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HomeContentsThemes > Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Warning: The photographs within this theme and the sections on individual wars are of a graphic and violent nature - if you are sensitive to these issues then you should not view this theme.
Disclaimer: This section of the website uses examples from wars and rebellions to highlight the works of photographers - this is not to make a political point but to appreciate that there are different global perspectives on each event. If there is a general point it is about the inhumanity of war.
We are always interested in improving the content on this website so please get in contact if you have any suggestions...
The Iranian Revolution evolved out of a popular movement against the US-backed Shah. The reason Saddam Hussein gave for the 22 Sept 1980 invasion of Iran was control over the Shatt al Arab waterway but he also hoped to get the rich oilfields of Khuzestan in Western Iran. The frontlines swung backwards and forward until the UN sponsored ceasefire of July 1988. The war was a bitter struggle with possibly as many as 1.5 million killed - and chemical weapons were used along with the bombing of each others capitals.

  • Reza, an Azerbaijani photojournalist, was born in Tabriz (Iran) in 1952. - covered the wars in the Middle East and particularly the 444 days of the Iranian Hostage Crisis at the US Embassy in Tehran that bought down President Jimmy Carter and allowed Ronald Reagan into the White House. Reza's photos of American hostages (in the covert arms for hostages deal with Iran) made the front cover of numerous magazines throughout the world, including the 'Newsweek' cover on January 26, 1981 - he also covered the war. In 1981 he had to flee Iran because of his coverage of the Kurds.
  • Abbas left Iran in 1980 and published the photographs he took in the book, 'La Révolution Confisquée' on the Iranian Revolution. In 1997, Abbas began returning to Iran on a regular basis, recording life in the Islamic Republic. He published 'Iran Diary' which consists of his photographs taken between 1971 and 2000.
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