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Part 1 The Cold War Era (1945–89), 27 The Iran–Iraq War—1980–88

Andrea de Guttry

From: The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach

Edited By: Tom Ruys, Olivier Corten, Alexandra Hofer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 May 2024

Self-defence — Armed conflict — International organizations

This contribution discusses the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. After presenting the facts and context of the crisis (on which the parties strongly disagreed), this chapter examines the legal positions of the main actors involved in the war (Iran and Iraq), and discusses the reaction, or lack thereof, of the international community, and specifically of the United Nations. The legality of the military operations carried out by both parties is then investigated. The final section analyses if, and to what extent, the case has had an impact on the further development and evolution of the concepts of self-defence and of preventive self-defence and comments on the limited role played by the United Nations during most part of the war.

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