Home Education Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) - Causes, Summary & Facts

Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) – Causes, Summary & Facts

The Iran-Iraq war began in September 1980. It ended with a ceasefire negotiated by the UN in August 1988. For Iran, this war is known as the Gulf War or the war of unjustly imposed or “Holy defence”. On the other hand, Saddam Hussein of Iraq called this war the battle of Qadesia.

Iraq-Iran war, 1980-88

On September 22, 1980, Iraqi forces illegally invaded and infiltrated Iranian territory. Without notice, due to border disputes and Iranian support for Shia militants in Iraq.

They, using the fragile state of the newly formed Iranian Islamic Revolution. So, Iraq seeks to advance rapidly in the war. But in practice, it failed.


In June 1982, Iran was able to recover all of its lost territories. So, for the next six years, Iranian forces played a leading role in the war.

Despite repeated diplomatic efforts by the United Nations. And the war lasted until August 1988. The last exchange of prisoners of war between the two countries took place in 2003.

This war (Iran-Iraq war) bears a striking resemblance to the tactics of the First World War. The trench, the barbed wire, the human current, and the bayonet charge is widely used in wartime.

Iraqi forces use chemical gas and mustard gas on Iranian soldiers, civilians and Iraqi Kurds.


The story of the Iran-Iraq war
Before the 1991 Gulf War over Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait, the Iraq-Iran war was commonly known as the Gulf War.

Some later called it the First Gulf War. At the start of the war, Saddam Hussein called it a “whirlwind war”.

Saddam Hussein, Iraqi leader
Saddam Hussein

Start of the War

The Iraqi excuse to start a war and the purpose of the Iraqi attack. He accused “the assassination attempts of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tariq Aziz in the south of Iraq. As the reason for the start of the Iran-Iraq war in Iraq”.

By March 1980, diplomatic relations between the two countries had deteriorated considerably.

Iran has demoted its ambassador to Iraq. Reducing diplomatic relations with Sharjah in Business. At the same time, Iran demanded the withdrawal of the Iraqi ambassador from his country.

Three days after the attempted assassination of Tariq Aziz, the funeral of a student killed was again attacked.

Iraq accuses Iran of invading Iran in September 1980. At this time, a resilient Iranian fighter with a weapon in the occupied Iranian city of Khurram Shah, September-October,1980.

In a speech to parliament on September 17, Saddam Hussein said, The continued and unjustified Iranian intervention in Iraqi sovereignty has already invalidated the Algiers agreement, signed in 1975. So, It will be done.

Iraq had the following Reasons behind Iranian aggression:

  • Occupying the mouth of the Shatil Arab River,
  • Greater Tunab and Laser Tunab by the United Arab Emirates,
  • Occupation of three Iranian islands Abu Musa,
  • Inclusion of the Iranian province of Khuzestan in Iraq,
  • To overthrow the Islamic government in Tehran,
  • Eliminate the possibility of a widespread Islamic revolution in this region.
reasons behind Iranian aggression

Operation Alborz

The Operation, more commonly known by the code-name Operation Kaman 99.

On September 22, 1980, the Iraqi Air Force launched a surprise attack on 10 Iranian airbases. The attack severely damaged the infrastructure of Iranian airbases. But they did not destroy too many planes.

Iraqi forces had to destroy some MiG-23BN, Tu-22 and Su-20 fighter jets. But the damage was not significant due to a large number of other Iranian Air Force aircraft. At the same time, three MiG-23s were able to hit Tehran airport and inflict only minor damage.

Operation Alborz, Iran Iraq war

The following day, Iraqi forces launched a three-pronged ground offensive on the 644-kilometer border frontier.

Saddam Hussein says the Opposition (Kaman 99) aims to thwart Iran’s plots to spread its revolution to other Arab and Gulf states. With this in mind, Saddam Hussein launched a large-scale campaign against Khuzestan.

Operation Nasr

On January 5, 1981, Iran was able to pierce the Iraqi security cordon with the attack on Susanzard with heavy weapons. The Iranian fleet of marching tanks crossed the Iraqi siege and advanced far inland. And separating from the other Iranian divisions at the rear.

The fleet of Iraqi tanks surrounded the fleet of detached Iranian tanks. One of the largest tank battles in history. The Iranian tank division was almost completely destroyed. But, due to a strategic error during the first domination.

In this Iran-Iraq war, Iraq lost about 50 T-62 tanks. Iran loses 100 Chieftains and M-60 tanks.

Operation Nasr

In the same year, the then Iranian president, Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, became politically involved. He led the battle of Dejful in order to elevate. His position in exchange for a major victory in the war. But the catastrophe of Iran in this war precipitated the fall of Bani-Sadr.

Iran has also faced a number of crises inside the country this year. In June and September, the government and the left-wing guerrilla Mujahideen-Khalaq clashed on the streets of several major cities.

Operation Tariq al-Quds

During the Iran-Iraq war, Iranian forces had a number of successes that year, overcoming several disasters at the start of the year. In May, Iran was able to retake the highlands near Susanna.

