Omid Memarian

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Sb has sent this link to me and i found it informative just to take a look at a moment to the one of the longest war at the 20th century. However it doesnt cover many aspects of the reality but shows a part of the story...

Chronology of main events in Iran-Iraq War
22 Sep 2005 14:49:51 GMT

Source: Reuters
Sept 22 (Reuters) - Saddam Hussein can no longer force Iraqis to celebrate "victory" in the war with Iran but they are still haunted by the conflict 25 years to the day after it started.
Here is a short chronology of the main events of the Iran-Iraq war.
Sept 7, 1980 - Iraq accuses Iran of shelling Iraqi border towns from territory belonging to Iraq under 1975 Algiers agreement on frontier line and Shatt al-Arab waterway. 10 days later Saddam Hussein tears up Algiers accord.
-- Sept 22/23 - Iraqi troops invade Iran.
-- Sept 28 - Saddam Hussein says that the invasion was a pre-emptive strike in the face of imminent Iranian attack. Iraq captures the Iranian port of Khorramshahr.
March 1982 - Iran launches ground offensive and re-takes Khorramshahr.
1983 - Iran threatens to seal off Strait of Hormuz - then a lifeline for world oil supplies - if Iraq takes delivery of new weapons from France.
March 1984 - Iranian Revolutionary Guards thrust across on the southern front and capture Iraq's oil-rich Majnoon Islands.
-- Nov 26 - Iraq and United States establish full diplomatic relations which had been terminated in 1967 after U.S. support for Israel.
-- Dec - Iraq begin attacks on Gulf tankers using Kharg island oil terminal.
Feb 1986 - Iran captures the Iraqi port of Faw.
Jan 9, 1987 - Iran launches major offensive towards Basra, viewed as one of the war's major actions.
-- July 27 - U.N. Security Council passes resolution 598 ordering an immediate ceasefire.
Feb 29, 1988 - Tehran comes under missile attack for the first time. Thousands of civilians are killed on both sides in "war of the cities".
-- March - Iran seizes the town of Halabja in northeastern Iraq. Tehran says Iraq used chemical weapons to punish inhabitants for not resisting. It says 5,000 were killed.
-- April - Elite Iraqi forces re-capture the port of Faw. In June they also take back the Majnoon islands.
-- July 3 - An Iran Air A-300 Airbus is shot down over the Gulf by the U.S. warship Vincennes which wrongly identifies the airliner as an attacking fighter. All 290 aboard are killed.
-- July 18 - Iran says it accepts Security Council resolution 598.
-- Aug 20 - Ceasefire officially implemented and monitored by U.N. Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG).

The Tanker War and U.S. entanglement
United States had been wary of the Tehran regime since the Iranian Revolution, not least because of the detention of its Tehran embassy staff in the 1979–81 Iran hostage crisis. Starting in 1982 with Iranian success on the battlefield, the U.S. made its backing of Iraq more pronounced, supplying it with intelligence, economic aid, normalizing relations with the government (broken during the 1967 Six-Day War), and allegedly also supplying weapons [1].
Starting in 1981, both Iran and Iraq attacked
oil tankers and merchant ships, including those of neutral nations, in an effort to deprive the opponent of trade. After repeated Iraqi attacks on Iran's main exporting facility on Khark Island, Iran attacked a Kuwaiti tanker near Bahrain on May 13, 1984, and a Saudi tanker in Saudi waters on May 16. Attacks on ships of noncombatant nations in the Gulf sharply increased thereafter, and this phase of the war was dubbed the "Tanker War."
Lloyd's of London, a British insurance market, estimated that the Tanker War damaged 546 commercial vessels and killed about 430 civilian mariners.
The largest number of attacks were directed by Iran against Kuwaiti vessels, and on
November 1, 1986, Kuwait formally petitioned foreign powers to protect its shipping. The Soviet Union agreed to charter tankers starting in 1987, and the United States offered to provide protection for tankers flying the U.S. flag on March 7, 1987 (Operation Earnest Will and Operation Prime Chance). Under international law, an attack on such ships would be treated as an attack on the U.S., allowing the U.S. to retaliate militarily. This support would protect ships headed to Iraqi ports, effectively guaranteeing Iraq's revenue stream for the duration of the war.
An Iraqi plane accidentally attacked the
USS Stark, an Perry class frigate on May 17, killing 37 and injuring 21. It should be noted that this happened shortly after the Iran-Contra scandal that involved selling weapons to Iran. But U.S. attention was on isolating Iran; it criticized Iran's mining of international waters, and sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 598, which passed unanimously on July 20, under which it skirmished with Iranian forces. In October 1987, the U.S. attacked Iranian oil platforms in retaliation for an Iranian attack on the U.S.-flagged tanker Sea Isle City.
April 14, 1988, the frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts was badly damaged by an Iranian mine. U.S. forces responded with Operation Praying Mantis on April 18, the United States Navy's largest engagement of surface warships since World War II. Two Iranian ships were destroyed, and an American helicopter was shot down, killing the two pilots.
In the course of these escorts by the U.S. Navy, the cruiser
USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655 with the loss of all 290 passengers and crew on July 3, 1988. The American government claimed that the airliner had been mistaken for an Iranian F-14 Tomcat, and that the Vincennes was operating in international waters at the time and feared that it was under attack. It has since emerged, however, that the Vincennes was in fact in Iranian territorial waters, and that the Iranian passenger jet was turning away and increasing altitude after take-off. The U.S. paid compensation but never apologised.
Through all of this members of the
Reagan Administration had, at the same time, also been secretly selling weapons to Iran; first indirectly (possibly through Israel) and then directly. It was hoped Iran would, in exchange, persuade several radical groups to release Western hostages. (for details see the Iran-Contra Affair).
Human Wave Attacks in the Iran-Iraq War
Many people claim that the Iran-Iraq conflict spawned a particularly gruesome variant of the "Human Wave" attack. The Iranian clergy, with no professional military training, were slow to adopt and apply professional military doctrine. The country at that time lacked sufficient equipment to breach Iraqi minefields and were not willing to risk their small tank force. Therefore,
Pasdaran forces and Basij volunteers were often used to sweep over minefields and entrenched positions developed by the more professional Iraqi military. Allegedly, unarmed human wave tactics involving children as young as 9 were employed. One unnamed East European journalist is reported to have seen "tens of thousands of children, roped together in groups of about 20 to prevent the faint-hearted from deserting, make such an attack."[16]
There has been a suggestion that girls were more commonly used for frontline mine clearance, and boys for unarmed "assaults". Reliable firsthand accounts of the use of children in human wave attacks are rare, however. The most serious contemporary firsthand account recently surfaced at the end of an article[17] by the respected technology journalist Robert X. Cringely, who relates the experience of a trip to the front for an unconnected Penthouse magazine assignment.

