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During the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), the Persian Gulf came into news. Both sides attacked oil tankers of each other. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991, this war got the name the Persian Gulf War. But, this war, major fighting happened on the land.
The water in the Persian Gulf is rich in fishes; it has long beautiful coral reefs. Deep inside the water of the Persian Gulf, there are many pearl oysters. Due to this, the area attracts a lot of activities.
In Persian language, the term khalīj-e-Fars means the Persian Gulf.
The sea waters of the Persian Gulf covers an area of 233,000 km². On the east, it connects with the Gulf of Oman by Strait of Hormuz. On the west, it connects a major river delta of Shatt al-Arab. In this river delta, waters of two big rivers of the area flow into: the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers.
The length of the Persian Gulf is 989 kilometers, and the shortest distance between two land points are 56 kilometers. The waters are generally not very deep. The maximum depth is only 90 meters. The average depth is only 50 meters.
There are many countries with borders touching the Persian Gulf. If taken in a clockwise direction, these countries are from the north: Iran, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar on a peninsula off the Saudi coast; Bahrain on an island; and Kuwait and Iraq in the northwest. Many small islands lie within the Persian Gulf.
The area in and around the Persian Gulf has world’s largest crude oil. Industries relating to crude oil are the main industries in this area. Al-Safaniya, the world’s largest offshore oilfield is in the Persian Gulf. Many countries with large crude oil are in this area. They are called Persian Gulf States, that is, the countries around the Persian Gulf. These countries are Iran, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. But, Iraq (with its small portion touching the Persian Gulf) is not called a Persian Gulf State.
For about 200 years, from 1763 until 1971, the United Kingdom kept some control over some of the Persian Gulf countries. These countries were the United Arab Emirates and at various times Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar.