Iran-Iraq war and big lies


by Diba

The Iran-Iraq War and the Big Lies

Anniversary of 598 Resolution’s acceptance by Iran and ending 8 years of Iran-Iraq war

Bahman Aghai Diba

Twenty four years after the end of a bloody, protracted and destructive war between Iraq and Iran (1980–1988), the two sides are still keeping the realities of that conflict a secret. On the Iraqi side, Saddam, the aggressor, is gone and the new Iraqi government is eager to bury his legacy with him. On the Iranian side, the men responsible for the prolongation of the war are still in power and continuing to lie about it.

The anniversary of the acceptance of UN Security Council Resolution 598, which brought a formal end to hostilities in 1988, has created an opportunity in Iranian society for discussion about the war, the peace, and similarities in Iran’s situation then and now.

Influential politicians like Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a close associate of Ayatollah Khomeini at the time, and Mohsen Rezaie, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) during the war, are busily distorting the facts about Iran’s situation, what led to Iran’s acceptance of Resolution 598 (after prolonged obstinacy), and the role of leaders like themselves and that of Khomeini in accepting the ceasefire that marked the end of the fighting.

The reality is that Iran had not intended to accept Resolution 598, nor was there genuine interest in resolving the issues that divided the two sides. The Security Council had adopted 598 a year earlier, in 1987. At that juncture, Iranian forces had been in Iraqi territory for several years, threatening Iraq’s biggest port city, Basra. Deceived by the fleeting superiority of their tactical position, Iranian war leaders dismissed 598 back then, instead feeding the Iranian people and Khomeini a diet of misinformation. They promised that, with a little more time and patience on the part of the nation, Iranian forces would overrun Iraq shortly. Now those very same leaders are claiming that they were early advocates for peace. No one is acknowledging an inescapable fact: under no condition would regional and global realities have given the Iranian forces a chance to take even one step further.

What changed Iran’s position was not a set of brilliant proposals by self-proclaimed Iranian military and political strategists (who were, in fact, a group of naïve ideologues unschooled in political geography, international relations and power politics). Nor was it skill in conducting negotiations. There was one, and only one, reason for acceptance of the peace: the regime of the Islamic Republic was in danger of collapse in the face of decisive defeats on the battlefield and poor morale within military ranks and among the populace.

Some two or three months before Iran’s acceptance of Resolution 598, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iranian forces with devastating success. The Iranians, having by then lost their entire air force and most of their navy, were relying solely on “human wave” tactics. Playing on the religious zeal and nationalistic fervor of the young, revolutionary leaders, especially Khomeini, were sending hundreds of thousands of Iranians to the war front. In the years prior to the chemical supremacy of the Iraqi forces, Iran had gained a few victories with its use of human wave tactics. Thousands attacked and many were killed, especially as they ran through minefields, but still others went through, much to the consternation and surprise of their adversary. So many Iranians were killed in this way that twenty years after the end of the war, Iraq is still returning the remains of hundreds of Iran’s war dead in caskets.

For most of the war, Iran held almost 40,000 Iraqis as POWs, while the Iraqi side had something close to 5,000. By the time Iran came around to acceptance of 598, the number of Iranian POWs in Iraqi custody had reached parity.

Furthermore, towards the end, the Iraqis had forced the Iranians out of their land. Despite claims by the likes of Rezaie, Saddam’s forces were well prepared to cross the border and capture large chunks of Iranian territory again, and they would have met with little resistance. Iranian air cover was reduced almost to zero, and ground forces facing the massive use of chemical weapons were either killed or severely maimed or else threw away their guns and fled the war fronts. Twenty years later victims are dying in Iran each day from injuries they received in those chemical attacks.

The armed opposition group MKO, having been driven out of Iran in 1981 into Saddam’s welcoming embrace, employed a foolhardy strategy in the waning days of the war. Untrained and lightly armed fighters from different countries filled their ranks, and they staged an attack riding from Iraq into Iran in ordinary passenger cars. Without direct reinforcement by the Iraqi army, they were sitting ducks and no match for any regular army. Thus, they were decimated before making much headway, and Khomeini ordered a mass slaughter of MKO prisoners in the summer of 1988. Over a few days, between three and eight thousand went to their deaths.

What ultimately drove the Iranians to accept 598 was fear that the regime would fall. As far as the Iraqis were concerned, from their new position of strength, they had no wish either to settle for peace or to abide by their acceptance of 598, which had come a year earlier, almost immediately after its adoption by the Security Council. Saddam argued that facts on the ground had now changed—the Iranians having been pushed out of Iraqi territory—and he had no interest in accepting the peace.

What stopped the Iraqis was pressure from the West, especially the U.S., whose policy was to end the war without a clear winner. By then, the U.S. was on fairly good terms with Saddam, and he went along and accepted Resolution 598. Two years later, dissatisfied with what the Western states had promised him for this move, he attacked Kuwait.

