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From enemies to allies with US in between



Iran and Iraq have fought a bloody eight-year struggle that led to a stalemate on Sunday 30 years ago, just to become close allies in the region today – a situation that often causes problems for US policy makers Middle East leads [196592002] As President Donald Trump attempts to impose unilateral and internationally unpopular US sanctions on Iran, he encounters resistance from Iraq, which sees itself as an ally of both countries. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has tried to strike a balance between the US and Iran, but his political coalition has suffered badly in recent elections and the outcome of the US-Iranian conflict could determine his successor's relationship with both governments. At the same time, a relatively liberal Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, has been moving ever closer to his hardline rivals as the diplomatic and economic prospects for a historic nuclear treaty with the US in 201

5 have been dashed.

The dynamics between Iran and Iraq are far ahead of the current equation. As the National Iranian American Council's researcher Sina Toossi told Newsweek "for centuries the two neighbors have been deeply rooted in cultural, commercial and religious ties."

The Story of Why the Two Modern States Went The war and the perspective of the United States was marked by a series of events of the 20th and 21st centuries that shook the region and the world.  GettyImages- 84162647 Iraqi schoolchildren wave Iranian and Iraqi flags as an Iranian protocol soldier wakes up during the welcoming ceremony for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki at Tehran's Mehrabad airport on January 3, 2009. The US secretly supported both countries when they were in the 1980s went to war but got stuck in the 21st century between the Iranian and Iranian alliances. BEHRROUZ MORE / AFP / Getty Images

After the First World War, Iraq was expropriated from the Ottoman Empire by the United Kingdom and converted into a colonial mandate. Although Iran never officially came under the control of a foreign power, it was heavily influenced by the US and Russia at the time. Nazi Germany also built strong political ties with its ruling monarchy before the Second World War. The Iranian Shah Reza Khan had to abdicate after the war from the Allied powers and was replaced by his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who consolidated his power with the support of the West.

In the early 1950s, Iranian democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh successfully challenged the absolute power of the Shah to nationalize the country's oil industry. This move angered the British government, which supported US aid to support its initiative in August 1953 in a CIA coup against Mossadegh, and to reassert Pahlavi's total control. With the violent overthrow of King Faisal II By General Abd al-Karim Qasim Iraq was able to oust the Western influence, however, 1958 successfully. The new Iraqi leadership made new territorial claims against Iran.

"Following the Iraqi Revolution of 1958, the Iraqi leader, General Abd al-Karim Qasim, declared the Iranian southwestern province of Khuzestan and the Shatt al-Khazestan Arab River (referred to by the Iranians as Arvand Rud) belonged to Iraq, "Toossi said. "This laid the foundation for escalating tensions between the two sides and formed the pretext for Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran in 1980."

With Qasim himself he was overthrown and executed in 1963 by the Baath leader Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr staged coup, Saddam Hussein became an increasingly prominent figure in Iraq. Iran underwent its own major changes, and in 1979 the Islamic Revolution ended the Shah's dynasty and replaced it with a theocratic leadership led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. When the movement sent shockwaves through the Muslim world in the same year, Hussein took the helm in Iraq and decided to take action against the burgeoning Shiite Muslim power next door. [194559006]
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