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From 1980 to 1988, Iran and Iraq fought the longest war of the twentieth century. The tragedies included the slaughter of child soldiers, the use of chemical weapons, the striking of civilian shipping in the Gulf, and the destruction of cities. The Iran-Iraq War offers an unflinching look at a conflict seared into the region’s collective memory but little understood in the From 1980 to 1988, Iran and Iraq fought the longest war of the twentieth century. The tragedies included the slaughter of child soldiers, the use of chemical weapons, the striking of civilian shipping in the Gulf, and the destruction of cities. The Iran-Iraq War offers an unflinching look at a conflict seared into the region’s collective memory but little understood in the West. Pierre Razoux shows why this war remains central to understanding Middle Eastern geopolitics, from the deep-rooted distrust between Sunni and Shia Muslims, to Iran’s obsession with nuclear power, to the continuing struggles in Iraq. He provides invaluable keys to decipher Iran’s behavior and internal struggle today. Razoux’s account is based on unpublished military archives, oral histories, and interviews, as well as audio recordings seized by the U.S. Army detailing Saddam Hussein’s debates with his generals. Tracing the war’s shifting strategies and political dynamics—military operations, the jockeying of opposition forces within each regime, the impact on oil production so essential to both countries—Razoux also looks at the international picture. From the United States and Soviet Union to Israel, Europe, China, and the Arab powers, many nations meddled in this conflict, supporting one side or the other and sometimes switching allegiances. The Iran-Iraq War answers questions that have puzzled historians. Why did Saddam embark on this expensive, ultimately fruitless conflict? Why did the war last eight years when it could have ended in months? Who, if anyone, was the true winner when so much was lost?


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From 1980 to 1988, Iran and Iraq fought the longest war of the twentieth century. The tragedies included the slaughter of child soldiers, the use of chemical weapons, the striking of civilian shipping in the Gulf, and the destruction of cities. The Iran-Iraq War offers an unflinching look at a conflict seared into the region’s collective memory but little understood in the From 1980 to 1988, Iran and Iraq fought the longest war of the twentieth century. The tragedies included the slaughter of child soldiers, the use of chemical weapons, the striking of civilian shipping in the Gulf, and the destruction of cities. The Iran-Iraq War offers an unflinching look at a conflict seared into the region’s collective memory but little understood in the West. Pierre Razoux shows why this war remains central to understanding Middle Eastern geopolitics, from the deep-rooted distrust between Sunni and Shia Muslims, to Iran’s obsession with nuclear power, to the continuing struggles in Iraq. He provides invaluable keys to decipher Iran’s behavior and internal struggle today. Razoux’s account is based on unpublished military archives, oral histories, and interviews, as well as audio recordings seized by the U.S. Army detailing Saddam Hussein’s debates with his generals. Tracing the war’s shifting strategies and political dynamics—military operations, the jockeying of opposition forces within each regime, the impact on oil production so essential to both countries—Razoux also looks at the international picture. From the United States and Soviet Union to Israel, Europe, China, and the Arab powers, many nations meddled in this conflict, supporting one side or the other and sometimes switching allegiances. The Iran-Iraq War answers questions that have puzzled historians. Why did Saddam embark on this expensive, ultimately fruitless conflict? Why did the war last eight years when it could have ended in months? Who, if anyone, was the true winner when so much was lost?

