By: Mir M.Hosseini
Relations between Iraq and Iran have been tense occasionally. One of the most pressing issues between the two nations is the Kurdish people living in a hardly policed mountainous area between Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria.
Kurds in Iraq, led by Mustafa Barzani and seeking autonomy, have been in rebellion against the Baghdad government. The Peshmarge guerrilla war touched off an angry border clash between Iraq and Iran.
Iraqi troops violated Iranian border pursuing Kurdish rebels, while Iraqi MIG jets strafed Kurds in villages on the Iranian side. Iran charged that a 150-man Iraqi force shelled the Iranian village of Tang Hamam, executed two captured Iranian gendarmes, and hacked their bodies to bits.
Iraq denied all, accusing Iranian border guards of accompanying Kurdish infiltrators. Iran protested that 100 armed Iraqis had invaded Iran, attacking Iranian nationals and rustling cattle. Iran accused Iraq of air attacks resulting in seven Iranians dead and 20 wounded in the frontier fray.
Iranian Foreign Minister Gholam Abbas Aram used the occasion to bring up a dispute between the two countries over the Arvand River, whose waters, which empty into the Persian Gulf, they are supposed to share. Aram accused Iraq of obstructing Iranian traffic, ignoring a 1937 agreement that was meant to regulate use of the river waters. Aram announced that the Iranian government regarded the agreement as breached. Iran mobilized its forces along the border, alerted its elite Kermanshah Division, scrambled its U.S.-built supersonic F-5 jet fighters, vowing to silence the voice of Iraqi artillery and crush any further Iraqi aggression.
The Iraqi authorities received the strong message clearly and started acting more cautiously on the border issues.
USSR and USA were major suppliers of arms to Iraq and Iran respectively and enjoyed benefits of such conflicts.
In 1980 under Saddam Hussein, Iraq's invasion of Iran resulted in the 8 year old Iran–Iraq War, marking the longest conventional war of the 20th century.