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Iran's New Iraq

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Abstract:

The US invasion of Iraq has revolutionized the strategic architecture of the Persian Gulf in a manner that is still difficult to fully appreciate. Among the relationships that have been dramatically altered by America's move are the ties between Iran and Iraq. A critical examination reveals that more than territorial disputes or contending hegemonic aspirations, it was ideology that caused tension and ultimately war between these two states from 1980-88. While the earlier monarchical governments managed to contain their disputes, the ideological regimes of Saddam Husayn and the Iranian mullahs ultimately waged a devastating war against each other. Today, for the first time, ideology does not seem to be a source of friction between the two states, portending a more favorable relationship. The question then becomes, can the United States transcend its visceral suspicions of Iran and recognize that its long-term nemesis may be a source of stability?

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3751/62.1.11

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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