Top-left to bottom-right: Iranian child soldier on the frontlines

Iranian soldier in a trench wearing a gas mask to guard against Iraqi chemical attacks

Port quarter view of the USS Stark listing to port after being mistakenly struck by an Iraqi warplane

Pro-Iraq MEK forces killed during Iran's Operation Mersad

Iraqi prisoners of war after the recapture of Khorramshahr by Iranian forces

ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun being used by the Iranian Army
Iranian soldiers resisting the Iraqi invasion during the Battle of Khorramshahr, 1980
Meeting of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Houari Boumédiène and Saddam Hussein (left to right) during the Algiers Agreement in 1975.
Iranian soldiers resisting the Iraqi invasion during the Battle of Khorramshahr, 1980
Ruhollah Khomeini rose to power after the Iranian Revolution.
The Shatt al-Arab waterway on the Iran–Iraq border
Location of Khuzestan Province in Iran which Iraq planned to annex
Explosion in Mehrabad Air Base in Tehran after Iraqi forces attacked Tehran on 22 September, 1980
Iranian President Abolhassan Banisadr, who was also commander-in-chief, on a Jeep-mounted 106mm recoilless anti-tank gun. Banisadr was impeached in June 1981.
Destroyed Iranian C-47 Skytrain
The Shatt al-Arab on the Iran–Iraq border
Location of Khūzestān Province in Iran
Destroyed Iranian C-47 Skytrain
Iranian Northrop F-5 during Iran–Iraq War
Iranian F-14A Tomcats equipped with AIM-54A, AIM-7 and AIM-9 missiles.
Ali Khamenei (right), the future Supreme Leader of Iran, in a trench during the Iran-Iraq war.
Resistance of the outnumbered and outgunned Iranians in Khorramshahr slowed the Iraqis for a month.
Iranian president Abulhassan Banisadr on the battlefront
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Massoud Rajavi, the leader of MEK and the National Resistance Council of Iran (NCRI) in 1988.
The surprise attack on H-3 airbase is considered to be one of the most sophisticated air operations of the war.
Iranian soldier holding an IV bag during the Iran–Iraq War
Iranian Northrop F-5 aircraft during Iran-Iraq war
Iraqi T-62 tank wreckage in Khuzestan Province, Iran
Iraqi soldiers surrendering after the Liberation of Khorramshahr
Saddam Hussein in 1982
An admonitory declaration issued from the Iraqi government in order to warn Iranian troops in the Iran–Iraq War. The statement says: "Hey Iranians! No one has been downtrodden in the country where Ali ibn Abi Ṭālib, Husayn ibn Ali and Abbas ibn Ali are buried. Iraq has undoubtedly been an honorable country. All refugees are precious. Anyone who wants to live in exile can choose Iraq freely. We, the Sons of Iraq, have been ambushing foreign aggressors. The enemies who plan to assault Iraq will be disfavoured by God in this world and the hereafter. Be careful of attacking Iraq and Ali ibn Abi Ṭālib! If you surrender, you might be in peace."
95,000 Iranian child soldiers were made casualties during the Iran–Iraq War, mostly between the ages of 16 and 17, with a few younger.
Furthest ground gains
Iranian POWs in 1983 near Tikrit, Iraq
Iranian child soldier
Iraqi POW who was shot by Iranian troops after they conquered the Iraqi Majnoon oil field in October 1984
Iranian troops fire 152 mm D-20 howitzer
Battle of the Marshes Iran front 1983 rest after exchange of fire 152 mm D-20 H
Operation Earnest Will: Tanker convoy No. 12 under US Navy escort (21 October 1987)
A map indicating the attacks on civilian areas of Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait targeted during the "War of the Cities".
Iraqi commanders discussing strategy on the battlefront (1986)
Iranian President Ali Khamenei on the battlefront during the Iran–Iraq War
Operation Dawn 8 during which Iran captured the Faw Peninsula.
Iranian soldier killed during the Iran–Iraq War with Rouhollah Khomeini's photo on his uniform
The People's Mujahedin of Iran, supported by Saddam, started a ten-day operation after both the Iranian and Iraqi governments accepted UN Resolution 598. Casualty estimates range from 2,000 to 10,000.
Adnan Khairallah, Iraqi Defense Minister, meeting with Iraqi soldiers during the war
IRGC navy speedboats using swarm tactics
An Iranian soldier wearing a gas mask during the Iran–Iraq War.
The Iranian frigate IS Sahand burns after being hit by 20 U.S. air launched missiles and bombs, killing a third of the crew, April 1988
Iranian soldiers captured during Iraq's 1988 offensives
USS Vincennes in 1987 a year before it shot down Iran Air Flight 655
MEK Soldiers killed in Operation Mersad in 1988
Al-Shaheed Monument in Baghdad was erected to commemorate the fallen Iraqi soldiers during the war.
Iranian Martyr Cemetery in Isfahan
Iranian Martyrs Museum in Tehran
An Iranian soldier's funeral in Mashhad, 2013
An Iraqi Mil Mi-24 on display at the military museum of Sa'dabad Palace in Iran
President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H. W. Bush work in the Oval Office of the White House, 20 July 1984.
USS Stark (FFG-31) listing following two hits by Exocet missiles.
Victims of the 1987 chemical attack on Sardasht, West Azerbaijan, Iran
Damage to a mosque in Khoramshahr, Iran, the city that was invaded by Iraq in September 1980