War of the Cities and the war's conclusion
The land war regressed into stalemate. Both Iraq and Iran lacked sufficient self-propelled artillery to support their respective armoured forces in assaults. This was made even more important because neither side had the airforce capability to support ground forces. When the relatively professional Iraqi armed force advance was halted by the sheer size and committment of Iranian infantry and the Iranian infantry moved to advance itself; it faced the terrible prospect that the Iraqis had large numbers of non-propelled artillery while the Iranians had comparatively small numbers of non-propelled artillery while even fewer numbers of self-propelled ones. Artillery was important to force an opponent to disperse, tanks to be dug in and enemy infantry to take over. Without artillery Iranian tanks were vulnerable to Iraqi infantry, artillery, anti-tank missiles and crucially were not able to achieve force superiority on a focal point. What followed was a blood bath with the Iranians substituting labour (infantry) for capital (artillery), and both sides turned to more brutal weapons and tactics. Iraq's air force began strategic bombing against Iranian cities, chiefly Tehran, starting in 1985. In response to these, Iran began launching SS-1 "
Scud" missile attacks against Baghdad, and Iraq responded by launching the same against Tehran.
The extreme brutality of the war included the use of
chemical weapons, especially tabun, by Iraq. International antipathy to the Tehran regime meant Iraq suffered few repercussions despite these attacks. Both Iraq and the United States government alleged at some time that Iran was also using chemical weapons, but these allegations were never confirmed by independent sources. The tactics used in the war resembled those of World War I, with costly human wave attacks commonly used by both sides, but by Iran in particular.
Iraq financed, with foreign assistance, the purchase of more technologically advanced weapons, and built more modern, well-trained armed forces. After setbacks on the battlefield, nevertheless, it offered to return to the 1975 border. Iran was internationally isolated, threatened with war with the U.S., and facing rising public discontent. Finally, a cease-fire was agreed to on
August 20, 1988.

The war was disastrous for both countries, stalling economic development and disrupting oil exports. It cost Iran an estimated 1.5 million casualties (1, p. 206), and $350 billion (1, p. 1).
Iraq was left with serious debts to its former Arab backers, including US$14 billion loaned by Kuwait, a debt which contributed to Saddam's 1990 decision to invade.
Much of both sides' oil industry was damaged in
air raids.
The war left the
borders unchanged. Two years later, as war with the western powers loomed, Saddam recognized Iranian rights over the eastern half of the Shatt al-Arab, a reversion to the status quo ante bellum that he had repudiated a decade earlier.
The war was extremely costly, one of the deadliest wars since the
Second World War. (Conflicts since 1945 which have surpassed the Iran-Iraq War in terms of casualties include the Vietnam War, Korean War, the Second Sudanese Civil War, and the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Final ruling
9 December 1991, the UN Secretary-General reported the following to the UN Security Council:
That Iraq's explanations do not appear sufficient or acceptable to the international community is a fact. Accordingly, the outstanding event under the violations referred to is the attack of
22 September 1980, against Iran, which cannot be justified under the charter of the United Nations, any recognized rules and principles of international law or any principles of international morality and entails the responsibility for the conflict.
Even if before the outbreak of the conflict there had been some encroachment by Iran on Iraqi territory, such encroachment did not justify Iraq's aggression against Iran—which was followed by Iraq's continuous occupation of Iranian territory during the conflict—in violation of the prohibition of the use of force, which is regarded as one of the rules of jus cogens.
On one occasion I had to note with deep regret the experts' conclusion that "chemical weapons ha[d] been used against Iranian civilians in an area adjacent to an urban centre lacking any protection against that kind of attack" (s/20134, annex). The Council expressed its dismay on the matter and its condemnation in resolution 620 (1988), adopted on
26 August 1988.

EU military attaches walk out at Iran parade
LONDON, September 22 (IranMania) - EU military attaches walked out in protest at a parade in Tehran Thursday after ballistic missiles were rolled past carrying vitriolic anti-US and Israeli slogans, diplomats told AFP."There was a common position among the European Union members that, if the military parade included any slogans that attacked our allies, we would leave," said a diplomat.
"The military attaches from the embassies of France, Italy, Greece and Poland were present at the parade, and when they saw the slogans they promptly left," said another diplomat.
At the parade, Iran showed off six of its Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missiles sporting banners reading "Death to America", "We will crush America under our feet", "Death to Israel" and "Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth".
"They may be just slogans, but for us they are unacceptable," one of the diplomats said.
The military event was held just south of Tehran to mark the start of "Sacred Defence Week", dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of Iranians killed after the forces of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein invaded in It also coincided with mounting tensions between Iran and the EU over Tehran's nuclear ambitions


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