30 review for The Iran-Iraq War

  1. 5 out of 5

    فؤاد

    لینک دانلود ترجمه دوستانی که لینک براشون باز نمی شه اگه خواستن ایمیل بذارن که پی دی اف رو براشون ارسال کنم. بخش کوچکی از جنگ در میدان جنگ اتفاق می افتد. هر چند به خاطر تلفات جانی و مالی فراوان، این بخش همیشه در مرکز توجه است. بخش اعظم جنگ، مربوط به اموری است که در میدان جنگ قابل دیدن نیست. «چرا»ها، نقشه ها، بده بستان ها، معادلات سیاسی و نظامی، این ها را در میدان جنگ نمی توان دید، و بسیاری از کسانی که اسلحه به دست می گیرند و گلوله شلیک می کنند، از تمام این ها بی خبرند. هدف برای آن ها تا حدّ ممکن سا لینک دانلود ترجمه دوستانی که لینک براشون باز نمی شه اگه خواستن ایمیل بذارن که پی دی اف رو براشون ارسال کنم. بخش کوچکی از جنگ در میدان جنگ اتفاق می افتد. هر چند به خاطر تلفات جانی و مالی فراوان، این بخش همیشه در مرکز توجه است. بخش اعظم جنگ، مربوط به اموری است که در میدان جنگ قابل دیدن نیست. «چرا»ها، نقشه ها، بده بستان ها، معادلات سیاسی و نظامی، این ها را در میدان جنگ نمی توان دید، و بسیاری از کسانی که اسلحه به دست می گیرند و گلوله شلیک می کنند، از تمام این ها بی خبرند. هدف برای آن ها تا حدّ ممکن ساده می شود: فتح کربلا، فتح بیت المقدس، یا تکرار پیروزی اعراب در جنگ قادسیه! پیچیدگی برای ذهن یک سرباز باعث سست شدن انگشت روی ماشه می شود. وقتی بداند تنها دلیلش برای کشتن و کشته شدن در این عملیات، این است که دولت بتواند دولت ثالثی را که حتی در جنگ حضور ندارد، تحت فشار قرار دهد که قیمت نفت را پایین نیاورد، دیگر نمی تواند به راحتی خودش را روی مین بیندازد. این انبوه آشفتۀ «چرا»ها که در پشت پردۀ جنگ اتفاق می افتد، تا سال ها پس از واقعه به تمامی روشن نمی شود. نیاز است که فاصله ای بیفتد، تا بتوان تمام اطلاعات را از دور در کنار هم دید و طرح کلی را تشخیص داد. چه شد که شروع شد؟ چه شد که سرعت یافت؟ چه شد که به این شکل اتفاق افتاد؟ چه شد که سرعتش کاسته شد؟ چه شد که پایان یافت؟ جواب تمام این سؤال ها و سؤال های بسیار دیگر، همچون شبکه ای در هم تنیده از وقایع است که در زمان واقعه، شاید حتی گردانندگان اصلی هم نتوانند تمامش را یک جا ببینند و در میان شاخه های انبوه گم شوند. این کتاب، همان طرح کلی است. باید بیست سال از جنگ می گذشت، و صدام سقوط می کرد و اسناد محرمانه اش فاش می شد، تا مورخان بالاخره بتوانند این طرح کلی را تکمیل کنند و بفهمند چه اتفاقی افتاد. این کتاب، بر اساس همان اسناد فاش شده، و اسناد دیگر نوشته شده. و چه بسا هنوز برخی بخش هایش ناقص باشد و نیاز باشد که اسناد محرمانۀ طرف ایرانی هم زمانی فاش شود. کتاب پانصد صفحه است و هنوز ترجمه نشده، و نمی دانم آیا هرگز ترجمه بشود یا نه. متنی که من خواندم، ترجمه ای خلاصه شده از کتاب بود. پانصد صفحه کتاب در چهل صفحه، به صورت تیتر وار و به سرعت. مترجم به درستی بخش های مربوط به جنگ فیزیکی را حذف کرده بود، و بخش اصلی خلاصه را به طرح کلی حوادث، روابط سیاسی و چراهای نظامی اختصاص داده بود. تمام این خلاصه را می توان دو ساعته خواند، و پیشنهاد مؤکد من این است که آن را بخوانید. مترجم سلطنت طلب است و اگر از شعارهاى اين گروه خوشتان نمى آيد، مثل من عمل كنيد و پاورقى هاى شعارى گاه به گاهش را ناديده بگيريد (بعضى از پاورقى هايش البته شعارى نيستند). كيفيت ترجمه مهم اين است كه به نظر مى رسد در اين زمينه خوب عمل كرده. بخش هایی از کتاب را در پایین می آورم. پیروز نهایی جنگ (view spoiler)[جنگ ایران و عراق تبدیل شد به دستگاه چاپ اسکناسی برای دولت آنکارا که در آن زمان در بحران اقتصادی دست و پا می زد. ترکیه با اعلام "بی طرفی فعّال"، که نامی دیپلماتیک برای "دوشیدن دو کشور" بود، هوشمندانه کار خود را پیش برد. نفت ارزان تر از قیمت رسمی از هر دو کشور روانۀ ترکیه شد و در عوض ترک ها چشم خود را به ترانزیت اسلحه به هر دو مملکت می بستند. قراردادهای نان و آب دار از طرف ایران با ترکیه بسته شد و حتی نیروی کار ترک، جای ایرانیانی که در جبهۀ جنگ بودند را پر می کرد. صد پزشک از ترکیه به کمک پزشکان ایرانی برای مداوای مجروحین جنگی آمدند و شبکۀ مخابراتی ایران برای گسترش به این کشور سپرده شد. در عرض پنج سال صادرات ترکیه به ایران دوازده برابر شد و به بیش از یک میلیارد دلار در سال 1985 رسید. اجناس بی کیفیت و ارزان ترکی بازارهای ایران را فتح کرد و یک چهارم صادرات ترکیه مقصدی به جز ایران نداشت. واردات عراق از ترکیه هم از 135 میلیون، به 960 میلیون دلار رسید. بدون تردید، ترکیه برندۀ بی سر و صدای جنگ دو همسایه بود. (hide spoiler)] * فتح کربلا، فتح قدس (view spoiler)[در 20 جون 1982 صدّام اندک مناطق اشغالی در اختیارش را (به جز فکّه تا قصر شیرین، زیرا با تخلیۀ آن راه بغداد باز می شد) تخلیه کرد و به مرزهای خود بازگشت. در 12 جولای 1982 سازمان ملل از دو کشور خواست صلح کنند. ایران امّا شرایطی گذاشت که مطمئن شود ردّ خواهند شد و آن عبارت بود از این که "صدّام باید برود"، صد هزار شیعه عراقی پناهنده به عراق برگردند و عربستان هم به جای پنجاه، صد و پنجاه میلیارد دلار بپردازد. ملک فهد پیشنهاد خود را پس گرفت و در عوض برای بار اوّل جنگ افزارهای آمریکایی خود را در اختیار صدّام گذاشت. عقب نشینی صدّام به مرزهای خود جنبۀ تاکتیکی هم داشت. حالا در صورت ادامۀ جنگ، مسئولیت بر گردن ایران بود و این کشور از مدافع به مهاجم تبدیل می شد و قدرت های جهانی را پشت سر صدّام می فرستاد و این دقیقاً اتفاقی بود که افتاد. سرباز عراقی که دیگر انگیزۀ جنگیدن نداشت، حالا با روحیه ای که ناشی از دفاع از آب و خاک بود می جنگید. اهداف ایران در جنگ هم از دفاع از مرز و بوم، به آزاد کردن نجف و کربلا و سپس قدس تبدیل گشت. ماشین جنگی صدّام از این پس به شدّت قوی شد و ایران برای جبران ضعف تسلیحاتی به استفاده از نیروی فراوان و ارزانی که در اختیار داشت روی آورد و آن چیزی نبود به جز استفاده از امواج انسانی. (hide spoiler)] * تکخال های پرنده (view spoiler)[خلبان های ایرانی زیادی در نبردهای هوایی بیش از 55 هواپیما را سرنگون کردند. بر خلاف سنّت معمول این خلبانان مورد تشویق قرار نگرفته و حتی اجازه نیافتند که نمادهای پیروزی هوایی را روی هواپیماهاشان نقّاشی نمایند. کاپیتان جوادنیا رکورد جهانی پیروزی با موشک "فینکس" را دارد. کاپیتان محمد مسبوق تنها خلبانی است که رکورد نابود کردن سه هواپیما با یک موشک را داراست (سه هواپیما در کنار هم به صورت نزدیک پرواز می کردند و او هواپیمای میانی را نشان گرفت). تمایل رسمی حکومت ایران، قهرمانسازی از پاسداران بود و به ویژه در مورد نیروی هوایی زیاد سر و صدا نمی کردند، چرا که به این نیرو اطمینان کامل نداشتند. پیروزی ها باید که به پای سپاه پاسداران نوشته می شد، نه "آدم های سابق شاه". بسیاری از هواپیماهای شکار شده در آسمان در تبلیغات رسمی، به حساب پدافند زمینی سپاه گذاشته شد و محترمانه از خلبانان خواستند که در این باره حرفی نزنند. (hide spoiler)]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Greg Watson

    Pierre Razoux's The Iran-Iraq War provides a comprehensive account of the military aspects of the war. It also presents a detailed overview of the arms sales to either or both countries throughout the war. Lastly, the study shows the political impact of the conflict on both countries, during and after hostilities. The formal beginning of the Iran-Iraq war is 22 September 1980 (when Iraq attacked Iran), and the official end date is 20 August 1988, when Iran accepted the terms of the UN ceasefire. Pierre Razoux's The Iran-Iraq War provides a comprehensive account of the military aspects of the war. It also presents a detailed overview of the arms sales to either or both countries throughout the war. Lastly, the study shows the political impact of the conflict on both countries, during and after hostilities. The formal beginning of the Iran-Iraq war is 22 September 1980 (when Iraq attacked Iran), and the official end date is 20 August 1988, when Iran accepted the terms of the UN ceasefire. Saddam Hussein's precise objectives for the war remain unclear. Generally, Saddam wanted "to reestablish Iraqi sovereignty over the entire Shatt al-Arab" and "take control of some bordering oil-rich Iranian territory." Saddam's perception that Ayatollah Khomeini "would stop at nothing to bring [him] down" was also a key factor leading to the war. The war had several fronts. There was a territorial war of ground fighting, the air war against critical military assets, a war of cities targeting civilian populations, and an economic war targeting oil facilities and shipping lanes. The Iranian air force was superior to Iraq's. However, at the start of the war, the air force was perceived as loyal to the Shah. Hence, some Iranian pilots languished in jail or were training in American afraid to return to Iran. The political fallout of the revolution also inhibited Iran's military intelligence capabilities. With assistance from American intelligence, the Shah had "an electronic interception system," enabling Iran to "spy on Iraq." There were ground stations "located in Kurdistan and the Zagros Mountains." But as the war started, "most of the technicians employed in running the two ground stations and the three aircraft" had "emigrated or were imprisoned." Early in the war, Iraq gained the capability to "decrypt a significant volume of" Iranian messages. In order "to negotiate his escape to Baghdad," an Iranian officer gifted the Iraqis with "a Crypto-52 enciphering machine," which "the Iranian military high command" used "to communicate with its troops." Iraq, however, was unable to monitor the communications of the Pasdaran, since they did not communicate electronically. Saddam lavished gifts on officers who succeeded in battle. Those who retreated without authorization or showed themselves unprepared for a surprise attack faced execution. In April of 1981, after Iran's successful attack on Iraq's H-3 military airfield, "six senior officers" responsible for the airfield's defense "were arrested and executed." Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran's speaker of Parliament, was the key figure in Iran's war strategy. Rafsanjani stood virtually alone among Iran's leadership in wanting to continue the war after 1982. Rafsanjani proved willing to risk high causality rates through human wave assault tactics, often involving very young soldiers. Some of Iran's young soldiers enlisted out of religious devotion. Selected for "suicide missions," these youths were "unarmed, carrying only their keys to paradise and a Koran as they crossed Iraqi minefields to set off the mines and open the way for the Pasdaran." Other boys fought out of "social pressure," seeking "to impress their parents, classmates, teachers, or even their fiancees." Still, other youths joined "to obtain social status," or "gain easier access to higher education." While Iran used young soldiers, Iraq resorted to using chemical weapons. Razoux highlights one Iranian use of such weapons in the war. Iraq, however, used such weapons on many occasions. Napalm, nerve gas, and mustard gas were all part of the Iraqi arsenal. Saddam's authorization of chemical weapons against the Iraqi Kurds at Halabja in 1988 "would provide the grounds for his death sentence." Ali Hassan al-Majid, an Iraqi defense minister, would become known as "Chemical Ali" and face an eventual execution "for his role in the [Halabja] massacre." Both sides in the war would use SCUD missiles. Although relatively inaccurate, these missiles were part of the war on the cities, used to terrorize civilian populations. Iran launched SCUDS at Baghdad, and Iraq fired them at Tehran and other major Iranian cities. Oil exports were the chief means of financing the war for both countries. Both sides attacked each other's oil facilities and tried to disrupt shipping, raising insurance prices. Arguably more economically devastating than military attacks were the economic actions of Saudi Arabia and the United States. With the intent of bringing "the Soviet system to its knees," America convinced the Saudis to increase oil production dramatically, which they did in 1985. Concurrently, America "allowed its currency to drop, further diminishing oil revenue, which was negotiated in dollars." Foreign military sales played a significant part in the war, with some countries selling to both sides. China earned approximately 6 billion in military sales to Iraq and an estimated 3 billion in sales to Iran. "Every other [European] state," except for Ireland, was involved "in selling military equipment to one or often both" sides. "In all, some forty nations contributed to the Iraqi and Iranian war efforts. At some point or other, half of them provided material support both to Iraq and Iran--including the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council." Iraq largely financed its weapons purchases on credit, especially from the Soviets, France, and China. The result was that although Iraq won the war, it was somewhat of a hollow victory since it emerged from hostilities deeply in debt. At the close of the war, Saddam had an army he could not afford to maintain and could ill-afford to disband. Saudi Arabia forgave Iraq's war debt. Kuwait refused to do so "and insisted on maintaining very low oil prices." These actions would lead to Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Isolated from the international lending market, Iran paid cash to finance the war. This forced rationing on the civilian population. Some Iranian political leaders wanted to open Iran to the outside world. Other leaders advocated an isolationist policy. The Iranian civilian population was trapped in between during the war as it is today. All in all, this was a well-informed study. It is highly recommended for anyone interested in the Iran-Iraq war.

