thousands of people died during the Iraq-Iran War. This includes troops on both sides of the border as well as civilians. Reports say that close to 5 lakh troops, as well as 5 lakh civilians, making a total of 10 lakh individuals, died, but other reports say that those numbers could even be double of what we know.
Who Proposed The Ceasefire in 1982?
In 1982, almost two years into the war, Saddam Hossein, the then President of Iraq called for a ceasefire with Iran. This came from the fact that he had not anticipated how strong of an army Iran had in its hiding and the defences of Iran had drained Iraq of its reserves.
Why Did Khomeini Refuse To Accept The Ceasefire in 1982?
Khomeini, the then-Supreme Leader of Iran, refused to accept the ceasefire of 1982 proposed by Saddam Hossein. This was because Khomeini had asked for a complete breakdown of the Iraqi government and for a new government to be put in place of Hossein’s. Iraq did not agree to his terms and, thus, Khomeini refused to accept the ceasefire.
Which Countries Supported Iraq in the Iraq-Iran War?
Most of the world was in favour of Iraq during the Iraq-Iran War of the 1980s. This includes the United States as well as the Soviet Union, most of the Arab countries, i.e. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and others. The US even sent Iraq lots of weaponry and armour to continue the war.
Which Countries Supported Iran in the Iraq-Iran War?
As compared to Iraq, Iran had almost no supporters on its side. The two countries vouching for Iran were Libya and Syria, but Iran did its best to fend off its attackers with much littler help from the world in comparison with Iraq.
Some Facts about the Iran War
The following are a few facts about the Iran war:
- The war between Iran and Iraq took place in the 1980s and lasted for almost a whole of 8 years.
- The Iraq-Iran War was a result of the various political, economic and territorial disputes between the two countries, from the usage of the Shatt al-Arab waterway or the Khuzestan Province which was rich in oil and had mostly ethnic Arabs populating it.
- Saddam Hossein tried to call off the war in 1982, two years after it started, however, Ruhollah Khomeini refused to accept the ceasefire as his terms were not met by Hossein.
- Both sides, Iran as well as Iraq, had extremely strong defence as well as offence strategies, thus, the war waged on for a very long time and had many ups and downs.
- The War was incredibly bloody and gruesome and there were close to a million casualties on both sides of the border, half of which includes civilians as well.
- The War finally ended with a ceasefire facilitated by the United Nations on 20th August 1980.
- The final elements of fighting troops were erased only after the official peace agreement between the two countries was signed on 16th August 1990, two years after the war officially ended.
Best Movies to Watch About Iran War
The following are some good movies to watch to understand the Iraq-Iran War better:
- Persepolis (a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi which has been adapted into an animated film)
- The Passage (an Iranian film)
- The Third Day