Regional Issues. Conflicts in the Middle East. Importance of Oil. Growth of Islamism. Oil as source of conflict in Middle East

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1 Main Idea Reading Focus Conflicts in the Middle East Regional issues in the Middle East have led to conflicts between Israel and its neighbors and to conflicts in and between Iran and Iraq. How have regional issues contributed to conflicts in the Middle East? What were some key events in the Arab-Israeli conflict? What caused a revolution in Iran? How have conflicts in Iraq affected that country? Over the last few decades, major conflicts have erupted in the Middle East. Issues that have contributed to the conflicts include the presence of huge oil reserves, the growth of Islamism, and the conflict between Israel and its neighbors. Oil in the Middle East About two-thirds of world s known oil reserved located in Middle East Reserves have been great source of wealth for Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, other countries Most members of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Regional Issues Oil Revenues OPEC attempts to regulate production of oil exports to maximize revenues Oil revenues allowed Middle East governments to modernize countries, promote industrialization, economic, social development However, oil has also been a source of conflict. Importance of Oil Oil as source of conflict in Middle East Some governments have used oil revenues to build up military, maintain power, threaten neighbors Oil wealth has caused internal clashes within countries, societies Region s strategic importance as source of oil has led outside nations to become involved in Middle Eastern affairs, politics Islamists Movement to reorder government, society according to Islamic laws Islamists believe Muslim countries have strayed from true Islam, followed Western models of political, economic development Growth of Islamism Conflicts, Violence Egypt, Iran, Iraq have seen growth of Islamism; has led to conflicts within society, government Some extremists have used violence to bring about changes, have attacked regional governments, their allies, innocent civilians 1

2 Conflicts with Israel 1948, Israel established; since then most Middle Eastern countries have refused to recognize its right to exist Some countries have repeatedly attacked Israel, funded militant groups that conduct raids, terrorist attacks against Israelis Expansion of Israel Series of wars between Israel, neighbors has led to expansion of Israel Israel controls more land now than in 1948 when created Result: many Palestinian Arabs live under Israeli control; another source of tension, conflict in region The Arab-Israeli conflict that began in 1948 has continued through the years. In 1967 and again in 1973, war erupted. Six years after the 1973 war, Egypt and Israel singed a peace agreement, but unrest among Palestinian Arabs in Israel remained a major problem. War in 1967, , Egypt demanded UN remove troops from Gaza, Sinai Peninsula Egyptian troops moved into Sinai to close off Gulf of Aqaba, Israel s route to Red Sea The Arab-Israeli Conflict Israeli Attacks Israel expected largescale Arab attack, decided to strike first Launched air strikes against Egypt, Syria, Jordan; destroyed most of airplanes on ground Ground troops moved in, defeated Arabs Six-Day War In Six-Day War Israel took control of Golan Heights, Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, East Jerusalem Took control of land in with large Palestinian population Yom Kippur War Egypt, Syria determined to win territory back, launched Yom Kippur War, surprise attack against Israel in 1973 Took name from Jewish holy day when attack began U.S. Support Oil Embargo Egypt Strikes Back At first Arab troops made gains in war; Israeli s government, led by Golda Meir, not fully prepared for attack; needed military support from U.S. With support, Israeli forces regrouped, pushed back Egyptian, Syrian armies Both sides agreed to cease-fire after weeks of fighting During war, Arab members of OPEC declared oil embargo against countries supporting Israel Price of oil around world rose dramatically as result of refusal to sell oil 2

