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September 1980: Gulf war breaks out between Iran and Iraq. June 1981: Israel bombs Iraqi nuclear reactor. April 1984: Britain bans weapons shipments to Iran and Iraq. Ban remains in effect today. November 1984: Diplomatic relations are restored with the United States after a 17-year lapse. August 1988: Iran-Iraq conflict ends in a United Nations-sponsored cease-fire. September 1988: Iraq's reported use of chemical weapons against its Kurdish population prompts US diplomatic and economic sanctions. March 28, 1990: British customs officials at Heathrow Airport seize a Baghdad-bound shipment of 40 US-made nuclear triggers. April 9, 1990: US expels Iraqi diplomat based at the UN in New York in connection with alleged plot to murder two opponents of the Baghdad regime. April 12, 1990: British customs officials seize huge cylinders that Iraq ordered from Britain for an artillery system.

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