Some day, one hopes, Iranian leaders responsible for the fruitless prolongation of the war will stand trial and have to answer for their role. That day may come with or without the current regime still in place. For the present, the government of Iran is too heavily staffed by these former and current IRGC cadres, and many are gaining strength. Comfortable in their perches, they continue to feed the current generation of Iranians, many of whom have little recollection of the war, with false information.


more from Diba

Answering some comments

by Diba on

I think I have to give some backgrounds  about myself to some of the persons who have made comment and advised me how to post things in my blog.

I have PhD in International Law, and I have worked 15 years in the Iranian Foreign Ministry as a diplomat and I have worked a long time in the legal department on the international legal issues. My last post in the Iranian Foreign Ministry was “member of the Iranian delegation in the Iran -Iraq peace talks in Tehran, Geneva and New York”. I was a member of the Iranian delegation that formally accepted the 598 resolution of the UNSC in New York. I have published many books in Iran and at least five of them are now used as textbooks in the post graduate levels. I have published several books and hundreds of articles in the US about the international issues and many of my works are translated to several languages.

And then

1-      My piece is in the level of New York Times materials.  

2-      No one has the right to tell me and in fact anybody else what to post in his blog. 

3-      If anyone has better ideas and knowledge of the situation, he or she is free to present his or her credentials and write his articles, books and so on. On the subject.


maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

* my personal opinion*

Late Reagan promissed the release of 52 hostages upon taking the office or else the whole U.S Army will land in Tehran,

same person ask in charge Iranians to stop the madness after the mistaken shooting down of an Iran Air on Persian gulf or else his last promisses are still on the table.

* hint  the hostages were on their way to the USA before midnight jan 20th

And the 598 was signed by JALLAD Khomeni a week after the ...

poor souls lost their young lives on both side for HEECHI.



I can't confirm or deny this as factual or otherwise

by Bavafa on

But I can attest to loss of moral among Army.

However first my disclaimer:

This is only my short and limited experience and opinion in this regard and it should be only taken as such

During my service (roughly 80-82) I was stationed mostly on the Western front, starting at Karkhe Bridge near Dezfool on to Abadan. While Iran was occupied by Iraqi forces the unity, cooperation and moral was simply unbelievable. At least from a foot solider point of view (me) there was no difference between Sepah or Army and all helped out without any hasitation. After Khoramshar was re-captured at one point I was some 16 kilometers in Iraqi land. Even though it was not much after Khormshahr victory, one could see the division and animosity and hostility between the Army and Sepah. Simple military soldiers such as myself constantly questioned the wisdom of our aggression and we really viewed ourselves as the new aggressor.

Anyway, I was lucky enough to have my service come to an end during that time but many of Iranians unfortunately were not so lucky. Nevertheless, I salute all of them regardless of the time & location they served, Sepah or military. Only hold those leaders who prolong the war beyond what was necessary to free our home land. I also curse MEK for their treason and betrayal to their country and country men/women, hold the West (US particularly) responsible for enabling Saddam for his crimes specially the use of chemical weapon. Should there ever be justice in this world, the living IRI leaders along with US and Iraqi leaders MUST be brought to court of law and be held accountable for their crimes against innocent Iranian and Iraqis.

'Vahdat' is the main key to victory 


Ali P.

Hard to read

by Ali P. on

I read about 10 lines or so, then my eyes were hurting.

I may copy, and then seperate the paragraphs, and then read it; but not everyone is going to do that.

Soosan Khanoom


by Soosan Khanoom on

"there was one, and only one, reason for acceptance of the peace: the regime of the Islamic Republic was in danger of collapse in the face of decisive defeats on the battlefield and poor morale within military ranks and among the populace."

I don't believe that was the case ..Iranian at least up to that moment never lost their morale , quite contrary many soldiers  could not even grasp the idea of accepting the resolution while they were making so much advances ..... The only reason in my humble opinion was the usage of chemical weapon by Iraqis which you slightly mentioned .... That probably was the main reason and  a game changer ..... 

This war had never been Justified by Saddam or his western supporters  to start with and throughout the entire thing despite their constant efforts they had never succeed in destroying Iranian's soldiers morale ....

We owe each and every single inch of that land to the young soldiers who died defending our country ........ 




by afshin on

Was this posting based on fact or fantasy?  Is the writer an investigative journalist or someone that creates facts as he sees fit?  Might I suggest in the future, that if you're going to post something at least make a small footnote/disclaimer stating this is your opinion, or rather a possible version of historic events.  Your post is so filled with misplaced confidence, that one might think it was published in the New York Times.

Maryam Hojjat

Excellent Facts about Iran/Iraq war &

by Maryam Hojjat on

Bastard s in IRI/IRI.