• WHY DID THE WAR CONTINUE?:
Saddam had promised to his troops to win a victory in three days after the conquest of certain areas, and then, the termination of war. The Iraqi army had seen no need to prepare for a war of attrition. Iraqi troops met with the defense of the Iranian people and were stopped before achieving any one of their objectives. The efforts of Iraqi troops to break the defense lines failed several times, each time leaving casualties. Uncalculated and bitter accounts gradually became clear to America. A new wave of political pressure, masterminded by America, was brought to bear on Iran through international agencies and Arab states. Rather than condemning this apparent aggression, they put pressure on Iran to accept a preposed Ceasefire. Accepting the ceasefire then, was tantamount to offering prizes to Saddam and making him, and the enemies of Islam, attain to the things they had failed to take fully, by military attack. Iran had not started the war, that be required to stop it now. Iran defended the advance of the enemy in most difficult conditions while the enemy had taken, and occupied tens of towns and hundreds villages, and wide expanses of oil territories, in the west and southwest of the country, and several thousand square kilometres of Iranian soil had been occupied, War was not being waged on both sides of the borders, so that, the invaded party seeks a ceasefire, Even assuming that Saddam did not want the ceasefire to refresh his forces for another attack to gain his basic aims, acceptance of ceasefire by Iran, meant that aggresor Iraq could stay deep in Iranian territory, and thereafter the Islamic Republic make concession for each occupied meter of its territory for years, and at the same time keep asking the international agencies, and political brokers and ultimately the real perpetrator of war, i.e, America, and beg for the vacation of its occupied lands.
This was no logic that a zealous liberal could accept, let alone, imam Khomeini and a people who had just emerged from the arena of uprising against he despotic dictator of the region.
Moreover, in none of the proposals, did Saddam )pledge himself to withdraw to the borders. Rather, he officially claimed the vast occupied lands, and )other lands not yet occupied, must belong to Iraq! similar claim by him we heard several years later in his aggression against Kuwait. He termed Kuwait he 19th province of Iraq. The fact is that none of the countries which, after it became clear that ;Saddam cannot overthrow the Order of the Islamic Rpublic, spoke of ceasefire, and pressed Iran for it, were peace enthusiasts. Rather, they knew before hand that no country would accept a ceasefire under such conditions. They used the slogan as a lever by which to isolate Iran. More significant was the motive of the reactionary Arab governments in insisting on ceasefire and peace, which was voiced only because they were pressured by their people who wanted to know why their governments, so fully supported an aggressor such as Saddam, and that, against a country who was using its entire being in defense of Islam!
America, European governments and Arab states were not truthful in their claims for peace. Best proof for this that makes documentary evidence unnecessary, is that after the first victory of Iran, in a series of operations, during the second year of fighting, Saddam could not continue nor resist vis-a-vis Iranian forces for a single month without the flood of money and western armament that the Arab Sheikhs extended to him. If they were truthful in their claims all they had to do was to stop their supplies to Saddam and not persist in their boycotts on Iran for weapons, economics, and oil. Iran's guilt was that it was defending itself against an enemy that had occupied its territory and had butchered thousands of innocent people during the early days of the war, and made several hundred thousands, homeless. Although the Arab countries expressed regrets and apologized to Iran after Saddam had occupied Kuwait, but that does not remit their responsibilities and sins for siding with Western governments and Saddam, those who were responsible for the prolongation of the war.
Imam Khomeini, with proofs already mentioned, advised the delegates (sent for talks), of his unflinching decision to continue the defense until enemy is pushed back to known borders and has made reparation for damages he has made. But the tumult of the propaganda of the West was so widespread and loud, that the voice of innocence and rightfulness of Iran could not reach any ear. Gradually they twisted the facts, so much that, Iran seemed to be the perpetrator of the war, and Saddam was portrayed as a peace-loving victim. Such pressures and untrue justifications, did not in the least, affect Imam Khomeini's firm decision, nor did it affect the Iranian people. After disposal of Bani Sadr and the reign of the Line of Imam, over the executive organs of the country, the serries of operations by the Army of Islam, to liberate occupied areas was accelerated.
