The year 1990 was one of both continuity and change for Iran. Iran could not be expected to remain indifferent to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait or to the deployment of Western military forces in the region. Iran’s Islamic Republic marked its 11th year in power in February 1990. With the achievement of the Iran-Iraq cease-fire in 1988, the Iranian leadership was committed to easing social and economic difficulties. The major obstacle to improving ties with the West were anti-American sentiments, which had come to be identified with the Iranian revolution. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the American response to it posed a new dilemma to the Iranian leadership. The Iranian strategy was a combination of threats and appeasement. Preliminary steps toward improving ties between Iran and Iraq were made in the spring as a result of Baghdad’s initiative, to which Tehran responded positively, though hesitantly.