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(1980–88) Protracted and indecisive conflict prompted by Iraq's invasion of its eastern neighbour. Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the Iraqi leadership sought to exploit Iran's military and political chaos in order to resolve border disputes, gain control of Iran's oil-rich western (largely Arab) province, and achieve hegemony in the Persian Gulf. Iraq was successful early (1980–82) but began to lose ground and sought to negotiate peace. Iran refused, and the war turned into a bloody stalemate that included the first use of chemical warfare since World War I (1914–18). After additional Iraqi advances, Iran agreed to a cease-fire in 1988. However, the resumption of normal diplomatic relations and the withdrawal of troops did not take place until the signing of a formal peace agreement on Aug. 16, 1990. See alsoSaddam Hussein; Ruhollah Khomeini.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Iran-Iraq War, visit Britannica.com.
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