The Iran–Iraq War (الحرب الإيرانية العراقية) was a protracted armed conflict that began on 22 September 1980 with a full-scale invasion of Iran by neighbouring Iraq.

- Iran–Iraq War

The Iraqi invasion of Iran refers to the Iraqi military campaign against neighbouring Iran in 1980, when the Iraqi Armed Forces crossed the international border and invaded the country, sparking the protracted Iran–Iraq War.

- Iraqi invasion of Iran
Top-left to bottom-right: Iranian child soldier on the frontlines

Iranian soldier in a trench wearing a gas mask to guard against Iraqi chemical attacks

Port quarter view of the USS Stark listing to port after being mistakenly struck by an Iraqi warplane

Pro-Iraq MEK forces killed during Iran's Operation Mersad

Iraqi prisoners of war after the recapture of Khorramshahr by Iranian forces

ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun being used by the Iranian Army

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Ba'athist Iraq

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Ba'athist Iraq, formally the Iraqi Republic until 6 January 1992 and the Republic of Iraq thereafter, covers the national history of Iraq between 1968 and 2003 under the rule of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party.

Ba'athist Iraq, formally the Iraqi Republic until 6 January 1992 and the Republic of Iraq thereafter, covers the national history of Iraq between 1968 and 2003 under the rule of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party.

Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr was de jure leader of Iraq from 1968 to 1979.
Adnan Khairallah, Iraqi Defense Minister, meeting with Iraqi soldiers during the Iran-Iraq war.
Retreating Iraqi forces sabotaged Kuwaiti oil wells, causing massive fires across Kuwait's oil fields.
Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr (left), the Regional Secretary of the Iraqi Ba'ath, shaking hands with Michel Aflaq, principal founder of Ba'athist thought, in 1968.
Saddam Hussein (right) talking with founder of Ba'athism and Ba'ath Party leader Michel Aflaq in 1988.
Kurdish peshmerga (opposition forces) in northern Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War.
Saddam Hussein (left) talking with Michel Aflaq in 1979.
Alexei Kosygin (left) and Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr signing the Iraqi–Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation in 1972.
GNP per capita in Iraq from 1950 to 2008.
28 February 2003: Iraqi soldiers ride an MT-LB armored vehicle on an Iraqi highway, one month before the start of the Iraq War.
Saddam Hussein and female students. Ba'athism promoted greater participation of women in Iraqi society.
Flag (1963–1991)
Flag (1991–2004)
Coat of arms (1965–1991)
Coat of arms (1991–2004)

Rapidly deteriorating relations eventually led to the Iran–Iraq War by 1980, which began following the Iraqi invasion of Iran in September 1980.

Saddam in August 1998, preparing to deliver a speech for the 10th anniversary of the end of the Iran–Iraq War

Saddam Hussein

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Iraqi politician who served as the fifth president of Iraq from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003.

Iraqi politician who served as the fifth president of Iraq from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003.

