The Iranian perspective

Sadegh Zibakalam, Bitterlemons International, August 28:

Iranian support for the newly established Iraqi regime was quite reasonable and to be expected. The Iranians fought eight long years to witness a Shi’ite-dominated government in Iraq. Iran lost a million of its people in that war, its economy was shattered and the Islamic republic lost nearly all the international support it had achieved during the early days of its revolution. Yet by the end of that bitter and tragic war, Iran had failed to achieve any of its objectives.

“Allah helps Islam in mysterious ways,” explained a highly respected senior clergyman to a group of Iranian mothers and wives who had lost their loved ones in the war with Iraq due to Saddam’s use of chemical weapons. “Who would have thought that the man who poisoned your sons, fathers and husbands while the so-called civilized world stood by and did nothing would fall from power so disgracefully.” The view that the fall of Saddam was a “provident action” was indeed shared by many pious Iranians, particularly those who had lost their loved ones in the war.