The Iran-Iraq War Essay

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The Iran-Iraq War

While the Iran-Iraq War during the 1980's may have permanently altered the course of progress in Iran and Iraq, the war also altered the resulting permanent involvement of the rest of the world in the middle-east. The rich and complicated history in Iraq has established numerous cultural and ethnic traditions that all play a part in where the country is today. The Iran-Iraq War brought into focus some of those traditions and how they conflicted, while also bringing Iraq and its economic situation into the spotlight. Being on top of some of the most mineral rich soil in the world makes Iraq a major contributor to the world's economy through petroleum and crude oil exports. This, among other reasons, ties nations
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The Safavids were the first the first to declare Shia Islam the official religion of Iran, and their interest in Iraq lay in the Shia holy places in central Iraq, and also the fact that Baghdad held significant symbolic value as the seat of the ancient Abbasid Empire. The Ottoman Empire on the other hand was afraid that Shia Islam would spread to Asia Minor, and thus looked to control Iraq as a Sunni-dominated buffer state. During the Ottoman period, the Sunnis were placed in political positions, while the Shias were then shut out of the political process. This divide between the Sunnis and the Shias continued to be more and more of an important element in the Iraqi social structure, and remains an issue even today. It was also during this time period that the Kurdish Baban Dynasty emerged and began to organize resistance to the Ottoman rule in Northern Iraq.

Then came the First World War and with it the defeat of the German army and their allies, including Turkey. As a result in 1919, Iraq, as well as Palestine, came under the control of Great Britain who proceeded to draw out the borders and establish a government that would best suit them. The years which followed were filled with revolutions, jihad, and unrest, as the British sought to maintain control of a nation with which they knew very little about.

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