Already the Imam's command for general mobilization and formation of a 20-million-man army, had met with great enthusiasm among the youth; the revolutionary youth, who rushed to get trained and were dispatched as Basijis, to the fronts, and their presence had given the country a different atmosphere. With the repeated victories of the fighters of Islam, signs of defeat began to appear in the fronts of the Baathists. Gradually, America and its European allies, began to show their faces that were concealed behind the curtain of War. All kinds of advanced weapons, not easily obtainable, even in peace time, and requiring several years of negotiation and granting concessions, were quickly given to Saddam. Exoce missiles and French super-standard aircraft were supplied. Medium range Oscad missiles, Mig 29 aircraft and other Russian armament were freely given, empowering Saddam's war machine. Even technology and raw materials for manufacture, and enhancement of the effective range of missiles, and production of chemicals have been donated by American and European governments and companies to enable Saddam to overcome the forces of the Islamic Republic.
In the meantime Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, U.A.E. and the Arab countries bordering the Persian Gulf were compelled, under pressure by America, to secure Saddam's war budget. These aids were officially revealed in the occupation of Kuwait by Saddam, and today Iraq owes these countries more than 80 milliard dollars, on account of the assistance he had received during the 8-year war. Egypt, in addition to sending aircraft and pilots, sent several thousands of soldiers to help Saddam. Jordan, too, was in a similar position.
Extensive bombardment of cities, towns, villages and economic centers, and shelling residential areas with destructive missiles, form another ring of crimes committed by Saddam to which, countries and societies claiming support for human rights, not only closed their eyes, rather, they made available to Saddam, the means to do it. These bombardments took the lives of several hundred defenseless women and children.
Imam Khomeini was conducting the holy national defense, in conditions that the Islamic Republic was boycotted by America and Europe for arms; and to find a given aircraft spare part, several months of search was neccessary. Many countries, either remained silent versus this aggression and participated in putting pressure on Iran, or they formally entered the rank of supporters of Saddam. Most of the Industrial and military powers of the world, both in East and in the West, practically supported Saddam. Iran was alone and defended itself alone. Only faith in God, and belief in the invisible divine assistance, and the guidance of a divine man, was all the support Iran had, and oddly enough, this "lonely" and oppressed innocent front was the final victor, and drove the enemy back, step by step, to the depth of its territory. Eight years of Imam Khomeini's life was spent in conducting this holy defense. It is worth noting that during the 3rd year of war, following "Baitul Muqaddas Operations, (Jerusalim)", (on 3rd Khurdad, 1361) which resulted in the liberation of the important and strategic port of Khorramshahr from the hands of Iraqi aggressive forces, at that stage of time, Imam Khomeini believed in putting an end to fighting and defense. However, high ranking and dedicated authorities of the Islamic Republic, including military commanders, and political authorities, after making a thorough study of the political and military conditions of the country and of the war fronts, met the Imam and put forth their views as to the necessity of continuation of the defense until favorable conditions for a lasting peace could be provided. Their reasoning was that certain parts of Iranian territory was still occupied by Iraq and Saddam, inspite of the disgraced defeat he went through, in the liberation of Khorramshahr, he was not ready to give up his aggressive aims, and, heartened by unsparing support of the world's great powers, he was contemplating resumption of aggression after having rearmed his forces; he did not have peace in mind. Under such conditions there was no guarantee that peace could be established, and unilateral cessation of fighting by Iran, would actually make the liberated towns and vast stretches of border-line lands defenseless against future invasions by Iraq.
At any rate, in view of the logical resons given above, and the unjust attitudes of the international associations, and their refusal to accept Iran's fair terms for termination of war and the constant rearming of Saddam's war machine by major powers, the Iranian nation and its leadership had no alternative other than continuing their holy defense.
