ON THE IRAQ - IRAN WAR
REFLECTIONS ON THE MIDDLE EAST
1958 — 1983. Extracts from the political diary, TIRANA, 1984
The Iraqi rulers began the war against Iran from fear of the influence in their country of the Iranian people's revolution against the Shah and his patrons, the American imperialists, and also with the incitement of the Soviet social-imperialists, the American imperialists and Arab reaction in order to overthrow the new Iranian regime. It seems to me that Saddam Hussain and his clique thought that this war would be oververy quickly and that the Iranians would soon surrender on account of the state of their army after the revolution, allowing the occupation of the rich oil fields near the border, in Khuzestan and elsewhere. But it did not turn out like that. The Iranian army withstood the initial attacks of the Iraqi army, launched counter-attacks which liberated the border zones occupied by the Iraqis, and continued to drive deeper into Iraq.
The war has dragged on for three years with heavy fighting and bloodshed, sometimes more quietly, sometimes simply with attacks with artillery, rockets and aerial bombing, the latter especially from the Iraqi side. Already the war has caused very great losses of human life and material damage which is estimated at several tens of billions of dollars on each side.
The aims for which Iraq began the war have not been achieved and Saddam Hussain has several times sought mediation to end it, but without rendering account for his deeds and without assuming moral and material responsibility for the damage which has been inflicted on the Iranian people. Quite rightly the Iranians have not accepted this manoeuvre. However, those who incited this war and who foster it with arms supplies are also opposed to the ending of the Iraqi-Iranian war.
Who are those who want to prolong this war endlessly? They are the Soviet social-imperialists, the main suppliers of Iraq with all types of the most modern weapons; they are the American imperialists who, by means of Iraq, want to carry out the counter-revolution in Iran, to overthrow the present regime and re-install the barbarous Pahlavi regime, to regain control of the great oil wealth of Iran and the fabulous privileges which they enjoyed only a few years ago; they are the arms monopolies of certain other imperialist countries, such as France, Britain, etc. which sell Iraq supersonic aircraft, missiles and chemical weapons; they are the Israelis who want the Arabs to chop each other to pieces. Finally the Arab reactionaries, who are scared to death of the revolutionary spirit and progressive movements of the Palestinian people, the Iranian people and any other people in this region, also want to keep it going.
This year the conflict not only continued,but assumed more extensive proportions and became more bitter. Iraq has hit and is hitting inhabited centres and cities outside the war zone and especially a number of oil fields and the refineries at Abadan, Kharg Island, Bandar- Khomeini and elsewhere, employing modern means of warfare, including supersonic aircraft, missiles and modern warships which it has received from the Soviet social-imperialists and the other imperialists. On these occasions the Iranian government has declared officially that if the imperialist powers continue to assist the regime of Saddam Hussain and enable it to attack the Iranian people and their property with such means, it will be obliged to take measures to close the Strait of Hormuz and stop the passage of oil tankers from the Persian Gulf to the high seas.
Closing the Strait of Hormuz would mean that the western capitalist countries, including the United States of America, would be deprived of 40-45% of the oil needed to keep their industry going. Therefore they have all ganged up against and increased their pressure on Iran. Indeed, the United States of America has threatened armed intervention. To this end some time ago the Americans deployed a big naval fleet in the Gulf of Oman as well as other special troops and means for rapid intervention in the Persian Gulf zone. Regardless of these pressures, the Iranian government is maintaining a firm stand in defence of the interests of the Iranian people and resolutely opposing the anti-Iranian policy of the two superpowers.
The prospects for putting an end to this war are gloomy and its prolongation increases the possibility of military intervention by the superpowers at various strategic points of the Persian Gulf, increases the dangers of even greater flareups and complications in this region of the world and further exacerbates the Middle East crisis.