According to columnist Jack Anderson, he considered invading Iran, seizing its oil fields, and boosting his electoral prospects, he hoped. Soviet Russia threatened intervention if he followed through.
Carter abandoned his plans. At the same time, his administration remained hostile to Ayatollah Khomeini's government.
Reagan escalated Carter policies short of committing US forces in combat. Saddam got US backing. America pretended neutrality. It proves repeatedly it can't be trusted.
Support for the Shah was a key element of US regional policy. Iran's 1979 revolution changed things. Saddam became Washington's weapon to defeat a government it opposed.
On September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran. Border clashes preceded all-out conflict. Nearly eight years of war followed. Over a million died, including civilians. America and other Western countries call it the Iran/Iraq war.
Saddam hoped it would be a "whirlwind war." He renamed it Qadisiyyad Saddam. It was an emotive reference to Arabs defeating Persians in 636. Tehran calls it the "Sacred Defense" or "imposed war."
On September 21, Press TV headlined "Iran marks (32nd) anniversary of Iraq imposed war with military parades," saying:
Ceremonies opened "Sacred Defense Week." They began symbolically at Ayatollah Khomeini's Tehran mausoleum. Planned events include parades, commemorative concerts, and photo exhibits.
Commemorating the occasion, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a nationally televised address, saying:
"Our sacred defense was not defending a territory, a nation or a school of thought alone. It was well beyond that. It was defending human dignity, the rights of all nations and those of the oppressed people of the world."
Iran will "stand and defend its rights," he asserted. He called the blasphemous anti-Muslim film inciting violence an Israeli plot "to divide (Muslims) and spark sectarian conflict."
He and Ayatollah Khamenei days earlier noted Western hypocrisy. Condemn Washington, other NATO allies, or Israeli crimes and be denounced. At the same time, insulting Islam is called free expression.
He criticized nations backing Saddam's invasion. They revealed their imperial regional aims. They're also fake human rights advocates. They say one thing and do another. Scoundrels operate that way.
Iranian officials turned out in force. High-ranking military ones were present. Iran's latest military hardware was showcased. On display was its new domestically made air defense system.
Called Raad, or Thunder, it's more advanced than its Russian predecessor. It's designed to confront jet aircraft, cruise missiles, smart bombs, helicopters, and drones.
Its capability ranges up to 30 miles. It can strike targets high as 75,000 feet. It's a formidable defense against attack.