The Sacred Defence Week
The Iran-Iraq War was a military conflict that lasted from 1980 to 1988, sparked at the instigation of the US and some western countries by territorial and political disagreements between the two countries.
Iraq’s president, Saddam Hussein, wanted total control over both banks of the Shatt al-Arab river, which historically acted as the Iran-Iraq border.
Iraq also hoped to seize the rich oil-producing Iranian region of Khuzestan along the border.
On September 22, 1980, Iraq took advantage of the chaos of Iran’s new Islamic revolutionary government to invade western Iran. Iraqi forces launched air strikes on Iranian air bases, following up with a ground invasion of the oil-producing border region of Khuzestan.
Iraq initially caught Iran by surprise, successfully capturing the city of Khorramshahr— but soon they met unexpectedly strong Iranian resistance. Iran’s regular armed forces and the Revolutionary Guards pushed the Iraqi army back, recapturing Khorramshahr in 1982. Unable to withstand the ceaseless ground assaults, Saddam pulled his depleted army back to the border in the same year and asked for a ceasefire and the peace talks but Iran refused; and so the war continued. By now Iraq was financially supported by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (and tacitly supported by the United States, the Soviet Union and many western governments such as the UK, Germany, France, etc) while Iran was supported by only Libya and Syria.
Iraq continued to request peace, and finally in 1988 Iran—motivated by Iraqi gains on the battlefield and Iran’s own struggling economy—accepted a ceasefire agreement mediated by the United Nations.
The total number of casualties caused by the war has never been confirmed, but estimates range from one million to two million.
In August 1990 Iraq and Iran resumed diplomatic relations.
Iraqi troops withdrew from Iranian territories, the land surrounding the Shatt al-Arab river was divided, and prisoners of war were exchanged.
During the Iran - Iraq war, Western countries and some of their eastern allies tried to intensify the sanctions in order to break down the country's defense system. Some of the sanctions are as follow:
As the imposed war began, the United States not only refused to sell arms to Iran, but also blocked the weapons from Pahlavi era and didn't give them to Iran. At the same year, United States Department of State make efforts to stop other countries from selling weapons to Iran, while Iran needed them the most to confront Iraq.
Oil Import Sanction
This sanction was imposed in 1987. Part of US endeavors to end Iran - Iraq war, was to prevent the companies from buying oil and trading with Iran to decrease Iran's income".
Chemical and Biologic Material and Equipment Sanction
The West claimed that Iran used some of chemical and industrial goods to produce weapons and military equipment. In April 1984 and July 1987, some sanctions were imposed to prevent the import of chemical materials with industrial, trade and economic use for Iran.
Marine and Aerial Equipment Sanction
Due to the sanction imposed by US in 23 October 1987, direct exporting and re exporting of Scuba Diving equipments and similar goods namely cell phone communication equipment, boats, Diesel HP400 engines, the spare parts of the non-strategic planes, special under water systems, etc. were banned.
Financial Resources Sanction
In 1988, when the war was near to its end, all the American members of international organizations were asked to reject and vote negative to Iran's requests for loans or finances. This coincided with Iran's financial problems in the time of rebuilding the damages of the war and the necessity of economic growth. It affected the country's economy but could not make the Islamic Republic give up on its goals, ideals and economic policies and unite with the West.
Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of I. R. Iran:
“This historical reserve will always give our generations hope, determination, and courage to take firm steps towards lofty goals and not be afraid of the enmity of the devils of the world.”
"In the 8-year war on Iran, Saddam was just a tool in the hands of big powers like the US that were seriously harmed by the 1979 Revolution or governments that worried about the creation of a new Islamic power in the region. The USSR, some European countries and NATO were against us."
"During the first years of the war, which were sholtry after the Islamic Revolution, the armed forces weren't in good shape and we were extremely short of equipment. These persuaded the enemy to attack us. Imam Khomeini managed the war amazingly under such conditions."
“Documents found later revealed that the United States had pre-war agreements with Saddam.”
“Abundant arms and intelligence assistance was given to Saddam and the Baa’th Party; military convoys were transported to Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait via the UAE ports and were handed over to Saddam's forces.”
“During the eight years of Iraqi Ba'athists' imposed war against Iran, the enemies supported the aggressor but failed to achieve their goals. The era of Sacred Defense, with characteristics such as solidarity, authority, and resistance has now become part of Iran's national identity and history.”