Monday, December 21, 2009

Iran-Iraq War in Wikipedia

'The Iran–Iraq War, also known as the Imposed War (جنگ تحمیلی, Jang-e-tahmīlī) and Holy Defense (دفاع مقدس, Defā'-e-moghaddas) in Iran, and Saddām's Qādisiyyah (قادسيّة صدّام, Qādisiyyat Ṣaddām) in Iraq, was a war between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran lasting from September 1980 to August 1988.

The war began when Iraq invaded Iran on 22 September 1980 following a long history of border disputes and fears of Shia insurgency among Iraq's long-suppressed Shia majority influenced by the Iranian Revolution. Although Iraq hoped to take advantage of revolutionary chaos in Iran and attacked without formal warning, they made only limited progress into Iran and within several months were repelled by the Iranians who regained virtually all lost territory by June, 1982. For the next six years, Iran was on the offensive.[14] Despite calls for a ceasefire by the United Nations Security Council, hostilities continued until 20 August, 1988. The last prisoners of war were exchanged in 2003.[14][15]
The war came at a great cost in lives and economic damage — a half a million Iraqi and Iranian soldiers as well as civilians are believed to have died in the war with many more injured and wounded — but brought neither reparations nor change in borders. The conflict is often compared to World War I[16] because tactics included large scale trench warfare, manned machine-gun posts, bayonet charges, use of barbed wire across trenches and on no-mans landhuman wave attacks and Iraq's extensive use of chemical weapons (such as mustard gas) against Iranian troops and civilians as well as Iraqi Kurds. At the time, the UN Security Council issued statements that "chemical weapons had been used in the war." However, in these statements Iraq was not mentioned by name, so it has been said that "the international community remained silent as Iraq used weapons of mass destruction against Iranian as well as Iraqi Kurds" and it is believed that the United States government prevented the UN from condemning Iraq.[17]'


Iraqi Mojo said...

"Although the seizure was largely symbolic, what many Iraqis saw as a weak response from Maliki could spell trouble for the prime minister in a parliamentary election scheduled for March 7. A Shi'ite Muslim, he has historic ties to Shi'ite majority Iran.

Border disputes between Iran and Iraq have festered for decades, but they also were part of the impetus for a ruinous eight-year war between the two countries in the 1980s.

The spat over the well spooked markets, pushing up the price of crude, and heightened the risks associated with a series of oil deals Iraq has agreed with global oil majors this year.

The deals, awarded in Iraq's first energy auctions since the U.S.-led 2003 invasion, could more than quadruple output capacity to rival global leader Saudi Arabia."

Jon Claerbout said...

Thank you for the review. Here's a quibble: Your quote it is believed that the United States government prevented the UN from condemning Iraq.[17]'.

I dug up your reference, and it provides no evidence, but simply says what you say, "Apparently, United States played a significant role in preventing a UN condemnation of Iraq in this regard."

I'm not saying it is not true. I'm saying it is not supported by any evidence.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Thanks Jon. Read this:

'Iran had submitted a draft resolution asking the U.N. to condemn Iraq's chemical weapons use. The U.S. delegate to the U.N. was instructed to lobby friendly delegations in order to obtain a general motion of "no decision" on the resolution. If this was not achievable, the U.S. delegate was to abstain on the issue. Iraq's ambassador met with the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Jeane Kirkpatrick, and asked for "restraint" in responding to the issue - as did the representatives of both France and Britain.

A senior U.N. official who had participated in a fact-finding mission to investigate Iran's complaint commented "Iranians may well decide to manufacture and use chemical weapons themselves if [the] international community does not condemn Iraq. He said Iranian assembly speaker Rafsanjani [had] made public statements to this effect" [Document 50].

Iraqi interests section head Nizar Hamdoon met with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Placke on March 29. Hamdoon said that Iraq strongly preferred a Security Council presidential statement to a resolution, and wanted the response to refer to former resolutions on the war, progress toward ending the conflict, but to not identify any specific country as responsible for chemical weapons use. Placke said the U.S. could accept Iraqi proposals if the Security Council went along. He asked for the Iraqi government's help "in avoiding . . . embarrassing situation[s]" but also noted that the U.S. did "not want this issue to dominate our bilateral relationship" [Document 54].

On March 30, 1984, the Security Council issued a presidential statement condemning the use of chemical weapons, without naming Iraq as the offending party. A State Department memo circulating the draft text observed that, "The statement, by the way contains all three elements Hamdoon wanted" [Document 51].

On April 5, 1984, Ronald Reagan issued another presidential directive (NSDD 139), emphasizing the U.S. objective of ensuring access to military facilities in the Gulf region, and instructing the director of central intelligence and the secretary of defense to upgrade U.S. intelligence gathering capabilities. It codified U.S. determination to develop plans "to avert an Iraqi collapse." Reagan's directive said that U.S. policy required "unambiguous" condemnation of chemical warfare (without naming Iraq), while including the caveat that the U.S. should "place equal stress on the urgent need to dissuade Iran from continuing the ruthless and inhumane tactics which have characterized recent offensives." The directive does not suggest that "condemning" chemical warfare required any hesitation about or modification of U.S. support for Iraq [Document 53].

A State Department background paper dated November 16, 1984 said that Iraq had stopped using chemical weapons after a November 1983 demarche from the U.S., but had resumed their use in February 1984. On November 26, 1984, Iraq and the U.S. restored diplomatic relations. Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, in Washington for the formal resumption of ties, met with Secretary of State George Shultz. When their discussion turned to the Iran-Iraq war, Aziz said that his country was satisfied that "the U.S. analysis of the war's threat to regional stability is 'in agreement in principle' with Iraq's," and expressed thanks for U.S. efforts to cut off international arms sales to Iran. He said that "Iraq's superiority in weaponry" assured Iraq's defense. Shultz, with presumed sardonic intent, "remarked that superior intelligence must also be an important factor in Iraq's defense;" Tariq Aziz had to agree [Document 60].'