Saddam in August 1998, preparing to deliver a speech for the 10th anniversary of the end of the Iran–Iraq War
Saddam in August 1998, preparing to deliver a speech for the 10th anniversary of the end of the Iran–Iraq War
Saddam in his youth as a shepherd in his village, near Tikrit
Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath Party student cell, Cairo, in the period 1959–1963
Promoting women's literacy and education in the 1970s
Saddam in 1974
Saddam talking to Michel Aflaq, the founder of Ba'athist thought, in 1988
Alexei Kosygin (left) and Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr signing the Iraqi–Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Co-Operation in 1972
Propaganda art to glorify Saddam after Iran–Iraq War, 1988.
Saddam Hussein and al-Bakr, de jure president of Iraq alongside Hafez al-Assad of Syria at an Arab Summit in Baghdad in November 1978
Saddam greeting Carlos Cardoen, a Chilean businessman who provided Iraq with weapons during the war in the 1980s
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie meets Saddam for an emergency meeting
Iraqi stamp about the Arab Cooperation Council (ACC), founded 1989 by Saleh of (North) Yemen, king Hussein of Jordan, Saddam Hussein and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt
Saddam in duty uniform
Saddam addresses state television, in January 2001
Saddam Hussein in 1996
Statue of Saddam being toppled in Firdos Square after the invasion
Saddam is discovered and interrogated by American soldiers, December 2003
Saddam Hussein shortly after capture
Hussein after being captured and shaven to confirm his identity
Saddam speaks in court
Saddam Hussein's family, mid-late 1980s
Saddam Hussein's sons Qusay and Uday were killed in a gun battle in Mosul on 22 July 2003.

He suppressed several movements, particularly Shi'a and Kurdish movements which sought to overthrow the government or gain independence, respectively, and maintained power during the Iran–Iraq War and the Gulf War.

Saddam's rule was marked by numerous human rights abuses, including an estimated 250,000 arbitrary killings and bloody invasions of neighboring Iran and Kuwait.

Logos of the Iraqi Armed Forces

Iraqi Armed Forces

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The Iraqi Armed Forces (القوات المسلحة العراقية romanized: Al-Quwwat Al-Musallahah Al-Iraqiyyah) are the military forces of the Republic of Iraq.

The Iraqi Armed Forces (القوات المسلحة العراقية romanized: Al-Quwwat Al-Musallahah Al-Iraqiyyah) are the military forces of the Republic of Iraq.

Logos of the Iraqi Armed Forces
The 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Division took delivery of 10 armored HMMWVs
Iraqi T-72 tank fires.
Iraqi Security Force fire a howitzer at known Islamic State of Iraq and Syria locations near the Iraqi-Syrian border during Operation Roundup, June 5, 2018
Iraqi soldiers from 1st Hammurabi Armoured Division in 1982.
Iraqi commanders discussing strategy on the battlefront (1986)
An Iraqi Mil Mi-24 on display at the military museum of Kirkuk in Iraq
An Iraqi Type 69 main battle tank sits on the side on the road into Kuwait City during the ground phase of Operation Desert Storm.
Iraqi special forces soldiers with M4A1 carbines, March 2020.
Iraqi Soldiers during exercise in Babylon
Modified T-55 tank of the 5th Mechanized Division which saw action in the Battle of Khafji
A C-130 Hercules of the Iraqi Air Force
Iraqi F-16D landing at Tucson International Airport
Iraqi Coastal Defense Force (ICDF) Patrol.

A much larger conflict was the Iran–Iraq War, initiated by the Iraqis in 1980, which continued until 1988.

The Iran–Iraq War (حرب الخليج الأولى, الحرب الإيرانية العراقية) was a protracted armed conflict that began on 22 September 1980 when Iraq invaded neighbouring Iran.

Saddam with the Shah

1975 Algiers Agreement

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Agreement between Iran and Iraq to settle any disputes and conflicts concerning their common border (such as the Shatt al-Arab, known as Arvand Rud in Iran), and it served as basis for the bilateral treaties signed on 13 June and 26 December 1975.

Agreement between Iran and Iraq to settle any disputes and conflicts concerning their common border (such as the Shatt al-Arab, known as Arvand Rud in Iran), and it served as basis for the bilateral treaties signed on 13 June and 26 December 1975.

Saddam with the Shah
From left to right: Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Houari Boumédiène and Saddam Hussein

Less than six years after signing the treaty, on 17 September 1980, Iraq abrogated the treaty following a series of border clashes between the two countries and launched a full-scale invasion of Iran on 22 September 1980.

This resulted in one of the longest wars of the 20th century, the Iran–Iraq War, which would last from 1980 to 1988.

Map of the Iran–Iraq border

Iran–Iraq border

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The Iran–Iraq border runs for 1,599 km (994 mi) from the tripoint with Turkey in the north down to the Shatt al-Arab (known as Arvand Rud in Iran) waterway and out to the Persian Gulf in the south.

The Iran–Iraq border runs for 1,599 km (994 mi) from the tripoint with Turkey in the north down to the Shatt al-Arab (known as Arvand Rud in Iran) waterway and out to the Persian Gulf in the south.

