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Iran-Iraq War (1980–88)

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

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    Iran-Iraq War (1980–88)

    Immediately after Iran's Islamic Revolution, Iraq attacked Iran to contain the spread of the revolution within Iraq and regain territory ceded under duress to Iran in 1975 in the Shatt al-Arab. In September 1980 Iraq seized ninety square miles of Iranian territory in the Shatt al-Arab but failed to achieve a quick victory, and a bloody war of attrition ensued. Iraq's 1984 use of chemical weapons drew worldwide outrage. The scope of the conflict increased, affecting shipping in the Gulf and leading to some of the bloodiest battles of this century. By 1987 U.S. forces in the Gulf began flying limited sorties against Iranian oil rigs and naval vessels as the balance of power shifted from Iraq to Iran. Iran and Iraq finally accepted a UN peace plan, and fighting between the two nations ceased in August 1988 . Estimates of the number of dead range up to 1.5 million. The war cost the two countries nearly $700 billion in direct costs, loss of oil revenue, and destruction of property.

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