Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) An Attempt to Explore the Role of Khomeiniism in the War

Date of Award

Spring 5-1991

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

Kidana Mengisteab

Committee Member

Patrick Rollins

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45B63


This thesis investigates the impact of Khomeiniism on the Shi'ites of Iraq. Specifically it seeks to determine whether the rise of Khomeiniism in Iran inspired Iraq's Shi'ite majority to rise against the Ba'athist leaders of Iraq with the object of establishing an Islamic Republic. The paper focuses on the political activities of the Iraqi Shi'ites from Ayatollah Khomeini's rise to power in Iran in February 1979 to the beginning of hostilities between Iraq and Iran in September 1980. The evidence indicates mounting anti-Ba'athist political activity by the Shi'ites which included daily rioting, attempted assassinations, and a rise in the number of Shi'ite underground groups. The paper concludes that the war was Saddam Hussein's attempt to suppress the source of Shi'ia unrest in Iraq, which he believed was the rise of Khomeiniism in Iran.


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