The End of the Iran-Iraq War and U.N. Resolution 598
Yesterday the Persian Journal published a very succinct but insightful article on the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, who helped to end it and how.
You can understand the not wholly misplaced distrust the Iranians hold against the United States and the United Nations.
Whilst the U.S. aggressively sought to mediate an end to the bloody conflict - they also aided and abetted an power-hungry Saddam Hussein and gave him the gift chemical and biologicial weapons. This uneven playing-field tactic turned the war in Saddam's favor and ... Saddam being Saddam ... he sought opportunity where other's might see further bloodshed and death.
In a nutshell:
The opening paragraph:
20th of July was the anniversary for the end of 8 years of horrible and destructive Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988). The war resulted in millions of dead and two devastated states. Although the acceptance of the Resolution 598 of the United Nations Security Council officially ended the war, the politics outside the UNSC played a great role in the termination of war and the later developments of the region.
- Iraq was losing the war against Iran, despite being the one that initiated it!
- Iraq accepted the premise of the U.N. Resolution 598 a full year before Iran.
- Iraq was badly losing the war and Iran was firmly entrenched well inside Iraqi territory as far south as the Gulf port of Basra.
- Iraq's Saddam wanted the Iran's out of Iraq and was making friendly overtures to the West for help and political maneuvering.
- The West (read: U.S.) complied to Saddam's cries for help by selling him the technology to produce and use chemical and biological weapons.
- Saddam aggressively used these weapons from his new-found Western allies against the Iranian military and civilians with remarkable success.
- Iran was forced to withdraw fully from Iraq with the loss of tens - hundreds of thousands of men, women and children [CIA Report via FAS.org]
- Iraq captured what it did not kill and embarked on a race to occupy undefended Iranian territory from the fleeing Iranian military.
- Iranian Mullah, the Ayatollah Khomeini, under threat from Iranian rebels (the Mujahedin Khalgh Organization [MKO]) and an ambitious Saddam Hussein, had no option but to accept the United Nation's Resolution 598 to end the war with Iraq.
- The United States mediated and closed the cease-fire and ultimate Resolution agreement and that was that.
Saddam Hussein saved face - then became a major military customer for the United States before running foul with certain Kuwait-based poor decisions and, well, the rest is an ugly history of U.S. double-talk and confusing agendas.
Iran remains a the symbol of evil for the United States and, without any doubt, vice-versa for Iran's distrusting viewpoint of the U.S.
Meanwhile, the Bush Administration believes the cold-shoulder treatment of Iran will force it to comply with the demands of the United Nations and the 'West' - even though Iran has suffered and survived far worse treatment - including territorial invasion, chemical and biological weapons and multiple-decades of trade sanctions and embargoes.
Iran's distrust and turbid dismissal of the United States and the United Nations is - unfortunately - understandable. The next step to resolving is?
Background reading: 'Crimes of War: The Book' by Jonathan C. Randal
Crimes of War