Iran-Iraq War
Iran : The Land of Norooz
Word Count: 881

I - On September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran with the aim of seizing control of the strategic Arvand Rood, gaining control of Khuzestan's oil fields, and establishing a puppet government in the occupied territories of Iran. In fact, Iraq provoked and supported by governments that had lost their economic advantage and political influence in Iran - was among those who attempted to exploit situation in Iran in the aftermath of the Revolution.

II - Within months, however, Iraqi troops had come mired in intense combat in the Khuzestan province. And, within less than two years, the Iranian military forces along with a mobilized popular army, had pulsed most of the Iraq forces from Khuzestan. withstanding the outrageous Iraqi invasion, the international community failed at the time, to identify Saddam Hussein as the aggressor, and did not help to restore peace in the region.

III - Moreover, the pro-Iraqi position of the U.S States, the former Soviet Union, and some countries of the Arab world enabled Baghdad to continue its aggression. By initiation the "tankers war" in the Persian Gulf in February 1984, the Iraqi regime sought to internationalize the conflict in order to intensify the pressure on Iran to accept negotiations on Iraqi terms. Meanwhile, in gross violation of international law, Iraq resorted to widespread use of chemical weapons and ballistic missiles against Iran.

IV - In 1987, the Security Council adopted resolution 598 in which, for the first time, the question of responsibility for the conflict was raised. Iran did not reject the resolution because, from the beginning of the Iraqi aggression, she had been calling for the identification of the aggressor and its punishment. Iran's agreement with the "Implementation plan" of the resolution, proposed by then UN Secretary - General, showed Iran's sincerity in finding a solution to the conflict on the basis of justice.

The re-flagging of Kuwait oil tankers by the US and the Soviet Union in Spring 1987 and the US attacks against Iranian oil installations in the Persian Gulf as well as the US covert and overt assistance to Iraqi on intelligence matters during 1987-88 represented the sharpest tilt by the superpowers, particularly the US, towards Iraq.

V - The shooting down of an Iranian civil airliner by the USS Vincennes in the territorial waters of Iran in the Persian Gulf in which more than 290 innocent civilians were killed added a new dimension to the war. The continued Iraqi use of chemical weapons and missiles attacks against the civilian areas coupled with the super- powers' support for the Iraqi war efforts proved that Iraq and its supporters had decided to spread the war at any price. Therefore, on July 18, 1988, Iran officially declared its acceptance of resolution 598, and subsequently the cease-fire became effective. In 1991, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, then UN Secretary- General, in implementation of paragraph 6 of resolution 598, declared Iraq as the responsible party for the conflict.

The Post-War Period

In the post-war era, the Government has directed its energies towards the tasks of rebuilding the war-ravaged economy. In August 1989, the Majlis approved a list of priorities as the first five-year Plan. This plan undertook policies to increase Industrial production and fortify Iran's infrastructure by offering Incentives to the private sector, to repair the petroleum sector and expand exports. With considerable achievements resulted from the implementation of the First Five Years Plan, the government has proposed the Second Five Years Plan to the parliament in 1993. According to this plan, the government will continue to pursue its main policies and strategies to reforming the country's economy by revitalizing market mechanisms, reforming the government sector and decreasing its dependence on oil exports.

In the context of the regional relations, following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Iran has adopted a foreign policy which undertakes to minimize the instability that has been expected from the break of the USSR in the newly independent states. Iran views the socio-economic development in these new states as crucial to regional security and has already established bilateral ties with all of these Republics. Iran has also initiated a shuttle diplomacy with conflict prevention and dispute settlement phases in Karabakh, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan.

Iran has been the driving force behind multi-lateral initiatives as well. In 1992, at President Rafsanjani's suggestion, Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan formed the Caspian Sea Littoral States Cooperation Council. .These five states hope to stabilize the region of Central Asia through trade and cooperation in fisheries, shipping, and environmental protection. Iran has also strived to reinvigorate the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). Originally founded by Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey, the ECO now includes six former Soviet Republics and Afghanistan. With due regards to the critical importance of the Persian Gulf for the country's security and economic development, Iran has constantly supported ideas for closer cultural, economic, and security cooperation in promoting the regional self-reliance. Iran views the promotion of rules and principles of international law as the foundation for the regional security arrangements in the Persian Gulf. Hence, Iran played a crucial stabilizing role in the region during the crisis over Kuwait through full cooperation with the United Nations.

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