Gulf War Secrets Spilled: Saddam 's Letters to Iranian Leaders in 1990

Published May 2nd, 2021 - 08:08 GMT
Currency From Iraq with Bullets and Plastic Soldiers
Saddam was ending his war with Iran by the end of the 1980s. (Shutterstock: LMPark Photos)

More than a year after his death, memoirs of former Syrian Vice President have shed light on many secret chapters of the region's modern history, including the 1990 Gulf War, which has been a pivotal point in Middle East's politics ever since.

Chapters of Abdul Halim Khaddam's memoir (1932-2020), one of the longest-serving Syrian politicians, are being published in the Saudi London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, providing never-heard-before anecdotes of political interactions in the region.

Abdul Halim Khaddam, who was the Vice President for both Hafez al-Assad and his son Bashar al-Assad (1984-2005) wrote a tell-all memoir about events involving not only his country, but also Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, and many others, showcasing the different roles the Syrian regime played in neighbouring countries at that time.

The seventh chapter of the memoir includes several details on messages sent by the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to Iranian leaders during 1990, in which he was trying to end his country's long war with Iran as he was preparing his troops to invade Kuwait, to the south.

Saddam's messages were often sent to then then-Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Khaddam highlights that Saddam proposed a "comprehensive plan for peace with Iran" in August 1990, including his initiative to withdraw Iraqi troops from Iran during the same month. Saddam's plan also included exchanging detainees.

Iranian responses as reported by Khaddam show that both parties were "serious" about achieving peace and ending hostility.

The letters exchanged between Iranian and Iraqi presidents also included suggestions of a summit between them, one that integrates a more peaceful relationship between the countries that fought throughout the 1980s.


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