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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Forty Years Ago, October 2, 1980: Iran-Iraq War

Iraq and Iran reported tank battles raging on their war front as Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini slammed the door shut to a ceasefire, vowing to fight to the end.

By: Editorial | October 2, 2020 3:40:15 am
The Express front page, October 2, 1980.

Iraq and Iran reported tank battles raging on their war front as Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini slammed the door shut to a ceasefire, vowing to fight to the end. Iran declared it intends to keep the Strait of Hormuz open to shipping and claimed its ground forces in street-to-street fighting had pushed Iraqi invaders out of key city in oil-rich Khuzestan province. The Iraqi news agency said that the smoke still curling over Baghdad was from the Dora Hilla natural gas line juncture that fed the power plant attacked by Iranian Phantoms. Iraq claimed its infantry had captured all approaches to the strategic army garrison town of Dezful.

Zia On Kashmir

Pakistan President Gen Ziaul Haq, in his wide-ranging speech to the UN General Assembly said the process of normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan could be “further accelerated” with a peaceful settlement of the question of Jammu and Kashmir. Without naming the countries, he spoke about discrimination against 300 million minorities in the world. The principal focus of the address was on Islam and Islamic virtues, Afghanistan and Palestine. But he also referred to the inability of the UN in dealing with the “rights” of the Palestinian people or “redeeming its promise to the people of the Jammu and Kashmir state to enable them to decide their future in accordance with its relevant resolutions”.

India-Soviet Talks

Presidents Leonid Brezhnev and Sanjiva Reddy have expressed hopes that Iraq and Iran will abandon the path of war and strive for a peaceful settlement of their problems. In their extensive talks in Moscow, the Soviet side reiterated its fear that continuation of the armed conflict in the Gulf would encourage further American interference in the area. The Soviet side reiterated its position on Afghanistan and expressed appreciation of India’s position and understanding in relation to developments in south and southwest Asia.

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