Context - Iraq
13 Millions inhabitants
Saddam Hussein is still contested in his own parti by Al Bakr supporters and with Islamic revolution in Iran, Shiis start a revolt in 1979.
1st military power in the region.
Arabs = 75%, Kurds = 17%, Persian 2%.
⅔ Sunni, ⅓ Shii and 3% of minority (christians, jews,...) Economic dependency on oil. Others sectors were developping. Baasist regim since 1968 and the second “coup d’état” (1st in 1963). July 1979, Saddam Hussein finally take supreme power after the ‘elimination’ of his cousin Hassan Al Bakr, former Iraq president.
Context - Iran
35 Million inhabitants
Islamic regim after the 1979 revolution
Persian = 61 %, Azeris = 16%, Kurds = 10, Arab = 2%
90% Shii, 9% Sunni, 1% non muslim (Christians, jew, Zoroastrians). Economic dependency to oil (79% of government revenues). Others sectors are badly developped.
But still contested.
Weakness of military forces due to purges of new regims.
Religious differences - Sunni / Shii
Had split in 661 after the assassination of Ali, the 4th Caliph and especially the nephew and son in law of Muhamad as the first one who have convert himself to Islam.
Political differences at start. Shii thinks the Caliph should be a descendant of Ali and so Muhamad to have the prophete blood. Sunni gives the caliphate to the best muslim.
Religion practice also differs. For Shii, they think Caliphs and Imams can interpret the coran. For Sunni, interpretation.are not really accepted. There is also the 7 revealed / 7 hidden imman theory in Shiism.
Today : 90% of Muslim are Sunni. In the 10th Century, 50% and the two main caliphate were ruled by Shii.
Arabs / Persians
Economic and Political stakes (Iraqi
Shatt al Arab => first reason of the conflict
Geostrategic Waterway close to the Persian gulf.
- Use to be Iraqi
- Since the Alger agreements (1975) the two
countries share the area
Iraqi wants to get
back Shatt al Arab.
The Saddam Hussein governmant (BAAS) is a
Stop the Islamic expansion in the region.
Factors leading to the War
Iraqui political and economical motivations
Iran is weakened because of the Islamic revolution
Saddam feels invincible (30 days of war maximum)
Ayatollah Rouhollah khomeini, Islamic revolution leader
has bad relationship with Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein thinks that he has support within Iran
(Socialist and non-revolutionary partisants)
Saddam Hussein thinks that he has gulf’s countries support
Iranian Stakes for winning the war
After having won 1% of the Iranian territory, Saddam strengthened his trust in winning the war and proposed a ceasefire. Iran would accept it under 4 conditions: 1.
Saddam Hussein must admit his responsability in the war onset Saddam Hussein must leave the Iraqi power
Iraq provides compensations to Iran for war damage
Iraq must organize an auto-determination referendum for the chiite population
Overthrow of the BAAS party
Unification and spread of the Islamic League
Oust the socialist and laymen
Affirm the role of the Clergy
A conflict appears within the Iranian Clergy: Power race
URSS changed its strategy
access to hot
+ Lybia + Israel + Syria
“enemies of your enemies are your friends” arab
- Irak is the biggest danger for Israel (At that time)
- Negotiate repatriation of Jewish in Iran
- Important weapon contracts
- Nuclear danger of Iraq (at that time)
ex part of Iraq divided by
England (strategy to divide the petrol in
+ Jordania + Saoudi Arabia
El dorado for French industries
+ 2nd weapon supplier (Dassault)
But went out quickly
Complicated role of US in the conflict: Support both parts
- Against Sadam Hussein
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