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  • Author: Majid Takht Ravanchi
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: Between 1980 and 2003 Iraq was involved in three armed conflicts; namely, the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980's, the occupation of Kuwait in 1990- 1991, and the American-led war against Iraq in 2003. These are three different conflicts with their own distinct characteristics. A comparative study on the behavior of the United Nations Security Council with regard to each of these conflicts reveals that the Security Council has had three different and notably imbalanced reactions towards these conflicts. While At the beginning of the Iran-Iraq conflict, the Council was silent for a few days and later adopted a very ineffective resolution, the approach and conduct in the second conflict was quite different. A few hours after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the Council adopted a very strong resolution, under Chapter VII of the Charter. In the case of the third Persian Gulf conflict – 2003 - the Security Council was in the middle of discussions as to how to deal with the Iraqi crisis when the American and British forces started the military attacks against Baghdad. Furthermore, international humanitarian law has been violated during these conflicts on numerous occasions, most notably the use of chemical weapons by Iraq during the Iran-Iraq conflict. The Security Council's lack of resolve to adopt necessary punitive measures against Iraq to prevent further use of chemical weapons was considered by Iraq as a green light to continue its resort and practice with a sense of impunity. As discussed in the paper, blatant lack of resolve on the part of the Security Council towards Iraq's repeated use of chemical weapons was, as a matter of fact, the most manifest expression of the strong pro-Iraq tilt in the Council's approach and conduct; the outward expression of alternating implicit-explicit consensus among the permanent members on how to punish the revolutionary Iran and reward a friendly Iraq. The present paper concludes that a different approach and conduct by the Council vis-à-vis Iraq 's aggression against Iran would have most probably created a different situation and dynamism in the Persian Gulf area with all its significant repercussions and implications.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Iran, Kuwait, Baghdad, Persia