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Iran-Iraq war photo re-enactment goes viral

The photograph, which many mistakenly believe features the children of the original veterans, is the latest of many popular Iranian efforts to keep the era's spirit of solidarity alive.
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The impact of the Iran-Iraq war in shaping the identity of the Islamic Republic of Iran cannot be overestimated. Iran was a young revolutionary government enjoying popular support when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein sent troops into Iran’s southwest Khuzestan region in 1980. The invasion by a neighboring country, though shocking, mobilized hundreds of thousands of Iranians and created a new avenue of revolutionary fervor.

For Iran, the war came to symbolize a fight of good versus evil, the oppressor versus the oppressed, the tyrant Saddam — funded by Arab states in the Persian Gulf, armed by Western Europe and given technology by the Americans — versus Iran, which was under international isolation and sanctions. That Iran could withstand Saddam’s army for eight years despite its many disadvantages helped solidify the idea of “resistance” in the Iranian psyche — still today one of the main causes of the Islamic Republic.

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