Changes in Middle Eastern International Relations During the Iran-Iraq War After the Iranian Revolution of 1979

Shintaro YOSHIMURA (Hiroshima University)


During the 1960s, the Middle East was experiencing much friction from the US-Soviet cold war, Arab-Israeli conflicts, and conflicts among the Arab nations themselves. And Iran was struggling to maintain stability despite confrontation from Arab neighbors, the United States, and Israel. Investigated here are the effects of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the ensuing eruption of the Iran-Iraq War on this politically unstable landscape.

In 1979, Iranian foreign diplomacy had been brought strongly in line with the Islamic Revolution. And Iraq, with its large Shi'ite population, felt increasingly threatened by Iran's growing Islamization. The gulf states also shared this apprehension, and with deepening minority problems within Iran itself, Iraq found the conditions condusive to the declaration of the Iran-Iraq war. Other Arab countries as well as the United States both directly and indirectly supported Iraq, causing Iran's position within the Middle East to alter drastically.