Glimpses of Epic of the 8-Year Holy Defense (85)
If you remember, we discussed the admission of the Western and Arab media and regimes on their all-out support for the Iraqi dictator Saddam during the 8-year war he had imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran upon the order of his masters in Washington and then Moscow. Stay tuned for more.
The French intelligence agencies estimated in 1986 that if Paris had stopped sending aids to Iraq for three weeks, the Iraqi army would have been defeated in the war. As the United States, the Soviet Union and their satellites had imposed the war on Iran to overthrow the nascent Islamic system, they didn’t spare any assistance to the Ba’athist regime in financial, arms and political terms. This, while they even refused to sell barbed wire to Iran!!! The US and European regimes, especially France, Britain and Germany, delivered enormous amounts of chemical weapons to Saddam which he used both against the Iranian combatants and a few towns. Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, as the President of Iran in those years, would often go to the battlefronts since the first days of the war. He says on the end of the 8-year Holy Defence, “During the imposed war that lasted for 8 years, the US helped Saddam; NATO helped Saddam; the Soviet Union of those days helped Saddam; the reactionary Arab bloc, tough it was very incompetent and weak, helped Saddam; everyone helped Saddam. I mean the East and the West had formed a single front for Saddam and against the Islamic Republic; yet the Islamic Republic didn’t turn a hair; it stood and, with the divine help, overcame all of them and triumphed over all of them. After 8 years of war, they couldn’t separate one span of Iran’s soil.”
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei analyzing the Iranian people’s exemplary steadfastness during the 8-year Holy Defence, says, “The Americans’ aim of imposition of the war was to defeat the Islamic Republic by Saddam, to cause it to lose its reputation and say, ‘Yes, the Islamic Republic government and the Islamic Republic system caused Iran to lose.’ But, the contrary occurred. In all the wars of the past 200 years with another country, Iran had lost. Yet, this 8-year war is the first war and the only war that Iran has defeated the other side and has not lost. A single span of the soil has not fallen in the hands of the foreign country. This is the first war. Quite opposite to what Americans had desired took place.”
James Bill, a specialist of the issues of West Asia, says in his book on the war that the Iraqi regime hoped that it could nip the Iranian Revolution in the bud. The Ba’athist army had invaded Iran’s borders 636 times before the outbreak of the war on September 22, 1980. Saddam initiated the invasion of Iran saying that he would reach Tehran within 3 days. He waged an all-out war with 12 infantry divisions, 15 armed brigades, 4,500 tanks and personnel-carriers, 360 jetfighters and 400 helicopters as well as full military equipment. Contrary to his wishful thinking, his criminal army was bogged down as it faced the stiff resistance of the valiant people of Khorramshahr for 35 days. Although the Iranian Army had little coherence in those days and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps had been established for less than one year and a half, the national unity among all walks of life helped people overcome difficulties little by little.
One year after the invasion of Saddam’s criminal army, Iran changed its strategy from defensive to offensive so that within 9 months big swathes of occupied territories were liberated and Saddam’s regime sustained crushing defeats. Without any doubt, the most important reason for those victories was the unmatched leadership of the Founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini (God’s mercy upon him). Imam Khomeini’s words and commandments were highly esteemed among people, especially the youth. There was a very profound bond between the Imam and the Ummah. This was the very matter that the enemies had neglected and, in fact, couldn’t understand. Former head of the French spying agency, Conte de Maranche, said on how much the West was scared of the Imam’s leadership, “Iran is one of the real powers of the region as it has huge oil reserves in its vast and populous territory. For thousands of years, this empire has been knows as the dominant power in the entire region. Now, in the era of Ayatollah Khomeini, this power has multiplied manifold.”
The French official wrote in a message to Saddam, “As for this man [Imam Khomeini], be alert. Nothing is more dangerous than a forest that has caught fire; because strong winds will blow over it and the fire can spread to the intellectual borders and neighboring countries.”
The United States and its European and regional allies considered Iraq as the best choice for achieving their nefarious goals. The Iraqi Prime Minister in those years, Taha Yasin Ramazan, said, “This war is not for the 1975 Algiers Accord or several kilometers of land and half of Arvand River. This war is aimed at toppling the Islamic Republic regime.”
Los Aspin, then Head of the Armed Forces committee of the American House of Representatives, also stressed that the US’ strategic objective should be focused on stopping the expansion of Iran’s “Radical” Islamic Revolution to the Arab world, even if it requires employment of military force.