Beginning of the Opposition

The Iranian invasion ended the Iraqi siege of Abadan in September. It should be noted that since November 1980. Iraq has been besieging this very important oil-rich port. In the fall of 1981, members of the Iraqi military began to question the legitimacy of the Iranian operation.

Operation Tariq al-Quds in Iran began on November 29 with 3 military brigades. And 6 paramilitary brigades of the Revolutionary Guards. Following this operation, on December 6, Iran took over the city of Boston.


Iraq being far behind in terms of war technology and sophisticated weapons. Unquestionably, this is the first time that Iran has used its “human wave” strategy in the operation.

In this tactic, a large number of Revolutionary Guards repeatedly attacked Iraqi positions without the aid of heavy artillery in the air or on the ground. The fall of Boston caused major disruptions in the supply of troops to the Iraqi province of Khuzestan.

During the oil tanker war, an Iranian oil tanker attacked an Iranian oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, in early 1984, and attacked an oil terminal on the island of Kharag.

Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranian leader
Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranian leader

In retaliation, Iran launched an attack on Iraqi oil tankers leaving Kuwait. Oil tankers in the Gulf States that directly assisted Iraq in the war also became the target of the Iranian attack.

Iraq declares that Iraq in the northern part of the Persian Gulf bound for or departing from a ship in port must be targeted. Saddam Hussein had a far-reaching goal behind the start of the oil tanker war.

Iraq hoped that Iran could completely close the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation if attacked.

Operation Closed

The United States has declared that it will launch a direct war against Iran. If the Strait of Hormuz is closed. For this reason, the decision to continue attacking only Iraqi ships is far from the decision to close the Iranian highway.

Faced with the invasion of Iraq, Iran moved its port to the island of Larak in the Strait of Hormuz.

The unique features of the war

On September 30, 1980, two Phantom-4 fighter jets takeoff from the Iranian Air Force. And it partially damaged the Osiraq nuclear power plant in Iraq.

Part of the incident is the disruption of the nuclear program. This is the first case. However, France quickly repaired the Iraqi reactor, thwarting the Iranian offensive. However, a few days later, Israel attacked the reactor for the second time.

France has decided to evacuate its workers after the death of certain French engineers during the attack. So, The Osirak installation also lost functionality.

Saddam Hussein’s goal of developing nuclear weapons has been seriously thwarted.
But, it was the only war in history where both sides use ballistic missiles against each other.

The history of direct helicopter warfare is not known in any other war before this war. The first incident of aerial helicopter combat occurred on the first day of the war.

On September 22, 1980, two Iranian Supercobra helicopters fired. And also two BGM-81 anti-tank guided missiles at two Iraqi Mi-25 helicopters. And one Iraqi helicopter was immediately shot down.

Iran iraq war

Was destroyed before being revealed? Iraq lost two more helicopters in a similar incident on April 24, 1981. Accordingly, unconfirmed sources, the Iran-Iraq success rate in the helicopter war was 10:1.

Like many other wars, this war led to the emergence of a number of new medical disciplines. A newly invented method of treating Iranian soldiers with brain damage is still in progress.

Operation Karbala-5

In early 1987, Iran launched The Operation Karbala-5 with the aim of capturing the city of Basra.

In retaliation, Iraq attacked 65 Iranian cities and 226 localities in 42 days. So, many Iranian civilians had killed in missile strikes in eight major cities. A bomb attack near a primary school in the city of Bruges, and killed at least 65 children.

Consequently, an Iranian Scud missile then hit a primary school in Baghdad. While the two countries were targeting their respective cities. So, The Iran-Iraq war became the “city war”.


The total number of fighters on both sides is unclear. But, both countries were fully mobilized and most of the men of military age were underarms.

The number of victims was enormous but just as uncertain. Estimates of the total number of victims range from 1,000,000 to twice that number.

The number of people killed on both sides was perhaps 500,000, also with Iran suffering the greatest losses.

It is estimated that between 50,000 and 100,000 Kurds were killed by Iraqi forces. But, during the series of campaigns codenamed Anfāl, which took place in 1988.


Who won Iran Iraq war?

The US military says Iran is the only winner of the Iraq war. The US military has concluded that Iran is the only winner of an eight-year American campaign to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Also, replace it with a democratic regime. This is one of the conclusions of a large historical study published in January.

Was the US involved in the Iran Iraq war?

The United States actively supports the war effort in Iraq by providing billions of dollars in credit to Iraq, by providing U.S. military intelligence and advice to Iraq, and by closely monitoring the arms sales of the third country to Iraq to ensure that Iraq has the necessary military weapons.

Why did America invade Iraq?

Iraqi link with terrorist organizations
Along with the alleged development of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Another justification for the invasion was the alleged relationship between the government of Saddam Hussein and terrorist organizations, in particular Al Qaeda.

Source: [Wikipedia],[Britannica],[Shilalipi Academy],[history.com]

CEO of Shilalipi.in


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