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The 1980s’ ‘Tanker War’ set the scene for the Gulf’s latest shipping attacks

The ‘Tanker War’ was among the more notable aspects of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, starting early in the conflict but only really building up momentum from 1984. A scan of GSN’s archive suggests that recent events carry plenty of echoes of that period.Iraq began attacking ships serving Iran’s northern Gulf ports in 1981. From March 1984, it launched attacks further down the Gulf, notably targeting Iran’s Kharg Island export terminal. In May of that year, the tanker war began in earnest as Tehran began to respond with its own attacks.

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