  3. 4 out of 5

    James Murphy

    This is an interesting and useful read. Interesting in that it's the 1st comprehensive narrative of the war--or at least the 1st I know of. Interesting in that I knew almost none of what Razoux writes. Even when the war was going on it was only at the periphery of my awareness because it wasn't widely covered by western media. So even if it'd been in the front of my mind I wouldn't have known much--information wasn't available. Interesting because it was modern industrial warfare between 2 belli This is an interesting and useful read. Interesting in that it's the 1st comprehensive narrative of the war--or at least the 1st I know of. Interesting in that I knew almost none of what Razoux writes. Even when the war was going on it was only at the periphery of my awareness because it wasn't widely covered by western media. So even if it'd been in the front of my mind I wouldn't have known much--information wasn't available. Interesting because it was modern industrial warfare between 2 belligerents with large modern militaries. It's a war deserving of study for that alone, for seeing how war's state of the art has progressed because all the arms of Iraq and Iran were involved. Armor, artillery, navies, and air forces were extensively used during the 8 years of the war, singly and in various combinations. The war even saw periods in which enemy cities were bombed and when chemical weapons were used on the battlefield. It was a savage affair. Finally, the book cleared up some murky events of America's Middle Eastern policies from the '80s I'd puzzled over. I remember the huge U. S. Navy presence in the Gulf during those years, engaged as they were in escorting and protecting oil tanker traffic. Razoux describes a fairly active, intense naval war between our Navy and the much smaller, lighter Iranian vessels. I don't even remember that even being hinted at the time. The book is also a fascinating look at the 2 opposing countries at war, especially how they evolved after the hostilities and affect the Middle East we see today. Two wars with America removed Saddam Hussein as leader of Iraq, of course. What's left has been radically altered and enfeebled. But Razoux's portrait of Iran is the most fascinating because they're essentially the same country today, run by the same types of Islam-driven leaders and mindset. And now that Iraq has been weakened, the regional balance of power has swung in their favor. The same leadership has been energized with new opportunities. Most interestingly, Razoux, near the end of his history, is understanding about Iran's drive toward nuclear weaponry. He says that if atomic weapons had been developed during World War I, all the little countries of Europe--presumably smaller actors like Belgium and Poland and Serbia--in the same position of marginalized power vis a vis the great powers as Iran is today, would've also tried to proliferate their own atomic weapons. This is a valuable book to have around during these anxious times of chaos in the Middle East.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Absolutely, positively, the book to read on the Iran-Iraq War. Thorough and scholarly while being easily read. The author does an amazing job of conveying the politics, war front, and home fronts of the various belligerents and "allies". I learned a ton as well which of course is the main point. I was so impressed and interested in this conflict midway through the book that I also bought the author's wargame he made on the same subject for my wife and I to play. Written works on this war are sli Absolutely, positively, the book to read on the Iran-Iraq War. Thorough and scholarly while being easily read. The author does an amazing job of conveying the politics, war front, and home fronts of the various belligerents and "allies". I learned a ton as well which of course is the main point. I was so impressed and interested in this conflict midway through the book that I also bought the author's wargame he made on the same subject for my wife and I to play. Written works on this war are slim to none compared to other military history topics but Mr. Razoux has done a great service to those interested in this subject matter. Zero qualms calling this work the Bible of this particular conflict.

