An Iraqi jet fired missiles that hit the USS Stark in the Persian Gulf in 1987, killing 37 U.S. sailors. Iraq and Iran were at war at the time, and the U.S. wanted to keep open the regiion's vital oil shipping lanes. The current friction between the U.S. and Iran has again raised tension in the Gulf.
Credit U.S Navy / AP
History never repeats itself exactly. But the current escalation in tension and rhetoric between the United States and Iran has revived memories of the Persian Gulf tanker war of the 1980s.
As an offshoot of the war taking place back then between Iran and Iraq, the U.S. offered protection to Kuwaiti ships carrying oil through the Straits of Hormuz. This led to attacks on multiple military and civilian ships. In addition, the U.S. Navy in 1988 shot down an Iranian airliner that was mistaken for a jet fighter.
An Egyptian stock trader reads a copy of the <em>Al-Masry Al-Youm</em> newspaper last November. Critics say the newspaper is reluctant to criticize the ruling military council and has engaged in self-censorship.