TEHRAN – An Iraqi analyst says Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein started gassing Iranians at the start of the 1983 because he realized that his army was being defeated by Iranian military forces.
“Using chemical weapons at the beginning of 1983 reflects Saddam’s military failure and his failure to achieve any victory,” Najah Mohammad Ali tells the Tehran Times.
Saddam who launched a comprehensive air, land, and naval war against Iran on September 22, 1980, finally was forced to agree to the 1975 Algiers accord that he had torn apart in the parliament on September 17, 1980.
Following is the second part of the interview with Mohammad Ali that the first part of which was published on Saturday:
Q: Why did Saddam, despite having a well-equipped classic army, failed to achieve his goals after eight years of war with Iran?
A: Yes, Saddam imagined that within a week or two weeks, and at most within a month, to end this war. He believed that he would arrive in Tehran and bring down the Islamic Republic of Iran because the American intelligence provided him with a study in this regard explaining to him that Iran’s situation was in his favor.
Indeed the government of Mahdi Bazargan took two remarkable steps for the benefit of the enemies before the war started. The first step was to reduce the period of military service for the Iranians to one year, which led to half of the Iranian military camps becoming empty of soldiers. The second step was that the interim government led by Mehdi Bazargan canceled an important agreement with the United States of America to supply Iran with F-14 fighters, which left Iran without air cover.
Yet, the great military strength of the Iraqi army, the huge logistical capabilities that the Persian Gulf states provided to Saddam’s regime, the intelligence information provided by America, the advanced weapons, and Mirage aircraft provided by France all failed to bring victory for Iraq. Yes, the war was prolonged, because if Iran had had the same capabilities, it would have determined the fate of the war from the beginning. With its experts’ intelligence, Iran could manufacture missiles with a range of 70 and even 120 kilometers at the time. Saddam could occupy Iranian territory by using heavy weapons and the air force that he was superior, while Iran did not have sufficient weapons.
However, the Islamic Republic was able to achieve victories under the leadership of Imam Khomeini and the heroism of the Basij forces that changed the equation and spread panic in the Iraqi forces’ hearts. This factor caused the Islamic Republic to take the initiative soon after the start of the war.
Using chemical weapons at the beginning of 1983 reflects Saddam’s military failure and his failure to achieve any victory. It overturned the result of the war, and Iraq was defeated and weakened and agreed to the international resolution to stop the war while Iran was insisting on punishing Saddam and toppling him. Saddam agreed to return to the Algiers Agreement, which means ending the war without Iraq getting anything, and in terms of military and politics, despite all the losses between the two countries, Iran is considered victorious. It preserved the Islamic Republic system and expelled the occupiers from its lands, especially Khuzestan, and prevented it from being cut off. Saddam returned to the agreement that he tore up in September 1980.
“The disaster is that the reactionary Arab regimes that provided him with money and weapons, and after that helped to topple him now promote him as a hero.”
Q: How was the Iran-Iraq war recorded in the memory of Iraqis? Do they consider the war against Iran a glory?
A: This war was not glory to the Iraqis; it was a disaster. The Iraqis considered the cease-fire a great victory for them that they were stating that this war would eliminate them and their youth. When Iran announced that it had agreed to Resolution 598, the Iraqis poured into the streets dancing and celebrating. The Iraqi regime wanted to portray this celebration as a celebration of victory, while it was a celebration that the Iraqi people felt that they would survive. If you search on Facebook and the internet, you see how the Iraqi people view this war’s memory. You will find that every blogger writes his memories and these notes confirm that they celebrated it because they were saying that the Iraqi president is crazy who does not accept to quit his position.
Saddam was doubtful about some of the men he thought were his surrogates in any deal with Iran to stop the war, including Adnan Khairallah, his cousin, and the Iraqi defense minister, who was killed eventually.
The disaster is that the reactionary Arab regimes that provided him with money and weapons, and after that helped to topple him now promote him as a hero. Their outlets talk about Saddam as a protector of the homeland, who could stop the Iranian advance on the Arab territories until he invaded Kuwait. After that, they contributed to his overthrow and execution. The war officially stopped on August 8, but some skirmishes continued by the Iraqi regime, which took advantage of the war’s cessation.
Now the situation between Iraq and Iran is a state of no war and no peace, which paves the way for plotting conspiracy between the Iranian and Iraqi people.
Today America, the Zionist-Saudi axis, the supporters of normalization with Israel are on one side, and Iran and the axis of resistance on another side. There is constant incitement in the media, on the street, and on social networks inciting young people who do not know the truth of the Iran-Iraq war and the tragedies and disasters it left behind.
Iran should employ all its efforts to end a state of no war and no peace with Iraq and reach an agreement on the remaining differences and outstanding issues from Resolution 598 and sign a treaty of non-aggression and mutual defense with Iraq.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/452965/Facing-defeats-Saddam-started-using-chemical-arms-against-Iranians