  5. 4 out of 5

    امیر لطیفی

    تنها چیزی‌ست که در این مورد خواندم. پر از چیزهایی بود که نمی‌دانستم. نمی‌توان از بی‌طرفی کتاب مطمئن بود. همچنین نمی‌توان از این حجم کم خلاصه‌ شده توقع ارائه‌ی تصویر کامل داشت. بخش زیادی از کتاب مربوط به فعالیت‌های تروریستی‌ای می‌شود که سال‌هاست ایران به آن‌ها متهم است. چیزهایی که مامعمولاً فقط در تیترهای خبری شنیده‌ایم. به تنش‌هایی قبل از شروع جنگ بین ایران و عراق هم اشاره می‌شود. همچنین در مورد جانبداری اسرائیل از ایران در زمان جنگ نیز چیزهایی می‌نویسد. نکته‌ی جالب دیگر که به آن اشاره می‌شود در تنها چیزی‌ست که در این مورد خواندم. پر از چیزهایی بود که نمی‌دانستم. نمی‌توان از بی‌طرفی کتاب مطمئن بود. همچنین نمی‌توان از این حجم کم خلاصه‌ شده توقع ارائه‌ی تصویر کامل داشت. بخش زیادی از کتاب مربوط به فعالیت‌های تروریستی‌ای می‌شود که سال‌هاست ایران به آن‌ها متهم است. چیزهایی که مامعمولاً فقط در تیترهای خبری شنیده‌ایم. به تنش‌هایی قبل از شروع جنگ بین ایران و عراق هم اشاره می‌شود. همچنین در مورد جانبداری اسرائیل از ایران در زمان جنگ نیز چیزهایی می‌نویسد. نکته‌ی جالب دیگر که به آن اشاره می‌شود در مورد رابطه‌ی عراق و روسیه پیش و در زمان جنگ است. گرچه در حال حاضر روابط ایران و روسیه بسیار دوستانه به نظر می‌رسد، اما عراق در آن زمان حوزه‌ی نفوذ و مورد حمایت روسیه بوده است. همچنین اشارات گذرایی به پشتیبانی سوریه از ایران در آن زمان می‌شود. در حقیقت در آن دوران حمایت سوریه از ایران بسیار جدی بوده است. بندهای زیر در مورد پشتیبانی سوریه را از ویکیپدیا نقل می‌کنم. با چنین حمایت تمام‌قدی از ایران، می‌توان دلیل حضورِ این روزهای ایران در سوریه را بیشتر فهمید. منبع این بندها در صفحه‌ی مربوطه در ویکیپدیا آمده است. ارتباط سوریه (حافظ اسد) با جمهوری اسلامی ایران در زمان جنگ دولت حافظ اسد در زمان جنگ ایران و عراق، به دلیل اختلاف نظرهای شدیدی که با دولت صدام حسین تکریتی داشت، همواره از حکومت ایران حمایت می‌کرد و ایران نیز در عوض امتیازهای تجاری و اقتصادی قابل توجهی به حکومت بعث سوریه اعطا می‌کرد که از آن جمله می‌توان به صادرات یک میلیارد دلار نفت خام رایگان به سوریه (در مقابل مسدود کردن مسیر صادرات نفت عراق از خاک سوریه) اشاره کرد. سوریه نیز در عوض اجازه استقرار نیروی سپاه پاسداران انقلاب اسلامی در خاک خود و نزدیکی مرز لبنان را صادر کرد تا از این طریق حزب‌الله لبنان مستقیماً از جانب ایران اشاره شود. سوریه، حمایت از جمهوری اسلامی ایران را باعث تقویت بنیه روحی و نظامی خود در برابر اسرائیل و مسائل داخلی لبنان و مبارزه علیه حضور بیگانه در این کشور می‌دانست. مهمترین کمک سوریه در جنگ، حمایت‌های سیاسی آ نها از ایران بود، چرا که موضع‌گیریهای سوریه در کنفرانس کشورهای عربی مانع از شکل‌گیری جبهه متحد کشورهای عرب علیه جمهوری اسلامی ایران شد. سوریه هیئتی از افسران سوری را به کشورهای بلوک شرق فرستاد تا تسلیحاتی را از این کشورها خریداری کند. این تسلیحات مستقیماً در اختیار ایران قرار گرفت تا تحریم‌های تسلیحاتی ایران دور زده شود. این کشور بخشی از فرودگاه بین‌المللی دمشق را به جمهوری اسلامی ایران اختصاص داد. دمشق حتی به حسن تهرانی مقدم و تیم ۵۰ نفره سپاه پاسداران انقلاب اسلامی موشک داد. این موشک‌ها اولین جرقه‌های دانش موشک بومی در ایران بود. از آن جایی که تیم ایرانی به دستور مستقیم حافظ اسد رئیس جمهور وقت سوریه در مهمترین پادگان موشکی این کشور استقرار یافته بود، تیم ایرانی از هر فرصتی برای آموزش بهره می‌برد به نحوی که اعضا بدون اینکه کسی مانع آن‌ها شود، به زاغه‌های مهمات، انبارهای موشکی و . .. سرکشی می‌کردند تا از نحوه نگه‌داری موشک‌ها هم آگاه شوند. دمشق برای حمایت کامل از ایران، اطلاعات پایگاه‌های نظامیِ نیروهای عراقی و همچنین سلاح‌های روسی که عراق از آن‌ها استفاده می‌کرد را به تهران داد و همین اطلاعات نقش بسیار مهمی در پیروزی‌های ایران در مقابل تهاجم صدام حسین داشت.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    The Iran-Iraq War, by Pierre Razoux, is a very well written account of the Iran-Iraq War, which began in 1980 with the Iraqi invasion of Iran, and ended in 1989. The war did not result in territorial changes, and killed over 1 million people on both sides of the border. The war was initiated by Saddam Hussein in Iraq - the newly minted dictator and leader of the Ba'athist party in Iraq. On taking power, Saddam had closed down merger talks with the Ba'athist party in Syria, and focused his attent The Iran-Iraq War, by Pierre Razoux, is a very well written account of the Iran-Iraq War, which began in 1980 with the Iraqi invasion of Iran, and ended in 1989. The war did not result in territorial changes, and killed over 1 million people on both sides of the border. The war was initiated by Saddam Hussein in Iraq - the newly minted dictator and leader of the Ba'athist party in Iraq. On taking power, Saddam had closed down merger talks with the Ba'athist party in Syria, and focused his attention on combating Iran's new revolutionary regime, just taken power in 1979. For its part, Iran had threatened to export the revolution to other states, and Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait were all largely concerned with this revolutionary rhetoric. Iran's revolution was barely one year old, and internal divisions were ripe. Rivalries between the army and the newly created parallel military force, the Pasdaran or Revolutionary Guard (as they are known in the West) created friction between the military, still largely loyal to the old Shah, and the new guard. Divisions also existed between the radical side of the clergy, and the more moderate secularists in the government. The Air Force was particularly suspect, as they had assisted the Shah in escaping Iran, and many of its pilots and staffers were in prison or exile. Iran had multiple internal insurgencies, from the Arabs in Khuzestan, to the Azeri's, Balochi, and Kurdish partisans in its border regions, and the Tudeh Communist's, which quickly fell out with their revolutionary allies. Iran also suffered issues of supply - it's revolution had a disruptive effect on its military imports from all parties, and many of its more high tech military equipment had been run and constructed by American military personnel. When they left Iran after the revolution, systems began to break down. The Iranians, for example, could not access their spare parts catalogue as it was encrypted by US military codes, adn these codes were not shared by the departing Americans. Many parts for tanks, planes and helicopters were therefore inaccessible to the Iranians until late in the war, when the code could be broken and the inventory analyzed. The Iraqi's on the other hand, were riding high. Saddam had brutally eliminated all rivals to his power, and his military and political personnel were all at his beck and call. The Iraqi army was well equipped with high tech weaponry supplied both by its Soviet ally, and the French. It's T-series tanks, Mirage fighters and helicopters, and its large stock of weapons and munitions reserves were well supplied to a centralized, if green, army. Iraqi forces had been present during some wars and skirmishes with the Israelis, as well as in suppressing Kurdish unrest in northern Iraq. Geopolitically, Iraq was strongly backed by France, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia in the Arab world. These nations would supply Iraq with billions in arms sales (France) and directly with soldiers, planes and weapons, as well as technical support, diplomatic cover, and favourable terms on loans and financial aid. The Gulf States of Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were also on side with Iraq, although they feared Iraqi hegemony in the Arab world. This meant that support was their, but these states were more interested in seeing the two powers of Iran and Iraq weakened, as opposed to any one side winning. Generally, the Gulf States were more closely aligned with Iraq, and feared Iranian style revolutionary activity in their own countries. The USSR also tried to support Iraq, although its support was mercurial, and usually consisted of diplomatic cover and some weapons. The USSR had been snubbed by Saddam when they invaded Afghanistan in 1979, and would be a more hesitant supporter of the Iraqi regime. On the flip side, the Iranian revolution had removed a principal threat to the USSR in the region, and the USSR attempted to capitalize on this, with slim results. Iran was closely supported by Libya and Syria in the region. Libya's Gaddafi had been snubbed by Saddam diplomatically, and was also in a pseudo-conflict with France in Chad. Syria hated its Iraqi Ba'athist rival, and did everything it could to disrupt it. The two most surprising allies of Iran in the early war were the US and Israel. The US had massive financial and military ties to Iran, and outstanding contracts for billions of dollars worth of military equipment. The results of the revolution were also unclear at the time - moderates working with the regime were more democratic than the Shah had been, and seemed willing to cooperate with the US in some fields. The US would officially declare neutrality, but shipped weapons and parts to Iran through Israel. Israel is the weirdest supporter here -the Ayatollah had been