Glimpses of Epic of 8-Year Holy Defense (43)
Four major operations within 9 months in the second year of the imposed war changed the military-political equation in favor of Iran. The liberation of Khorramshahr and Iran’s political-military superiority was so crushing to the enemy that it could be translated into the end of war. But the Great Satan (the US) and other criminal supporters of Saddam spared no effort to preserve the Iraqi regime and pressure the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The supporters of Iraq in the then Eastern and Western blocs, intended to hold the negotiations and impose their so-called peace on Islamic Iran when it lacked military superiority. Petrified at Iran’s victory, the Americans were not willing to take into consideration the rightful demands of the Islamic Republic to identify the aggressor and pay compensation. So they just focused on ceasefire. In such a situation, could the Islamic Republic end the war without securing its rightful demands? The supporters of Saddam, ignoring the scale of devastations and losses caused by Saddam's regime, were trying to end the war in favor of Iraq, as if no aggression had ever happened. Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini, commented on the nature of Iraqi demand for peace, saying, "If we leave the aggressor today, while we have power, this does not mean ceasefire, this is not the meaning of peace." Therefore, "political negotiation for peace-building" was not practical because Iran's rights were not recognized. The goal of the US and the global and regional supporters of Iraq was to gain time to curb the effects of Iran's politico-military superiority. Hence, changing the shape of war from "active" to "attrition" was put on their agenda.
If peace means ceasefire with its conditions, retreat with its conditions, determining the aggressor, compensating the damages, etc., it should be said that there was no peace at that time, and the UN Security Council and other organs just recommended ceasefire. In fact, there was no plan to guarantee real peace. Determination of the aggressor and compensation of losses were removed from the paragraphs of negotiation between the two parties. In view of the global support for Iraq, this could never realize Iran’s conditions for an honorable and dignified peace. As per this policy, after the major Bayt ul-Moqaddas operation and liberation of Khorramshahr, resolution 514 was approved at the UN Security Council at the proposal of Jordanian regime and support of the US. The resolution was issued after 21 months and 15 days of UN silence against the Ba'athist regime’s invasion.
The first UNSC resolution (479) was issued 6 days after the Iraqi regime’s invasion to "investigate the situation between Iran and Iraq". There was no mention made of threat to peace, violation of peace, aggression, and violation of Iran’s territorial integrity. The resolution had not called for a ceasefire or returning to the international borders and only asked the two sides to refrain from further resorting to force. In fact, the resolution ignored Iraq’s invasion of Iran’s borders, imposition of war and the dire situation in the west and southwest of Iran which was the result of Iraq’s targeting of civilians. But the wordings of resolution 514 were quite different as Iraq was in a state of total defeat and Iran had the upper hand in the battle field. In the prelude of resolution 514, the UN had expressed its concern over the prolongation of what it called "conflict" between the two countries and killing of innocent people, the damage to facilities and the threat to global peace and security and called for a quick ceasefire and withdrawal of the two sides' forces to the recognized international borders through dispatch of peace-keepers and UN observers to the region, without mentioning Iranian soil's occupation by Iraq.
Another clause of the resolution called on other UN members to refrain from any action that would lead to the continuation or escalation of war. This request was made while the five self-styled permanent members of the Security Council were the main supporters of the Iraqi regime and continuation of war. In fact, apart from the main objective of weakening or, if possible overthrowing the newfound Islamic Republic system, arms sale was among the main goals of these powers in this war. Swedish thinker professor Castiger stated in a speech in Washington in 1986 that Iraq received 60% of its weapons from the Soviet Union, 20% from France and the rest from China and other big powers. The Islamic Republic always sought peace. The overall strategy of the Islamic Republic of Iran was to achieve a lasting and honorable peace. But the so-called international community took no step for achieving a real peace. Hence, Iran was forced to continue the war.
Identifying the aggressor and compensation of losses was one of the main conditions of Iran to accept peace. Otherwise, no peace was feasible. If Iraq fled the war as easily as it invaded Iran, there would be no guarantee to stop it from another invasion in the future. The Iraqi assault on Kuwait proved this argument two years after the end of war. Therefore, the Iraqi dictator should have been forced to bear the political and economic costs of aggression not to think of aggression once again. But Saddam's supporters didn't like this, because they considered punishing Iraq would be to the benefit of Iran.
Following the liberation of Khorramshahr, the decision to continue or end the war, taking into account the regional situation and the political-military position of Iran, led to the meetings of Iran's Supreme Defense Council at the presence of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini. In these meetings, all senior Iranian political and military officials unanimously supported the continuation of war since Iran’s rights were not recognized by Iraq and its global partners-in-crime. But there were two general views on how to continue the war.
The basic issue was whether to enter the Iraqi territory or not? Some considered it necessary to continue the war to force Iraq's supporters to accept Iranian rights, as the Islamic Republic had the upper hand both militarily and politically. Military commanders often believed that there was no possibility of standing on the borderline because the lack of fortifications would prevent defense against Iraq's possible invasions, while Khuzestan was repeatedly threatened and invaded from the eastern Basra due to the lack of natural barriers. Thus, it was considered imperative to consolidate the defensive position through capturing the eastern Basra. Finally, with the consent of the country's political and military officials, the Ramadan operation was designed and launched which led to the entry into Iraqi territory in the eastern part of Basra.
Therefore, after the liberation of Khorramshahr, the Islamic Republic's strategy was to win a military victory in order to force Iraq's global and regional backers to end the war, taking into account the demands of Iran which were all logical and rightful.