Map of the Iran–Iraq border
Detailed map of the border in the Shatt al-Arab
Map showing the major areas of fighting during the Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988)
An Iran-Iraq border crossing in 2015

War broke out in 1980 when Iraq invaded Iran, leading to the eight-year long Iran–Iraq War.

From left to right: Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Houari Boumédiène and Saddam Hussein in Algiers, 1975

1974–75 Shatt al-Arab conflict

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The 1974–75 Shatt al-Arab conflict took place between the Imperial State of Iran and Ba'athist Iraq from April 1974 to March 1975, and occurred as a direct result of their territorial dispute in the region.

The 1974–75 Shatt al-Arab conflict took place between the Imperial State of Iran and Ba'athist Iraq from April 1974 to March 1975, and occurred as a direct result of their territorial dispute in the region.

From left to right: Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Houari Boumédiène and Saddam Hussein in Algiers, 1975

It was the most significant spike of bilateral tensions between Iran and Iraq over the Shatt al-Arab waterway in times, and the continued border dispute and disagreements over this region both before and after the conflict ultimately led to the protracted Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s following the Iranian Revolution and subsequent establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Five days later, the Iraqi military launched a major offensive and invaded Iran, sparking the Iran–Iraq War.

Mass demonstrations at College Bridge, Tehran

Iranian Revolution

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Series of events that culminated in the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the rule of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of one of the factions in the revolt.

Series of events that culminated in the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the rule of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of one of the factions in the revolt.

Mass demonstrations at College Bridge, Tehran
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi official coronation photo 1967
Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini (revolutionary leader).
People of Tehran in the demonstrations of 5 June 1963 with pictures of Ruhollah Khomeini in their hands
Two armed militants outside the Embassy of the United States, Tehran where diplomats are held hostage. Behind of them is a banner written: "Long live anti-imperialism and democratic forces". Photograph by Abbas, dated 1979, from the Iran Diary series
The Shah of Iran (left) meeting with members of the U.S. government: Alfred Atherton, William Sullivan, Cyrus Vance, Jimmy Carter, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1977
Pro-Shah demonstration organized by the Resurgence Party in Tabriz, April 1978
Demonstration of 8 September 1978. The placard reads, "We want an Islamic government, led by Imam Khomeini".
Demonstration of "Black Friday" (8 September 1978)
Victims of Black Friday
Ayatollah Khomeini in Neauphle-le-Château surrounded by journalists
Mohammad Beheshti in the Tehran Ashura demonstration, 11 December 1978
"The Shah is Gone" —headline of Iranian newspaper Ettela'at, 16 January 1979, when the last monarch of Iran left the country.
A protester giving flowers to an army officer
Shah and his wife, Shahbanu Farah leaving Iran on 16 January 1979
Cartoon depicting Shapour Bakhtiar and Mosaddegh on 22 January 1978 issue of Ettela'at, during the revolution
Iranian prime minister Mehdi Bazargan was an advocate of democracy and civil rights. He also opposed the cultural revolution and US embassy takeover.
Iranian armed rebels during the revolution
Iranian women protesting
Khomeini told questioners that "the religious dignitaries do not want to rule."
A revolutionary firing squad in 1979
Executed Generals of Imperial Army: Reza Naji, Mehdi Rahimi, and Manouchehr Khosrodad
Kazem Shariatmadari and Khomeini
Banisadr in 1980
People celebrating anniversary of the revolution in Mashhad in 2014.
An injured revolutionary during protests against Pahlavi regime.
Protests in summer 1978.
Revolutionary victims.
Current Iranian leader, Ali Khamenei in a Revolutionary protest in Mashhad.
Shah visiting Bakhtiar cabinet before his exit from Iran.
People celebrating Shah's exit from the country.
Removal of Shah's statue by the people in University of Tehran.
Khomeini at Mehrabad Airport.
People accompanying Khomeini from Mehrabad to Behesht Zahra.
Khomeini in Behesht Zahra.
Khomeini before a speech at Alavi school.

At the same time, events that made up both the crisis and its resolution were the Iran hostage crisis, the invasion of Iran by Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and the presidency of Abolhassan Banisadr.

In September 1980, Iraq took advantage of the febrile situation and invaded Iran.

Operation Kaman 99

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Operation Alborz, more commonly known by the code-name Operation Kaman 99 (عملیات کمان 99), was an operation launched by the Iranian Air Force in retaliation to Iraqi surprise aerial attacks on Iran the day before which marked the beginning of the 8-year-long Iran–Iraq War.