adamant about destroying Israel. Even so, the Israeli's had a troubled history with Saddam and Iraq, and would do anything to destabilize Saddam's hold on power. The Israeli's put it succinctly - seeing both Iran and Iraq destroy each other in war would be beneficial to Israel, and give them free reign to hit back at Syria in Lebanon. Other states, like many in Western and Eastern Europe, and the Arab world, benefited from this conflict by selling weapons to both belligerents, signing favourable arms and trade deals, building infrastructure, and so on. Turkey was a major beneficiary in the middle east, for example. The war was initiated by Saddam for a few reasons. First, Iraq had outstanding territorial disputes with Iran. They claimed the entirety of the Shatt al-Arab river - which at the initiation of the war marked the border between the countries. This river was an important shipping centre and snaked its way into Basra, Iraq's vulnerable southern oil centre and its only access to the Gulf. Iraq claimed this river in its entirety, and hoped to press this claim to ensure the river was Iraqi territory, and not divided down the middle. Saddam also coveted more favourable defensive positions in the Kurdish mountains, looking to take over some boundary passes and elevated points of military importance. In the south, the province o Khuzestan was largely Arab and Sunni, and the Iraqi's sought to take this province, or large portions of it, as well as its important oil fields, and the symbolic city of Khorramshahr. The Iraqi's also looked to secure their tenuous grip on Basra by extending the border frontier toward the Zagros Mountains. It started off with a surprise bombing campaign and a surge of troops into Iran. The Iranian regime was largely caught off guard, and a chunk of Iranian territory in the South, up to and including Khorramshahr, were taken by Iraqi forces. This was the extent of Iraq's ability to enter Iran, however. The Iraqi invasion quickly bogged down do to the resilience and relentlessness of Iranian forces. Thousands of troops were shuttled to the front, and the fanaticism of their defensive maneuvers cost the Iraqi's many casualties. The Iraqi's had slightly more dated fighter jets at the beginning of the war, and many of these were downed by US supplied HAWK air defence missiles, as well as the Iranian's Phantom and F-series fighter planes. The forceful stop of the invasion in the early 1980's, led to a general stalemate in the South. Iraq sought to open new fronts in Kurdistan, taking small strategic passes, and supporting Iranian Kurdish rebels with weapons and military support. These gains would last a few years as well. Throughout the war, Iran sought to quell internal disputes between differing factions, turn the Revolutionary Guard into a fanatical fighting force, and punish Iraq through the removal of Saddam Hussein. Iran began this by beefing up the Revolutionary Guard. These fanatical soldiers were often poorly armed, but had an edge on their military rivals due to their fanaticism, support from the clergy, and their ability to recruit from the Basji - a youth group of sorts that would eventually use child soldiers to fight on the front. Iran was diplomatically isolated during this conflict. Although they received some weapons at the start of the war from the US, this relationship would quickly sour over both sides maneuvers to disrupt eachothers oil industries. Iraq would eventually use its superior, French supplied weaponry to strike oil tankers and port refineries in the Gulf near the Iranian border. For its part, Iran would try and destroy Iraq's oil industry in Basra, and boarded ships in the Gulf from countries that were not supporting Iran. Iraq eventually was ground down by the human wave tactics used by Iran, losing many thousands of soldiers, and equipment. The Iranians were able to grind the Iraqi's back to the border, and eventually initiated a relatively stable front, attacking the Iraqi's frequently. Although Iraq was often able to halt Iranian advances, it was often slower at reinforcing army groups due to its lower population. While Iraq had the diplomatic and eventually, the technological edge in the war, Iran's ability to call up thousands and thousands of soldiers to fling at Iraqi defensive positions was enough to hold the Iraqi's at bay, and cause massive casualties, all while slowly pushing the Iraqi's back and eventually taking bridgeheads into the South toward Basra, and in the north in the Kurdish territories. This is largely how the war would play out until 1989, although some spectacular shifts in geopolitics occured in this time. The US would slowly abandon hope that Iran would come back as a key regional ally, eventually even coming to blows with the Iranians in the Gulf during the Tanker Wars, and when the US shot down a civilian aircraft - Iran Air flight 655, which killed 290 civilians. The US was also domestically implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal, where money gained from weapons sales to the Iranian regime by the US was reinvested in supplying anti-communist guerillas in Nicaragua. This event would have large consequences in the US. Another big shift was that of Egypt - which was largely anti-Iraqi at the beginning of the war, but upon Mubarak's rise to power, through its lot behind Saddam with weapons and troop shipments. The Gulf states - although weary of Iraqi hegemony, would also come out onside Iraq - the GCC and the Americans agreed to cut oil prices drastically toward the end of this war. This had massive economic consequences for Iran, reducing government revenues by almost 2/3's. It also had the effect of drastically affecting the USSR's economy, and some speculate this led to its eventual disintegration in the early 1990's. Israel would use this war to invade southern Lebanon in 1982 to punish the Syrian regime's activities and to fight the Shi'ite militias in the region - ironically allied to and largely a client of Iran, which Israel was otherwise supporting. The results of the war were as such. Iraq emerged at the end of the war as a powerful force in the middle east, with more military equipment, and a battle hardened fighting force. The Gulf States were shaken by this turn of events, and this would lead to Iraq's eventual diplomatic isolation during its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Although the US had come out onside of Iraq in the war, they were deeply mistrustful of Saddam, and would willingly and actively support his downfall and the eventual disintegration of Iraq in 2003. Territory in the war was not exchanged, and the territorial disputes - including Iraq's claims on the Shatt al-Arab, Kuwait, and Khuzestan, quietly remain an issue to this day. The war is often claimed, indirectly, as contributing to the downfall of the USSR, who badly mismanaged their diplomatic efforts in this war, leading to their political isolation globally. The low cost of oil here was deeply destabilizing, as was the USSR's war in Afghanistan. This war also forged closer ties between the Gulf States, cementing Saudi hegemony over the UAE and Bahrain, and creating the GCC - a force largely hostile to Iranian intentions in the region. In Iran, the regime came out of the war diplomatically isolated, but more self sufficient. It began to create its own domestic systems to ensure it could survive other invasion attempts (from the Gulf states, or from the US) and began to fast track its uranium enrichment with the potential goal of securing nuclear arms. It's military had been supplanted by the Revolutionary Guard, and its clerics had shifted toward the radical faction, eliminating many moderate and secularists in the government - although this division remains to this day. Iran also improved its capacity to fight proxy wars - the Quds force much in the news today was created to beef up Shiite militias in Lebanon and support Syria, and remain one of its major bargaining chips to this day. A fascinating war, and a fascinating book. Razoux had written one of the key texts on understanding this war, largely forgotten but critically important to how geopolitics has shaped the middle east in the modern world. This conflict directly led to the US invasion of Iraq in 1990, which in turn led to the rise of radical Sunni Islam in the region, as Iraq was destabilized, and sympathetic Arab's and Muslims bristled at US troops stationed in the region and their forceful diplomacy. Saddam's fall in 2003 would lead to the implosion of the country, with subsequent destabilization in Syria, Turkey and Lebanon. A great book full of political implications, military theory, and blow by blow maneuvers, this is a great read, and highly recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mehdi

