Western Influence on the Three Wars in the Middle East

Topics: Middle East

As the UN kept up its policy of imperialism in the Middle East into the 1950s, the U.S decided it was the time they also influence the Middle East in other ways. Following a disagreement about oil between Iran and the U.S, the CIA took the current leader out of power and installed their own Shah who began to westernize Iran. The Shah lasted until 1979 when an Islamic fundamentalist revolution composed mainly of Shia Muslims took power and installed an Ayatollah who then formed an Islamic state.

Saddam Hussein, the leader of Iraq at the time was a Sunni. Sunnis were a minority religion in Iraq. He feared the Shias would decide to revolt against him. After all, he had been very friendly to the U.S after he sold them oil during the OPEC embargo throughout much of the 1970s. He did, however, have a valid reason to invade Iran. In 1937, the two countries signed a deal that would allow Iran to use the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for them to access the Persian Gulf as long as Iran paid a toll.

But in 1969, Iran stopped paying the toll. Iraq would have declared war, but they were far too weak at the time. The revolution in Iran was Hussein’s time to strike.

Iraq could have won the war had the U.S only been supporting them. Unfortunately for Iraq, the U.S wanted to see both countries go up in smoke. Officially the U.S aided Iraq, unofficially they helped out Iran secretly.

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This was called the Iran-Contra affair. We sold weapons to Iran, which had a weapons embargo placed on them, in exchange for American hostages that they held. When Hussein eventually lost the war, he needed a way to regain the money his country lost. His solution was to invade the oil-rich Kuwait. Quickly a coalition of UN forces declared war on Iraq, and after a few months, the Iraqi government and economy were in ruins after another lost war.

Many years after these wars, after the attacks on 9/11, the U.S declared war against all terrorists. They used this as an excuse to invade Iraq, which had nothing to do with the attacks. All three of these conflicts had some kind of Western influence when there didn’t need to be, and that Western influence was not beneficial to any Middle Eastern country in any way. Instead, the influence sought to weaken the Middle East, give the West access to its resources, and protect its trade routes, mainly the Suez Canal. The West only cares about the Middle East for its resources. Not because they are in good relations with the countries.

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Western Influence on the Three Wars in the Middle East. (2022, Jun 29). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/western-influence-on-the-three-wars-in-the-middle-east/

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