The Iran-Iraq War: Background information when reading Moon Brow

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Moon Brow by Sara Khalili, Shahriar Mandanipour X
Moon Brow by Sara Khalili, Shahriar Mandanipour
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    Apr 2018, 464 pages

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Jamie Samson

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The Iran-Iraq War

This article relates to Moon Brow

The 1980-88 war between Iraq and Iran, which forms the backdrop to Moon Brow, is widely considered one of the bloodiest conflicts of the twentieth century. At least one million lives are estimated to have been lost, half of them civilians. The eight-year standoff is said to have cost its aggressors a combined one trillion dollars, an astonishing figure for what was a largely conventional war.

Territorial and tribal disputes have always marked the relationship between Iran and Iraq, but by the time war broke out in 1980, diplomatic relations had reached an alarmingly low point. Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution—which overthrew Tehran's despotic Shah and declared Iran an Islamic state, ruled by the Ayatollah Khomeini—Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein began to grow uneasy; his particular brand of secular authoritarianism, after all, matched the Shah's, and he feared the revolution would spread to his own country. He also wished to enlarge Iraq's oil reserves and to assert his...

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