    In summary, this was a good read (and relatively compact, at around 500 pages) It's translated from French to English. There are some errors and typos in the books, but they are not a big deal and don't impact the content. Some of the typos are probably caused by the translation, and some of them happened because the author is not familiar with Farsi and Arabic and Islamic terms. Some examples: mis-pronunciation of cities and generals' names, wrong translation of some of Iran's major operations. I In summary, this was a good read (and relatively compact, at around 500 pages) It's translated from French to English. There are some errors and typos in the books, but they are not a big deal and don't impact the content. Some of the typos are probably caused by the translation, and some of them happened because the author is not familiar with Farsi and Arabic and Islamic terms. Some examples: mis-pronunciation of cities and generals' names, wrong translation of some of Iran's major operations. I reported the typos and errors to the author and he confirmed them and told me if they print it again, these will be fixed

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    This is on the whole an excellent account of an unfortunately misunderstood or simply unknown conflict that should be better known. It is not too much to say that the Iran-Iraq war shaped the modern Middle-East and set up both Gulf Wars, 9/11, and more besides. I was a preteen when the "Tanker War" really heated up in the Persian Gulf and I remember seeing news footage of burning tankers, the attack on the USS STARK, and the horrible downing of Iran Air 655. It was good to revisit the events of This is on the whole an excellent account of an unfortunately misunderstood or simply unknown conflict that should be better known. It is not too much to say that the Iran-Iraq war shaped the modern Middle-East and set up both Gulf Wars, 9/11, and more besides. I was a preteen when the "Tanker War" really heated up in the Persian Gulf and I remember seeing news footage of burning tankers, the attack on the USS STARK, and the horrible downing of Iran Air 655. It was good to revisit the events of that decade to more fully understand what happened then and how it led directly to the invasion of Kuwait and the first Gulf War. This book is extremely strong on the political and diplomatic elements of the war, and it was refreshing to read an account by a European that illustrated the many sins of European leaders (particularly the French, but the Germans and others too) in addition to the well known sins of American leaders. More than this, I felt that the account of American missteps, failures, and outright conniving were treated in a sophisticated way, free of rancor, and sensitive to human foibles. The Americans, Europeans, Soviets, Iranians, and Iraqis are treated here in a very even handed way that I found very inspiring. Razoux's treatment of the downing of Iran Air 655 is a case in point. He does not subscribe to any kind of conspiracy theory but puts the blame squarely where it belongs: the pathologically aggressive and narcissistic commander of the USS VINCENNES, a green and insufficiently trained crew, and a highly confusing and frankly unforgiving situation. This book is also entirely pitiless about the frank cravenness and brutality of both the Iranian and Iraqi regimes, and sensitive to the immense suffering of the soldiers, including the hundreds of thousands of children that Iran threw against the Iraqi positions. This was a horrible war and Razoux makes no bones about it, and nor does he glamorize either side. This is superb journalism and history writing. I knew many of the separate elements of this story through prior reading but I learned a lot too. Razoux keeps the story going and manages to put in an enormous amount of detail in just under 500 pages. I have read longer books that said less. However, there is one fly in the ointment and it is a big one. Namely there are numerous and persistent errors in military terminology. It is impossible for me to tell whether the problems come from the French original, the translation, or some combination of the two. Since I do not have access to a French language copy, and my French is high school level at best, I do not have the time or capacity to make an in depth assessment. A particularly egregious example is found on p. 25 (of the hardcover) where the Soviet TU-16 (NATO reporting name "Badger") is described as a "four-reactor" airplane instead of (properly) a "four-engined" airplane. The translator also seems to have universally translated the term "position" or "lines" (indicating the disposition of military forces as "layout". This may be a direct translation from the French but as we should know, you cannot directly translate from English into another language or vice versa. The correct term matters and no military history would ever consistently use the term "layout". While I was able to figure out the true meaning, this incorrect term is irksome. A more forgivable error (that is nonetheless still an issue) is the translation of the term "cannon". The term "gun" is a loaded one (pardon the pun) because in military parlance, a "gun" is an artillery piece, never a hand weapon (a pistol is called a handgun or much more likely, a sidearm). Infantry weapons are always called "rifles" and never "guns". I am sure that in French the term cannon plays this part in the military lexicon. The problem with using "cannon" versus "artillery piece" or "gun" in English, however, is that in military terms, a cannon usually denotes an automatic weapon larger in caliber than the standard machine gun that fires explosive rounds, such as the repeating weapons found on light armored vehicles, aircraft, and helicopters. My strong suspicion is that the translator engaged to translate this book was not versed in military terminology and therefore struggled with this aspect of the translation (the political and diplomatic material, by contrast, seems to me very solid and well translated). The problem here of course is that this volume is about a war, so one would presume at least a passing knowledge of the conventions of military history and some capacity with military terminology. A few other translation issues bothered me, even if they were not strictly errors. I got tired of how small boats used for military raids always "slalomed" through the swamps or how the belligerents always paid "top dollar" for hardware. Again, I have no idea where precisely these tendencies come from. All I can say is that their presence in the final copy is disappointing and annoying. I know that this can be a really terrible thing to say, but aspects of the way the translation was done even made me think that perhaps some sections were machine translated. I don't know, all I do know is that these numerous infelicities in the text often spoiled what was otherwise a very good analysis. Summary: highly recommended for those interested in this area.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ro

    Fantastic, definitive, and in-depth account of the Iran-Iraq War. Not really sure what else to say beyond that, this is just an all-around great work of history. I was especially impressed with the detailed descriptions of the actual battles of the war, with a full analysis of troop movements, tactics, and political context for each offensive or operation, and explanations of the repercussions of the each battle. Also impressive was how this military analysis was seamlessly weaved in with the po Fantastic, definitive, and in-depth account of the Iran-Iraq War. Not really sure what else to say beyond that, this is just an all-around great work of history. I was especially impressed with the detailed descriptions of the actual battles of the war, with a full analysis of troop movements, tactics, and political context for each offensive or operation, and explanations of the repercussions of the each battle. Also impressive was how this military analysis was seamlessly weaved in with the political analysis, of both the two belligerents as well as various foreign powers. An absolute must-read for anybody interested in modern Middle Eastern history, or military history.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gamespacenl

    Yes, it took me forever to finish the book. In a way reading this book was as tedious as the Iran-Iraq war itself. (Sorry, that's bad). But, as with that stupid, senseless, idiotic war, lessons were learned. If you want to understand the Middle East as it exists today better, this book is helpful. Sure, it's dry, all about dozens and dozens of battles, but deep down in there, there are lessons about these two countries that have shaped (and will be shaping) global politics. Yes, it took me forever to finish the book. In a way reading this book was as tedious as the Iran-Iraq war itself. (Sorry, that's bad). But, as with that stupid, senseless, idiotic war, lessons were learned. If you want to understand the Middle East as it exists today better, this book is helpful. Sure, it's dry, all about dozens and dozens of battles, but deep down in there, there are lessons about these two countries that have shaped (and will be shaping) global politics.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pedy

    همه ی آنچه درباره ی جنگ هشت ساله باید میدانستیم و نمیدانستیم در این کتاب است. نه فقط برای درک اثرات اقدامات مثبت محمدرضا شاه که برای درک وضعیت کنونی ایران نیز باید از جنگ ایران عراق اطلاع کافی داشت. احتمالا کاملترین و بهترین کتاب موجود در بازار خارجه باشد.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Kosoris

    The Iran-Iraq War is an in-depth exploration of the terrible conflict that wracked the Middle East through most of the ’80s. Razoux starts us off by thrusting us into the heated political climate in the region immediately before the war broke out, moves into the initial, largely ineffectual military campaigns, and then bounces between detailed accounts of specific battles and related issues occurring domestically and internationally that provide better context for an understanding of the reasons The Iran-Iraq War is an in-depth exploration of the terrible conflict that wracked the Middle East through most of the ’80s. Razoux starts us off by thrusting us into the heated political climate in the region immediately before the war broke out, moves into the initial, largely ineffectual military campaigns, and then bounces between detailed accounts of specific battles and related issues occurring domestically and internationally that provide better context for an understanding of the reasons things unfolded the way they did. In presenting the book this way, the author showcases a great understanding of how to keep a flow that enhances interest and readability, only slowing things down or backtracking to explain background information when it becomes immediately necessary. As much as I hate to admit it, I found The Iran-Iraq War at least a bit funny. Yes, I understand the tragic human toll that came out of the conflict, but Razoux presents things almost like a farce, a dark satire, so I don’t think I can be entirely faulted for starting off in this mindset. This can be partially attributed to the facts presented, which can be best summed up as overconfident rulers throwing caution to the wind and ignoring the advice of experienced advisers, systematically destroying any accumulated advantages for entirely political reasons. But, the almost flippant ways the author relates this makes portions of the read sarcastic and hilarious. I assume this has to do with Razoux wanting to demonstrate how senseless these conflicts actually were and that, despite their bluster on the world stage, these leaders were incompetent when it came to military strategy, such as when he describes the long string of ineffective tactical airstrikes in the early stages of combat or the Iraqi artillery bombardment of Abadan that would “last for several weeks and amount to a tremendous waste of ammunition.” His biting remarks largely fall by the wayside as we progress through the book, giving way to an impartial account of things based on the author’s exhaustive research, but, to my enjoyment, they did occasionally resurface. (One of the most memorable cases had to do with the US government getting caught supplying the Iranians with weapons in the middle of the US-imposed embargo on weapon sales to Iran: The head of the CIA was said to have “escaped public disgrace by dying of cancer ... only a few days before his scheduled hearing before Congress.”) Despite the way I’m presenting things, The Iran-Iraq War is ultimately an account of needless suffering imposed by the selfish and callous people in power the world over. Things were instigated by a despot looking to better establish his importance in the region, and the conflict went on so long both because the tyrants on the other side wanted to tighten their stranglehold on their country and because the international community gained so much, financially and politically, by supplying both belligerents with weapons and support. (Of course, many countries chose to do so clandestinely so as not to ruin relations with the other side and to not overtly align themselves with regimes connected with human rights abuses and war crimes.) It’s a sobering look at how human lives don’t seem to matter so long as the powerful profit, and I think the author makes clear that, while such terrible people deserve our ridicule and our ire, the millions of innocents affected by these political games deserve our understanding of what they went through and all the senseless reasons why.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Warchal

