Iran's Defense Week Commemoration, Rouhani's Regional Peace and Security Initiative
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Iran's Sacred Defense Week features parades and other events, commemorating the start of Iraq's 1980 aggression on the Islamic Republic.
The occasion honors fallen martyrs in the eight-year conflict, orchestrated by the US.
Following Iran's 1979 revolution, Iraq's Saddam Hussein became Washington's anti-Iranian weapon.
Journalist/historian Dilip Hiro earlier noted that Jimmy Carter officials "suppl(ied) information (to Saddam) which exaggerated Iran's military weakness," adding:
"Washington encouraged Iraq to attack Iran." The CIA pushed the idea, deceiving him to believe war was winnable and would enable him to annex Iranian territory.
Washington wanted its Middle East influence enhanced. Carter Doctrine policy pledged regional military intervention if US interests were threatened — never by the Islamic Republic.
On September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran with US support, border clashes preceding full-scale war.
Nearly eight years of bloody conflict followed, inflicting a horrendous human and economic cost on both sides. Over a million lives were lost.
The US and other Western countries call the conflict the Iran/Iraq war.
Saddam hoped it would be a "whirlwind war." He renamed it Qadisiyyad Saddam — a reference to Arabs defeating Persians in 636.
Tehran calls what happened the "Sacred Defense" or "imposed war" — US dirty hands behind it.
Reagan officials supported the war by delisting Iraq as a sponsor of international terrorism, enabling Saddam to purchase US weapons, equipment and technology.
Years later, former Reagan National Security Council official Howard Teicher explained the following:
"President Reagan formalized this policy by issuing a National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) to this effect in June, 1982."
"CIA Director Casey personally spearheaded the effort to ensure that Iraq had sufficient military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to avoid losing the Iran-Iraq war."
The US "actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits, by providing US military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis, and by closely monitoring third country arms sales to Iraq to make sure that Iraq had the military weaponry required."
On Sunday, Iranian President Rouhani delivered a nationally televised address, commemorating the 39th anniversary of Iran's Sacred Defense Week.
The eight-year war with Iraq is considered a turning point in Islamic Republic history, creating an awareness of the need for national defense against potential foreign aggression.
In 1980, Tehran was forced into war it didn't seek, aiming to end its revolution, the US wanting the country returned to client state status.
In his Sunday remarks, Rouhani said he'll present a regional peace and security cooperation plan in his September 24 UN General Assembly address.
He offered his country's "hand of friendship and brotherhood" with regional countries, willing to work cooperatively with Tehran for regional peace, stability and security — including in the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman, and strategic Hormuz Strait, a vital passageway for regional oil to world markets.
"Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region," he warned, adding:
"(T)he Islamic Republic of Iran's approach entails alliance, unity, and coordination with the regional countries."
"If the outsiders are sincere and really after peace and security, they must stop deploying such an amount of dangerous weapons to the region and not turn our region into an arms race and stockpile, and if they really favor regional security, they must stay away from the region, because their presence has always been a predicament and burden on the region."
He debunked the Big Lie about Iranian involvement in attacking Saudi oil facilities.
Denouncing Trump regime "economic terrorism," he said "(o)ur people have overcome the pressure of sanctions in the past 40 years, and in particular in the past 10 years; and today, they will also pass through this tough strait."
September 22 is a significant date in Islamic Republic of Iran history.
Press TV explained that "(f)orces from the Iranian Army, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Police, Border Guards, and (the volunteer) Basij (militia) are participating in the parades that started on Sunday and that are being held in Tehran and 30 other provincial capitals, as well as in the waters of the Persian Gulf."
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