Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
There was a contract signed between Iran and Iraq in 1937, that brought a solution to the longstanding disagreement, which dated back to the Ottoman-Persian battles of the 16th and 17th centuries over the supervision of the Shatt al-Arab. During that year, both states joined the Saadabad treaty, and for decades the two states maintained good cooperation. In 1955, both Iran and Iraq joined the Baghdad contract. The 1937 pact acknowledged the Iranian-Iraqi frontier as along the low water mark on the eastern part of the Shatt al-Arab besides Abadan and Khorramshahr where the frontier ran along which allow Iraq to oversight the whole waterway; provided that all ships using the Shatt al-Arab fly the Iraqi flag and have an Iraqi pilot and required Iran to pay tolls to Iraq whenever its ships used the Shatt al-Arab. This treaty remained in place for just over 20 years, this was till the Iraq authority overturn and a nationalistic General called General Abdul Karim Qassim took control of Iraq.
Summarizing, four various contracts we can conclude that Iraq suffered a significant loss of some of the most vital of its national territory. Given this heritage and the specially humiliating nature of the 1975 pact, it is simple why Iraq launched warfare in 1980.Anyway, some scholars confirm that the frontier dispute was only a pretense and that the real reasons of the warfare were of a different nature. One researcher has insisted, ‘Anyone who believes that the Shatt al-Arab is the heart of the conflict will also be convinced that Israeli-Palestinian discord centers on sharing the waters of the Jordan River. The idea that past border conflicts adequately explain the origin of the Iran-Iraq War is both an illusion and a legalistic sham.’ Four non territorial factors can be discussed now. Those are the essential factors to realizing the conflict. Firstly, the personal enmity amidst Saddam Hussein and the Ayatollah Khomeini has become demonstrated in state policy. Shah ordered Hussein to deport Khomeini from the holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq in 1978, where he had been living in exile for thirteen years.
Khomeini frequently called for the over- throw of Hussein, once he came to power in Iran in 1979. Secondly, the disagreement over frontiers which lasted for about five centuries, have been viewed as a reflection of ethnic hostility between Arabs and Persians, or contention between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Yet, this dispute can be interpreted as a strife Before 1979, Iran, had appeared as the dominant military power in the Gulf region with strong support from the United States. Thirdly, if in Iraq dominant ideology is Arab nationalism, then in post-shah Iran Islamic fundamentalism predominates. This two nations history has demonstrated that these ideologies are in direct conflict. Arab nationalism is secular. Nearly 60 percent of the Iraqi population consist of Shia Muslims, the prevailing Sunni Muslims cannot stress religion. Instead Sunni Muslims emphasize Arab unity and socialism. Iran’s Islamic fundamentalism consists in anti-Western, anti-modernist segments and underlines a return to the proper Islamic roots of the past. The warfare therefore presents a cultural and national collision between two nations. Fourthly, Shi’i revolt represents fear to the governors of Iraq. The Sunni Muslims are clearly the minority in the country.
In addition to the 60 percent of the population that is Shi’i, 20 percent is Kurds who are Sunni. They are working hard to maintain their ethnic identity. Thus, the dominant Sunni Arabs form only 20 percent of the population, and the Islamic revolution in Iran, represented a threat to this minority. Khomeini is considered as the foremost political and religious leader by Shi’i Muslims in both Iraq and Iran. Since he came to power in 1979, he has protected not only the overturn of the Hussein regime but also the establishment of a true Islamic state in Iraq. The goal of the attack on Iran was to overthrown Khomeini and his revolt. The majority of observers regards these non territorial factors to compose the proper explanation of the Iran Iraq warfare. This explanation is maybe more persuasive than the Shatt al-Arab frontier conflict.