The all around assistance to Saddam did not affect the process of the war and frontline conditions, that, rapidly progressed to the benefit of the soldiers of Islam. Along with acceleration of bombing residential areas, and shellings of missiles, America was forced to intervene, dirctly. French, British, U.S. ans Russian armadas entered the Persian Gulf. America considered internationalization of the war crisis, and direct involvement of other countries, as the only way that remained. They started the war known as the war of oil Tankers. The mission of the dispatchad forces was to prevent exportation of oil, from Iran, arrest and inspection of commercial ships and prevention of export of essential merchandise to Iran. In this adventure numerous commercial ships, and ships carrying Iranian oil, were attacked by missiles and bombarded from the air. Oil wells of Iran in coastal waters, were set on fire. In its last aggressive act, America committed a dastardly crime. On 12 Tir 1367 (3rd of July, 1988) it shot down Iranian airbus (flight No. 655) killing 290 children, women and men. This occurred in the clear sky of the Persian Gulf by a volley of two missiles from aircraft carrier Vincent. The world of force and coercion, alien to truth and veracity, ignored this crime which was committed against a people whose call and cry was "Islam". This, was apparently, an unforgivable sin in view of the Westerners! It is the same sin for which the innocent Bosnians are being butchered, these days, in Europe. Saddam, too, ended the record of his horrible Crimes, unmatched in the history of man, with the chemical bombardment of the city of Halabcheh in which over 5000 old men, women and children met a painful death by suffocation. The United Nations and its Security Council felt no responsibility about this dreadful tragedy. The military expeditions of the Westerners to the Persian Gulf, and all that took place in last few months of the 8-year old war, were all due because, at that moment the army of Islam had the upper hand, and was in a superior position, and had driven the enemy behind the borders everywhere, and was going to uproot the germ of sedition from the area. The fall of Saddam by the hands of Islamic
soldiers meant the defeat of several major world powers, vis-a-vis the Islamic Revolution. At this stage the entire efforts of the U.S.A and the Security Council was used to prevent the advancement of the Iranian fighters and the fall of Saddam. Security Council approved its Resolution 598. This Resolution had accepted the major part of the views and conditions that Iran had insisted on, for cessation of fighting, ever since it started its defense; but international agencies had refused to accept, hoping that Saddam would win. The adoption of this resolution on the one hand, and on the other hand, the criminal, inhuman actions taken during the last months of fighting by the perpetrators of the war, caused the issuance of Imam Khomeini's order, by which a body of committed Iranian military, political and economic specialists made a survey of the new conditions. At the end of the survey, the group unanimously expressed their opinion that, conditions were favorable for proving the rightfulness of the Islamic Republic in its 8 years of holy defense, and for cessation of hostilities on the basis of Resolution 598.
Imam Khomeini's message known as Message of acceptance (4/24/1367=July 20, 1988), is a masterpiece of Imam Khomeini's guidance and leadership. In it, the record of the imposed war and its dimensions are clearly set forth, and future policies of the Islamic Order and Revolution in all contexts, including confrontation with the superpowers, and persistence on the ideals and objectives of the Revolution are clearly drawn up. Imam Khomeini's interpretation of accepting the Resolution, as the "cup of hemlock", contains untold facts and many subtle points, revelation of which, requires a separate dissertation. Here, reference will be made to just one phrase of it: "As to the acceptance of the Resolution, which was really a bitter and unwholesome issue for all, especially for me; until a few days ago, I was of the opinion that the same defense method and position be held that was maintained during the war. I regarded its implementation beneficial and expedient to the Order, the Countiy and Revolution; but for events that I will not indulge now, and God willing, will become clear in due time, and considering the views of all high ranking political and military specialists of the country in whose dedication and truthfulness I have full faith, I agreed to accept the Resolution and the ceasefire. And, at the present stage I regard it expedient to the Revolution, and the System, and, had it not been for the incentive that all of us, our honor and credibility must be sacrificed in the path of all that is expedient to Islam and the Muslims, I would have not consented to it, and death or martyrdom would be much more enjoyable for me. But, what is there to do? All must submit to the pleasure of Almightly God, and surely, that is how the brave nation of Iran has been and will be..."
As Imam Khomeini had often warned, Saddam'S claim to peace-seeking was to deceive public opinions. After acceptance of the ceasefire by Iran, be resumed aggression, and in the south he occupied further land sites. The publication of the exciting and sentimental message of the Imam, once more, caused general mobilization all over the country. Fighters and Revolutionary elements from everywhere hurried to the war fronts and by imposing another defeat on the Baathist elements made them run away. No road was open to Saddam except to admit defeat. And now, God willing, as the Imam had promised, the nation, on whom an unwated war had been imposed, was, by offering innumerable sacrifices of its dearest members, and by creating epic events, the kind of which can be cited only in Islam's wars of the early days, is in a position to impose peace on its formerly vainglorious and presently despondent enemy. By America's nod, Saddam had come to divide Iran and put an end to the Revolution, but now, to save his own life and rule over the innocent people of Iraq, had no alternative but to accept the terms put forward by the revolutionary nation of Iran.
