Use of Religious Doctrine and Symbolism in the Iran-Iraq War

Ardalan Rezamand

Abstract


The political and economic isolation of the Islamic Republic, brought on by its ideological rejection of Western and Soviet influences, gave greater weight to the use of religion in a pragmatic, compensatory fashion. In particular, political leaders of Iran used Islamic doctrines, symbolism, and language to legitimize their wartime policy. I argue that Iran’s political leaders specifically reconstructed certain Islamic tenets, both via the ahadith and juristic precedence, in order to justify military actions such as retaliation against non-combatants, human wave attacks, and economic warfare.

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ISSN (Print): 1705-2947
ISSN (Online): 1712-5634