Abdul Aziz al-Hakim Recognizes Justice of Reparations to Iran
Reuters reports that Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the current president of the Interim Governing Council, has admitted that Iran has a just claim on Iraq for reparations for the Iraq-Iran War of 1980-1988, in which Saddam had ordered Iraqi armies to seize Iran’s oil-rich Khuzistan province but was eventually pushed out.
Reuters reports that al-Hakim said, ‘ “According to the U.N., Iran deserves reparations. She must be satisfied,” Abdelaziz al-Hakim told a news conference after meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. “Whether we will pay or not is something which we need to discuss further,” he added. ‘
Al-Hakim was given refuge in Iran when Saddam attempted to wipe out his clerical family, and so tends to tilt to Tehran. In my view his statement was unfortunate. Iraq cannot survive as a country if it is saddled with yet more debt and reparations. And, while it is true that Iraq was the aggressor in 1980, it is also true that Saddam began suing for peace in 1982 when his forces were pushed out of Iran, and that the damage done to both countries in 1982-1988 can in large part be laid to the door of Imam Ruhullah Khomeini, who had conceived a stubborn and sanguinary desire to take Baghdad.