Tuesday, 22 September 2009

On the 29th anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq War

29 years ago today, Saddam Hossein attacked a weakened Iran in an attempt to conquer our country. The scars of this conflict, the longest conventional war of the 20th century are still very much visible in Iran. The legacy of the war is far reaching and is also quite visual. I'll try and explain what I mean by that. In Britain, there's virtually no visual reminder of the Falklands War or World War II except a memorial in the town centre or the poppies on Rememberence Day. Nothing particularly stirring, you can go home and brush it off, it doesn't haunt you.

In Iran, if you go into the cemeteries in towns and cities, you will always see the graves of those who died in the war with Iraq, stretching as far as the eye can see. What really hits home is the fact that graves usually have a picture of the man who died, who was usually a teenager, barely out of boyhood. It's quite haunting, even if you just look at the photos on the internet, it's still very moving.

These boys were probably younger than I am now, yet they shouldered an adult's burden and fought the war to defend their homeland. The Iranian and Iraqi people both suffered an indescribable pain due to two psychotic men: Saddam who started the war, and Khomeini who refused to accept a truce and finish it.

A particularly poignant picture, nearly three decades on, the agony is still felt by the mothers of Iran:

I write this entry for the memory of the innocents who died in this War, both Iranian and Iraqi and in the hope that nothing like this ever happens again.

Comments are most welcome.


  1. Excellent tribute. thank you


  2. Wait, so you blame Khomeini for refusing to accept the truce that was offered to him and Iran?

    Iraq invaded Iran, killed our people, and wanted to conquer our land and oil, Khomeini called our people to fight, and we did, and then when Saddam knew he would lose, he offered peace, but just because Iran refused, we are responsible for further deaths? Are you kidding?

    You are suffering from dementia, you can't give credit to Iran and to our leaders if your life depended on it. WOW

  3. Well done, SZ, you're right, I don't believe in prolonging wars unnecessarily, in fact war seems to kill people more than peace does. Who'da thunk it, eh?

    We pushed out the Arab invader. Iran's job wasn't then to try and "capture Karbala" and make Iraq an Islamic Republic. We could have got compesnation and reparations in 1982 if it weren't for that bloodthirsty thug Khomeini.

  4. Arash, it is humbling how well versed you are.

  5. Khomeini also had provoked Saadam by bombing the Iraq university a few month before...noone seems to take that to account.

  6. Mehrtash - Thank you very much, that's very gracious of you :)

  7. Arash,

    It seems you are more interested in getting blown by Mehrtash than to actually discuss the issues, but when you're ready you can respond to my posts.

    You say:

    We pushed out the Arab invader. Iran's job wasn't then to try and "capture Karbala" and make Iraq an Islamic Republic. We could have got compesnation and reparations in 1982 if it weren't for that bloodthirsty thug Khomeini.

    Bloodthirsty thug khomeini? really?? So getting invaded, and defending the country, and then wanting to capture and kill saddam's regime is being bloodthirsty? Really? So the Russians were blood thirsty when they kicked out the Nazi's and continued on to Berlin?

    The Americans were bloodthirsty when they pushed Japan back from Pearl Harbor and all the way to Japan? The Brits and French were blood thirsty when Germany offered them peace in 1945, and they refused only to capture germany completely?

    So you wanted Khomeini to just accept the cease fire, forgive Saddam for invading us and then just to stop fighting? You are truly a sad person, completely disconnected from reality.

  8. SZ: I'll respond to your comments when you can act like a mature grown up. I've given you many warnings to be polite, but I've had it with you. It was clearly written in the first post of my blog that I want *politeness* and *consideration*. You are an exceptionally rude individual, and I don't care for your insults.

    But yeah, trying to capture Saddam's regime "on the road to Jerusalem" was unnecessary and Khomeini was indeed a bloodthirsty tyrant who has the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iranians and Iraqis on his hands. I don't agree with sabre rattling war-mongers such as yourself, I generally see war as something to be avoided, especially when a truce and reparations and available.

  9. Mate, there is a clue in the blogs name. Observing IRAN, not Russia, not Japan, not USA... Iran. Stay on topic. ;)

  10. Oh: and in reply to SZ's question, because I'm getting messages to defend my view, World War II was a totally different matter. If Russia hadn't pressed on, the rest of the Europe and the world would still have suffered under Naziism. If Iran had accepted the truce *when Iraq had retreated to internationally agreed borders* in 1982 absolutely nothing would have happened, save the preservation of innocent lives. Iraq was not affecting anyone else, the truce would not have been detrimental to any other nation.

  11. In addition, The US may be accused of being blood-thirsty given that they dropped a couple of atomic bombs on Japan, committing a war crime that no one cares to pursue a trial for; they all rely on a pathetic excuse that its military necessity was worth it given it ended the war - Nagasaki and Hiroshima were wiped off the map! Who bore the highest casualty count? Civilians; thus, breaching Geneva conventions, in particular IV, as well as the Hague Conventions.

    SZ, thank you for the compliment; perhaps if you behave and stop behaving like a jealous cretin, I will permit you to blow me too, pretty boy ;)


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