One of the most controversial subjects in Iran’s history is the history of the Iran-Iraq war which began on 22 September 1980, when part of Iran’s soil was invaded by the then Iraqi government. The war lasted almost eight years, ending in a total stalemate and defeat for the Iranian regime’s agenda, while the then Iranian supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini was forced to accept UN Security Council Resolution 598 of a cease-fire.
Historians argue that 90 percent of all the wars were avoidable unless a dictator did not want to stop the war and continued it at the costs of the people and the country under his rule.
In the case of the Iran-Iraq war, there was no reason for the prolonging of the war, other than the greed for domination and unbridled individuality and Khomeini’s totalitarian goals.
Khomeini and his heirs spent all their efforts on a political-ideological intrigue to keep Iran in a state of urgency, a war to export their reactionary ideology. The purpose of perpetuating this self-imposed urgency has been to suppress any opposition and criticism to consolidate the foundations of their power, domination, and hegemony.
On Monday, 21 September, current Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei took the stage after a long time, and while he had to talk about the most important issue for his regime, namely the issue of the start of the snapback and the return of UN Security Council sanctions, he talked for more than an hour about the 1988 war. Why?
First, let us have a look at some of the key points in his speech:
- The narrative of the war is distorted
- The war and the cause of its occurrence are constantly asked
- There are hidden hands that are making the face of the war skeptical
The question here is, who has exposed the real face of this cruel and inhuman war to Iran’s people all these years, enraging the supreme leader in the process?
Indeed, which current and force have exposed the dark nature of this war all these years? And that right after the retreat of Iraq’s then government from Khorramshahr, moving back behind the international borders.
The actions of the Iranian opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI) against this dark war in Iran’s history and the impact of these actions to end the war are not hidden from anyone. Also, the influence of their policies in the society and even among the regime’s forces and even Khamenei self.
Just a few days ago, the Friday prayer’s leader in Khorramabad, Ahmad Shahrokhi, questioned the war and said:
- The first question is why this eight-year war took place?
- The second question is whether the Islamic Republic could not have prevented the war?
- The third question is, did we win the war?
- If yes, what are the signs of this victory? Why do we say we won the war?
In other examples, some state-run media raised similar questions, including the state-run news agency Fars on 21 September asked: “When we took back Khorramshahr, why did we continue the war? Why did we end the war like this in a situation where we were superior and there was a possibility of defeating the enemy?”
The issue of this war and its criminality has now become so obvious that even in the body of the system itself, the main leaders of the system, namely the supreme leader, have to come and answer why they refused to stop the war once Iraq withdrew from Iranian territory?
These are, in fact, serious indications of the need to hold this criminal regime accountable, which prepared, waged, and killed more than one million of Iran’s people in this hellish war, which is now trying to atone for the guilt of that crime.
That is why Khamenei on Monday, 21 September, tried to wipe away the blood on his hands and on the hands of his Imam, Khomeini, by sanctifying the war.
Khamenei spoke much about the war but did not explain the reason for the war. But now thanks to the revelations of the MEK, most Iranians now know that the war actually began on the day that Khomeini called on the Iraqi army to rise up against their own government.
In all the hours that Khamenei talked about the war, he did not say a single word about the regime’s insisted to continue the war, even the Iraqi government accepted to pay all the compensations for the war. He did not even talk about the various resolutions issued by the UN and while many Arab nations accepted to pay the war compensations to establish peace, but the regime did not accept to end the war.
Khamenei did not say why 32 years after that great crime and sending tens of thousands of children and teenagers to the minefield, he still does not speak about the truth of that war crime? Notably, the current Speaker of Majlis (Parliament) Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf is one of the notorious IRGC commanders whose human wave tactics terrified his infantry.
The regime’s official statistics say, 36,000 students, which is part of the reality, were killed in that war. Why does Khamenei make no mention of this war crime and its figures? Why does Khamenei say nothing about the regime’s horrific human wave attacks? All these facts are enough to show this realty who is distorting the reality of this war.
Moreover, we can count more of the side effects of this war on Iran and its people. Just a hint of its current reflection in a government daily is enough.
“If there were not this war, many of the events that followed might have happened differently or not at all. Many opportunities have been missed. Observations show that management policies are based on group interests rather than the public interest. The problem is that its harms do not know pro or contra, insider, or outsider, individual, party, or faction and affect all the ‘insiders’. Then suddenly it is the system that implodes, and then all these wars and victories and costs have been for nothing.” (Ebtekar daily, 21 September)
In an interview with the state-run Khorasan television several years ago, a top IRGC official said about the war: “If there was no war, there would be no country”. That translates to: If we did not start this war, we would have lost our dictatorship.