Iraq - International cooperation
Iraq is a charter member of the UN, having joined on 21 December 1945, and participates in ESCWA and all the nonregional specialized agencies. A founding member of the Arab League, Iraq also participates in G-77 and OPEC, and has signed the Law of the Sea. Iraq has given both military and economic support to Arab parties in the conflict with Israel. The war with Iran preoccupied Iraq during the 1980s, and Iraq's relations with other countries in the Arab world has been varied. During the 1980s, Iraq maintained friendly relations with some Western countries, notably France, a major arms supplier to Iraq. In November 1984, diplomatic relations between Iraq and the United States were renewed after a break of 17 years, but were broken off again when Iraq invaded Kuwait in August of 1990. The United States and its allies launched an air war against Iraq after diplomatic efforts and economic sanctions failed to convince Iraq to leave Kuwait. Iraq's international standing deteriorated badly and the nation was placed under an international trade embargo. Iraq was attacked by US and British forces beginning on 19 March 2003, and the regime led by Saddam Hussein was defeated by those forces that April. In the post-war period, the country is undergoing reconstruction and the government is in transition.