Conflicts between Iraq
and Iran date back even to pre-Islamic times. These conflicts continued during
the Ottoman Empire and led to many treaties between the two parties.
The eight-year war between Iraq and Iran is considered one of the longest wars in the modern era.
Before the start of the war between the two countries, there were several incidents that were a prelude to that war, including hostile Iranian statements that were issued by the leaders of the mullah regime against Iraq.
One of the most important reasons was Iran's occupation of islands belonging to the United Arab Emirates in 1971, which led Iraq to protest against that occupation as the islands are Arab, not Persian.
The Iraqi-Iranian war continued from September 1980 to August 1988 and was considered one of the longest conventional wars in the 20th century. This war caused the death of more than a million people and led to $1.19 trillion in financial losses.
The war changed the political equations of the Middle East, and its outcome led to the US-led Gulf War in 1991.
Between 1955 and 1975, at least 18 agreements were signed to demarcate the border between Iraq and Iran.
In 1959, one year after Abdul Karim Qasim came to power in Iraq, he supported the movements calling for independence in Ahvaz and raised the issue in the Arab League. However, he did not succeed, as he was killed in a coup led by the Baath Party in 1963.
In 1969, after the Baath Party came into power in Iraq, the deputy prime minister announced that Ahvaz is part of Iraq. Iraqi Radio began publishing statements urging the Arab people of Ahvaz to wage a revolution against the Shah's regime in Iran.
In 1971, Iraq cut off diplomatic relations with Iran as a result of disagreements over the sovereignty of the three islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunbs after the withdrawal of British troops from them.
One of the main reasons for the disputes between Iraq and Iran was the dispute over full sovereignty of Shatt al-Arab, as it was under full Iraqi sovereignty before 1975, but the two countries shared sovereignty over the area after the 1975 Algiers agreement.
When Saddam Hussein came to power in Iraq in 1979, the Iranian army was weak compared to the Iraqi army in terms of weapons.
Iraqi-Iranian diplomatic relations began to deteriorate in 1980 after sporadic border conflicts with the new Shiite mullah regime in Tehran. On September 17, 1980, Saddam Hussein tore apart the Algiers agreement he had signed when he was then-vice president.
Iraq then managed to regain its share of Shatt al-Arab and considered it as part of Iraq's territorial waters.