The Gulf: After the War. Iran

THE Gulf crisis brought the Islamic Republic an unexpected bounty: ``victory'' in its eight-year war with Iraq. After a two-year, stalemated cease-fire, Saddam suddenly settled a 10-year dispute with Iran Aug. 15 by accepting that the border between the two run in the middle of the Shatt al-Arab waterway. Since the early 1980s, Iraq had claimed sovereignty over the entire waterway. Saddam also agreed to withdraw his remaining troops from Iranian soil.

At home, the crisis allowed President Hashemi Rafsanjani to score a major victory over radical opponents. Among the political elite, those led by Rafsanjani wanted to remain neutral and improve Iran's diplomatic ties, while others wanted to join forces with Iraq against ``US imperalism.'' Lack of public support for anti-American protests helped Rafsanjani win over Parliament.

The flight of Iraqi planes to Iran gave Tehran further leverage with Baghdad, and Iran gained new visibility in its effort to bring Iraq to the table. Tehran has since suggested that if Iraq is to pay reparations to Kuwait, it should do the same for its actions in the war with Iran.

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