pro-western Shah of Iran is overthrown during the Islamic Revolution
and replaced by the radical Shi'ite Muslim leader Ayatollah Khomeini.
Iraq, governed by a more moderate Sunni sect, regards the new
regime as a threat.
President Bakr resigns, Saddam Hussein becomes president and Chairman
of the Revolutionary Command Council [RCC]. In a move to consolidate
power, Saddam orders the execution of at least 20 Ba'ath members
and military rivals.