    The type of history that every person should read so the idealistic, internationalist mush, and unhistorical provocativism disappears (cough Zinn is trash cough). Historians should be brutally cynical truth-seekers not political activists of the moment. They should avoid ideological positions as contextual evidence builds history and not simple abstractions put into grand theories. And they should be equal opportunity attackers with every party involved regardless of emotions/feelings. Razoux ac The type of history that every person should read so the idealistic, internationalist mush, and unhistorical provocativism disappears (cough Zinn is trash cough). Historians should be brutally cynical truth-seekers not political activists of the moment. They should avoid ideological positions as contextual evidence builds history and not simple abstractions put into grand theories. And they should be equal opportunity attackers with every party involved regardless of emotions/feelings. Razoux achieves this with a clear picture of a conflict that's not studied enough considering the estimated 680 thousand dead between the two countries. And for once, the last, long total war of the 20th century cannot be blamed on the US despite the usual conspiracies that it was. Brutality wasn't in short supply for Iraq and Iran over 8 years (or for the other Middle East powers) with human waves of Iranian child soldiers or mass gas attacks by Saddam on Iranian soldiers and to punish and ethnically cleanse the Kurds. Without understanding the conflict, one cannot understand the complexity of the situation between the Kurds in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran today. The most interesting perspective is of the cynical European powers especially France's double dealings and frankly, incoherent policy. The usual bipolar Cold War mentality of the Reagan administration was actually equally concerned with oil, hostages, anti-terror, and Lebanon after the Iranian Revolution. It is depicted as calculating more realistically with Iraq and in Don Rumsfeld's visit than I would have expected. Much was made of this provably minimal connection to Saddam during the run-up to the Iraq War in 2003. Even the Soviet Union floundered around, long supplying Iraq, but seeing opportunity with Iran's complete separation from the US after the Revolution. Gorbachev is accurately depicted here as in other accurate histories as a reformer, but also media-hungry and still a cold warrior until the end. The Soviets occasionally retaliated against assassinations and reprisals from Beirut to Afghanistan, where Iran made the Soviet 10 year invasion very difficult. The complexity of this work makes easy judgements about the region impossible then and should be required reading start for those with supposedly easy solutions to Middle Eastern conflicts today. Great work and one of the best approaches to studying a modern era conflict that I've read!

  14. 4 out of 5

    James Yee

    This was a very enjoyable book. It provided just the right amount of detail on key strategic aspects of the war (military, political, and economic), while also providing good tactical details from the battlefront. And with hindsight and the passage of time, we can now read about what really happened behind the scenes of such infamous incidents (to US readers anyway) as the Iraqi attack on the USN Stark and the truly accidental downing of an Iranian airliner by the USN Vincennes. The after effect This was a very enjoyable book. It provided just the right amount of detail on key strategic aspects of the war (military, political, and economic), while also providing good tactical details from the battlefront. And with hindsight and the passage of time, we can now read about what really happened behind the scenes of such infamous incidents (to US readers anyway) as the Iraqi attack on the USN Stark and the truly accidental downing of an Iranian airliner by the USN Vincennes. The after effects of the war still have repercussions, especially in Iran, and this book helps explain how the Islamic regime operates and why there are still internal battles between various factions plaguing it. Lots of maps to help keep track of where all the action was happening, but it would have been nice to have more photos of the combatants and their gear. Very nice appendices with orders of battle, economic impact assessments, etc. I highly recommend this book if you have any interest in the history of this particular war. This is probably the definitive book on the subject matter published in English (translated from French?). And for those of you that follow my reviews and know how slow I can be to finish a book, seeing as how I finished this thick book in just over a month means it has to be good. ;-)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Faisal

    كتاب جميل غني بالمعلومات ومكتوب بلغة سلسة يروي فيها الكاتب تفاصيل الحرب المأساوية والعبثية التي اندلعت بين العراق وإيران. شخصياً من أفضل الكتب التي قرأتها عن هذه الحرب ، انصح به لمن أراد أن يعرف أكثر عن هذا الموضوع. A great book, very informative and written in a simple language where Razoux describes the details of this tragic and absurd war that occurred between iraq and iran. Personally i consider it one of the best books that i have read about this war. Therefore, i highly recommend it to those كتاب جميل غني بالمعلومات ومكتوب بلغة سلسة يروي فيها الكاتب تفاصيل الحرب المأساوية والعبثية التي اندلعت بين العراق وإيران. شخصياً من أفضل الكتب التي قرأتها عن هذه الحرب ، انصح به لمن أراد أن يعرف أكثر عن هذا الموضوع. A great book, very informative and written in a simple language where Razoux describes the details of this tragic and absurd war that occurred between iraq and iran. Personally i consider it one of the best books that i have read about this war. Therefore, i highly recommend it to those who want to know more about it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bill Zawrotny

    Really good book about a war that set in motion a series of events that has led to the current disaster that is the Middle East. I think a primary lesson learned is that when dealing with the Iranians, there is no substitute for violence and force. With regard to the book itself, I'm not sure if it was the original author or the translator, but there were at least two dozen places where "Iran" and "Iraq" were flipped, which is really not acceptable in an otherwise fantastic and well researched b Really good book about a war that set in motion a series of events that has led to the current disaster that is the Middle East. I think a primary lesson learned is that when dealing with the Iranians, there is no substitute for violence and force. With regard to the book itself, I'm not sure if it was the original author or the translator, but there were at least two dozen places where "Iran" and "Iraq" were flipped, which is really not acceptable in an otherwise fantastic and well researched book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    David Fitzpatrick

    THOROUGH accounting, and quite literally at times an accounting, of a conflict I knew nothing about. Some interesting annecdotes and provides a lot of claroty into problems still in the region today. Could have benefitted from coming up a level; less on every offensives name and the names of battalions, and more on the overall tenor and story of the war.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Yann Selosse

    Tout simplement excellent. Il y a bien peu d'ouvrages en français sur la question et, par chance, il est de qualité. Le style est clair et sans fioritures ni hyperboles inutiles; l'ouvrage très bien chapitré tout, la lecture agréable. Sur le fond, pas grand chose à redire : c'est minutieux et complet. Ouvrage de référence! Tout simplement excellent. Il y a bien peu d'ouvrages en français sur la question et, par chance, il est de qualité. Le style est clair et sans fioritures ni hyperboles inutiles; l'ouvrage très bien chapitré tout, la lecture agréable. Sur le fond, pas grand chose à redire : c'est minutieux et complet. Ouvrage de référence!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eric Randolph

    Razoux's comprehensive account is vital given the almost total lack of attention given to this war -- surely one of history's most pointless and horrific -- and the huge influence it still holds over Iran's strategic behaviour today. Razoux's comprehensive account is vital given the almost total lack of attention given to this war -- surely one of history's most pointless and horrific -- and the huge influence it still holds over Iran's strategic behaviour today.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tom Janson

    An excellent history on the Iran-Iraq War with exceptional detail regarding the military operations and the geo-politics behind the conflict. Highly recommended for readers with an interest in modern Middle Eastern history.