3 Until the late 1970s, no Arab nation had recognized Israel s right to exist. Camp David 1977, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat made momentous declaration: Egypt wanted peace with Israel U.S. president Jimmy Carter invited Sadat, Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin to Camp David, presidential retreat in Maryland A Peace Agreement Peace Treaty 1978, Sadat, Begin reached agreement known as Camp David Accords Egypt recognized Israel; Israel returned Sinai Peninsula to Egypt Treaty ended 30 years hostility between Egypt, Israel Egypt, Israel made peace; Palestinian Arabs continued struggle for nationhood 1947 UN partition plan had called for two states in Palestine a Jewish state, an Arab state After 1948 Arab-Israeli war, land set aside for Arab state occupied by Israel, Egypt, Jordan Palestinian Nationalism 1964, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) formed Pledged to destroy Israel, replace with Palestinian state 1969, Yasser Arafat became leader, PLO launched guerilla attacks against Israel Palestinian Unrest Palestinian Resentment In effort to stop attacks, Israel invaded Lebanon, 1978 and 1982 Tensions building also in West Bank, Gaza where Israel had begun building settlements 1987, Palestinian resentment began rebellion called intifada Intifada Palestinian youths battled Israeli troops in widespread street violence Israel responded with military, police resistance; fighting continued to 1990s 1993, Arafat, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin negotiated Oslo Accords Oslo Accords Undermining Peace Tenuous Peace Oslo Accords called for Palestinians to gradually gain control over governing Israel, PLO supposed to sign permanent peace agreement by 1998 Extremists on both sides worked to undermine peace process Militant group Hamas launched suicide bombings in Israel 1995, Rabin assassinated; relations between Israeli, Palestinian leadership soured 2000 second intifada began Palestinian youths joined by Palestinian security forces with guns Hamas sent suicide bombers into Israel to attack civilians More Fighting Israelis countered by sending troops backed by tanks, fighter jets, helicopter gunships into cities in 2004, Arafat died, succeeded by Mahmoud Abbas Continuing the Conflict Hamas in Control 2004, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon withdrew Israel from Gaza, parts of West Bank 2005, Gaza turned over to Palestinians 2006, militant Hamas won control of Palestinian parliament Armed conflict also erupted when Israeli soldiers were kidnapped along borders with Gaza and Lebanon. Israel launched air strikes to secure its borders. 3

4 Different Kind of Conflict Different kind of conflict erupted in Iran Revolution ousted shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Revolution in Iran Westernization of Iran Shah had close ties with Western governments, oil companies Iran westernized, foreign influence grew Rise of Khomeini 1978, Iranians began to protest against shah s rule Protests inspired by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Shia religious leader 1979, unable to calm unrest, shah fled Iran Society Changed By 1970s, Iran had changed from traditional rural society Had become more industrialized, urban society Islamists Opposed Shah Many Iranians felt threatened by rapid change, others felt betrayed by corrupt government Islamists opposed shah because of ties to West Iran became Islamic republic with Khomeini as leader, during Iranian Revolution Khomeini s Reign Under Khomeini, government suppressed political opposition, enforced strict social religious values Foreign policy strongly anti- Western, especially after shah went to U.S. for medical treatment Khomeini s Reign American Hostages 1979, Iranian revolutionaries seized U.S. embassy in Tehran, took 66 Americans hostage Iranians demanded shah be returned to Iran, stand trial Shah left U.S., but Iranians held hostages until January, 1981 As Iran s new government was dealing with the hostage crisis, it found itself at war with its neighbor, Iraq. Iran-Iraq War 1980, Iraq attacked Iran because of border disputes Also Iran called for revolution among Iraq s Shiite population War long, costly; as many as 500,000 dead on both sides Iraq used chemical weapons 1988, both sides agreed to cease-fire Conflict in Iraq Persian Gulf War After cease-fire, Saddam Hussein continued to build up Iraq s military; already had largest army in Arab world 1990, Iraq accused neighboring Kuwait of drilling into Iraqi oil field, stealing oil Hussein used this as excuse to invade Kuwait 4

5 Sanctions In effort to end Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, UN passed economic sanctions against Iraq; sanctions failed Result: U.S.-led coalition launched Persian Gulf War Attacked Iraqi forces in Kuwait; Kuwait freed within weeks Weapons After war, UN continued economic sanctions, insisted Iraq destroy chemical, biological weapons, agree not to develop nuclear weapons Inspectors had been sent to verify Iraq s weapons had been destroyed Iraq failed to fully cooperate with UN weapons inspectors After attacks of September 11, 2001, some U.S. leaders believed Saddam Hussein posed a greater threat to America than before Hussein might have deadly weapons he could give to terrorists Weapons Inspections UN weapons inspections did not find stockpiles of chemical, biological, nuclear weapons Iraq again did not fully cooperate Some U.S. officials convinced Hussein hiding weapons The Iraq War Growing Insurgency 2003, another U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq, forcing Hussein out Efforts to restore peace thwarted Growing insurgency targeted coalition forces, Iraqi allies, innocent civilians Insurgent attacks by different groups from both inside and outside Iraq caused a greater number of casualties. Coalition Government Meanwhile, coalition worked to create new, democratic government in Iraq 2004, power transferred to Iraqis 2005, Iraqis voted in country s first multiparty election in fifty years Later approved new constitution to make Iraq Islamic federal democracy Continued violence, potential for civil war made country s future highly uncertain 5

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