Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran-Iraq War begins (1980)

Apart from the Israel-Palestine conflict and possibly the US invasion of Iraq, it would be difficult to find anything that has defined the course of recent Middle Eastern history as much as the Iran-Iraq War. I suppose you could add the 1979 Iranian Revolution to that list, but since this war followed almost immediately on the heels of the revolution, and since the revolution pretty much triggered the war, it’s hard to separate them into two distinct events. For that matter, if you’re inclined to think the 2003 Iraq War was more impactful, consider that there’s a decent chance that war wouldn’t have happened without this one.

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