As neighboring countries Iran and Iraq have had a very rocky relationship. In 1979 when the revolution took place in Iran, putting rebel leader Ayatollah Khomein in power, Iraq leader Saddam Hussein was threatened. Saddam was fearful of an attack from Iran because he was seen as a tyrant who oppressed his country. The strategy was simple, overthrow Iraq before Iraq could over throw Iran. Saddam believed “Iran was in turmoil and that his forces could achieve quick victory.” Iraqi forces invaded Iran in 1980 and by 1982 offered a cease fire.
While Saddam Hussein offered a cease fire , Ayatollah Khomein would not accept unless Saddam Hussein was no longer in power. Both countries were acting selfish and power seeking due to the insecurity within the states, proving the realist theory. Due to Saddam Hussein fear that he was going to be over thrown, this war was inevitable, a military war could not have been avoided. While it was Iraq who started the war, it was Iran who prolonged it. Khomeni wanted to give back “Islamic hope” to the people by taking Saddam out of power.
With no central government at the top of the world, the Iran-Iraq war had to be stepped in by the United States and Russia providing assistance to Kuwait who was not involved in the war, but directly effected. By this point it was 1988 and international institutions had failed to provide any assistance to help stop the conflict before 1988 because of an anarchic international system. Iran and Iraq also acted like realist because they had no central authority and the United Nations Security Council had to urge Khomeni to take the cease fire, in which he equated to drinking poison to accepting the ceasefire. With $300 billion lost and almost 1 million lives loft for no winner seems pretty damaging to each state. To these states there was no other choice besides war. Military war was inevitable and could not have been stopped by bargaining.
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