  21. 5 out of 5

    TJ Petrowski

    A highly detailed, minute-by-minute account of the various battles and phases of the Iran-Iraq War. Good from a military perspective, but lacking in political analysis.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jwduke

    This is an excellent book on a war which does not gather much attention. It is wonderful for research, a spectacular read to understand current Mideast events.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tadeusz Pudlik

    A highly detailed if sometimes speculative and opinionated history of a conflict that has cast a long shadow over today's Middle East. I believe it's the definitive work on the subject available in English. I found particularly interesting Chapters 4 through 7, which discuss the stances towards the conflict taken by outside powers, from the major global players (the US, USSR, China) to small but nearby countries like Oman. I was surprised how many countries were willing to sell arms to the bellig A highly detailed if sometimes speculative and opinionated history of a conflict that has cast a long shadow over today's Middle East. I believe it's the definitive work on the subject available in English. I found particularly interesting Chapters 4 through 7, which discuss the stances towards the conflict taken by outside powers, from the major global players (the US, USSR, China) to small but nearby countries like Oman. I was surprised how many countries were willing to sell arms to the belligerents; some, like the Soviet Union, were happy to nominally back one side yet sell arms to the other! (Turkey provided no arms, but bought cheap oil from and sold supplies to both countries, pursuing an aptly named policy of "active neutrality".) I was also surprised by the extent of Israel's material support for Iran. The following passage describes it nicely (and is also representative of the book's style): Farouk Azizi, an Iranian arms trafficker well known to Israel's secret services, was put in charge of organizing delivery to Iran via the Argentine charter company Transporte Aereo Rioplatense. The company's cargo planes were loaded with crates of military equipment in Israel, stopped in Cyprus, then flew over Turkey and the high plateaus of Anatolia before unloading their cargo in the area of Tabriz, in Iran. More cumbersome equipment was delivered by boat, via maritime brokers serving as front companies. Iran remunerated Israel in oil delivered at advantageous prices. Everyone got what they wanted. As a sign of goodwill, the Iranians sent the Israelis photos of the Iraqi nuclear power plant [at Osirak]. They allegedly received the following message in reply: "Do not worry about this target, we are taking care of it." The Israelis provided the Iranians not only with spare parts [promised by Reagan in exchange for the hostages' freedom, see below] but growing quantities of weapons and ammunition. These supplies would include several hundred Hawk, Sidewinder, and Sparrow missiles, 1,250 TOW antimissile tanks, jammer pods for improving Iranian fighter planes' penetration capacity, radar equipment, 1,000 field telephones, several hundred jeeps, fifty Soltam M-71 155-mm towed howitzers, 150 M-40 antitank guns, several thousand light weapons with millions of cartridges, and several hundred 105-, 130-, 144-, 175-, and 203-mm shells. Also on the subject of military gear: I had not known that Reagan won the freedom of the hostages captured during the Iranian Hostage Crisis by promising the Iranians nearly half a billion dollars' worth of spare parts for their US-made military gear, despite an official American embargo of Iran. These parts were delivered by various American allies who were then restocked by the US; Israel was among these. There's a chapter on the Iran-Contra scandal, too, but it feels rather superficial, perhaps justly so---the impression is that it was more important to American domestic politics (and presumably to the Contras?) than to the Iranian war effort.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Pierce

    Fantastically researched, non-biased account of a terrible war that embodied the horrors of WW1 and WW2 in a more modern time period. While the author meticulously lays out the details of the primary battles in military prose a layman such as myself can understand, I found the geo-political aspects of the book even more interesting and was disheartened to learn how each country contributed to prolonging the war in order to reap maximum profits from it. Even though it's been over 30 years since t Fantastically researched, non-biased account of a terrible war that embodied the horrors of WW1 and WW2 in a more modern time period. While the author meticulously lays out the details of the primary battles in military prose a layman such as myself can understand, I found the geo-political aspects of the book even more interesting and was disheartened to learn how each country contributed to prolonging the war in order to reap maximum profits from it. Even though it's been over 30 years since the war ended, the book does a great job in explaining how the stage was set in the Middle East and why things are the way they are today.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Raymond Thomas

    Great, in-depth look at the Iran-Iraq War. Razoux uses sources gathered from the Iraqi government following the American invasion of 2003 in order to get at the heart of Saddam's decision-making and strategic planning. The book also explores Iran's connections to terrorist groups in Lebanon and France during the 1980s as Iran attempted to bring pressure on the outside world to send it arms and supplies. Fantastic examination of the War from both sides by a neutral author. Definitely recommend to Great, in-depth look at the Iran-Iraq War. Razoux uses sources gathered from the Iraqi government following the American invasion of 2003 in order to get at the heart of Saddam's decision-making and strategic planning. The book also explores Iran's connections to terrorist groups in Lebanon and France during the 1980s as Iran attempted to bring pressure on the outside world to send it arms and supplies. Fantastic examination of the War from both sides by a neutral author. Definitely recommend to anyone interested in the subject.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jameson Nevitt

    A fantastic read with an all-pervasive use of imperial evidence throughout. The recollections of battles were just as successful in producing powerful mental images as the narratives detailing the tragic Iran Air Bus 655 and Halabja Massacre were. The conclusion was brilliantly written, with the author compiling all the figures of events throughout the book into one giant human, economic, and political cost, and then proceeding to give a brief but incisive account of more recent events. I really A fantastic read with an all-pervasive use of imperial evidence throughout. The recollections of battles were just as successful in producing powerful mental images as the narratives detailing the tragic Iran Air Bus 655 and Halabja Massacre were. The conclusion was brilliantly written, with the author compiling all the figures of events throughout the book into one giant human, economic, and political cost, and then proceeding to give a brief but incisive account of more recent events. I really appreciated how unlike most authors of the genre, Razoux didn't make the potentially costly mistake of trying to predict the future. He merely briefly examined events today like the shattering of Iraq and the rise of the Revolutionary Guards as a political force and provided a possible scenario these phenomena could lead to. Well done. Despite my love of all things Iran, Razoux presented a fair and impartial account concerning all sides of the conflict, even beyond Iran and Iraq. This book would be very helpful and enjoyable for anyone also in Middle-Eastern Studies, but even the casual war/politics reader as well.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alireza Salehnia

    As always, when I start a book from a western author about my own country Iran, I expect it to be historically meticulous but politically misunderstood—even those books which are trying to only analyze the politics of Iran. However, this book not only maps the war of Iran with Iraq rigorously (minute by minute, battle by battle) but also analyses the political power structures and struggles within both countries adequately. It both thrusts you into the abyss of this miserable war and illustrates As always, when I start a book from a western author about my own country Iran, I expect it to be historically meticulous but politically misunderstood—even those books which are trying to only analyze the politics of Iran. However, this book not only maps the war of Iran with Iraq rigorously (minute by minute, battle by battle) but also analyses the political power structures and struggles within both countries adequately. It both thrusts you into the abyss of this miserable war and illustrates how power and personal interests can impact the course of the war.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Peter L

    Iran-Iraq War Explained For an average reader with limited knowledge of how & why these two countries went to war and how it was conducted this lengthy account will provide any reader with the basic facts. No doubt the use of boy soldiers, poison gas, Scuds, will horrify as their use is explained. Also how the two sides contested in the air as well as at sea is covered as well. This book ends as Iraq invades Kuwait. I look forward to reading that future book as well.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Danny Aoun

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ben

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