Of the marvelous happening notable during the long holy defense period of Iran, was that, in the whole duration of the war, the Iranian nation never desisted from construction and reparation of the ruins inherited from the previous regime, rather, they succeeded, in addition tO efficient management of the war fronts, to carry out enormous projects, such as dam buildings, road constructions, oil exploration and exploitation plans, development of power stations, improvement of agricultural concerns, increasing the number of universities and research centers, as well as, following up other national development activities. The Iranian nation owe their achievements, aside from the wisely guidance of Imam Khomeini, to grandees from among Imam's friends and other men of efficacy, such as Ayatullah Khamenehii (president of the time), Engr. Mir Hussein Mussavi (prime Minister) Mr. A.H.Rafsanjani (speaker of the parliament), Ayatullah Mussavi Ardebili (head of judiciary power) and their colleagues in the three powers, as well as, the cooperation of the Imam's trustworthy consultant, his dear son, Hojjatul-Islam, Haj Seyyed Ahmad Khomeini.
And so the 8-year long imposed war came to an end. Those who started the war did not achieve anyone of their objectives. Not only the Islamic Republic order did not collapse, rather, in the light of national unity of the Iranian people, it wrapped up the fifth column agents within the country, and stabilized its sovereignty over all internal domain, and, internationally, established its presence as a secure, stable and unbeatable power, and proved its rightfulness despite 8 years of vicious propaganda by the Westerners, and it relayed its message too. And, to be sure, in this holy path, it paid the necessary, hearvy price. "If you help God, God will help you and make steady your strides." (36)
The greatest sin and treason of Saddam and all the pseudo-Islamic and Arab governments who supported him, and encouraged his agression, in addition to wasting the great manpower, as well as economic resources of both countries, is that the imposition of this unwanted war, definitely delayed the unity of the Islamic Ummat and the Islamic world revolution, whose conditions for realization were all favorable after the overthrow of the Shah. Moreover, Muslim lines were broken and instead of shaking the brotherhood hand that Imam Khomeini extended to Islamic governments, in all his speeches and messages, and giving positive answer to calls for unity, for the solution of the problems of the Islamic world and for liberation of the Quds, instead of all these, they stood by the side of the heads of atheism the result of which was nothing except disgraceful compromise with Israel, admission of the existence of this cancerous tumor, receiving pagan forces in their countries, making available the facilities of their countries and territories for America to make its den in the heart of Islamic countries and in the land of divine inspiration. Saddam's mad attack on Kuwait, setting fire to all the assets of this country, its bitter mishaps that followed and entailed the destruction of the Iraqi national possessions and the permanent presence of the enemies of Islam in the area, all are the outcomes of that unforgivable sin. "Learn your lesson, o, men of insight!" (37)
Following the establishment of a relative peace on 11/7/1367, Imam Khomeini elaborated in a 9-point message, the policies and outlines for reconstruction of the country, for the authorities of the Islamic Republic. A careful study of this directive is enough to get some idea of the depth of Imam Khomeini's foresightedness and at the same time, the validity of values from his point of view. Meanwhile, after ten years experience with the system of the Islamic Republic, on 4/2/1368, in order to reform and complete the organizational fundamentals of the Islamic Order, in a letter to the President of the time (His Holiness Ayatullah Khamenehii), decreed the appointment of a body of specialists and experts as responsible authorities to study and amend, as deemed necessary, the Constitutional Law, on the basis of 8 specified principal points. The amendments relating to conditions for leadership, concentration in the Executive and Judiciary powers and radio-television, the duties of the League for Recognition of Expedients of the System, are among the major issues specified in this letter. The amended Articles of the constitutional law were submitted to referendum, on 12 Azar, 1368 (after the ascehsion of the Imam), and approved by an absolute majority votes of the Iranian nation.