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Letters on Imposed War

The Texts of Letters Exchanged Between the former President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saddam in 1990
The Institute for Political and International Studies
1995

PREFACE
Since the Persian publication of the texts of letters exchanged between the Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq in 1370 (1991), we have been besieged by innumerable requests to translate these historical documents into English in order that not only specialists such as historians and political scientists, but all those interested in Middle East and Persian Gulf affairs, specifically those studying Iran-Iraq relations, can study and analyze these letters exchanged at a very critical period in the region's history (21 April 1990-18 August 1990). As we recall, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait occurred on August 2, 1990. Accordingly, we requested Ms. Maryam Daftari, senior research fellow at the Institute for Political and International Studies and Managing Editor of The Iranian Journal of International Affairs to undertake this task of translation for which we hereby thank her. An explanation concerning the dates employed is in order: H.Q. stands for Hejira (or the beginning of the Muslim era) computed according to the lunar calendar. H.S. stands for Hejira computed according to the solar calendar.
It is our hope that the translation of these historic letters will assist historians and researchers to analyze and understand the events of this period.
Abbas Maleki
Deputy Foreign Minister for Education and Research

INTRODUCTION
Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution, our country has passed through many problems and confronted many harsh realities which we shall briefly review. After the victory of the Revolution, our enemies worldwide, who were and are opposed to Islam and the Revolution, and consider these detrimental to themselves, began to plan for the destruction or weakening of the Revolution. During a certain time period, all their efforts to change the substance of the Revolution, [such as] attempting coup detats, rebellions, intrigues, and various conspiracies, failed. During this very period, they were also preparing for a formal military attack. They saw the possibility that the various aforementioned conspiracies might not succeed, and for this reason they began to plan for a military attack. Documents are available in which our enemies have spoken of an undertaking which, in their opinion, Iran could not withstand against, and that was Iraqs armed attack against Iran. It seems that this scenario had been planned as a possible occurrence even before the Revolution.
We know how Iraq's attack against Iran started. The Iraqis, by making certain excuses, prepared for an attack. For two or three months, they set up various border confrontations so that by obscuring the matter, they could portray Iran as guilty of initiating the war. Fortunately, at this stage also, they did not meet with any success and finally, in due time, they commenced their armed attack which was supported by almost all the satans of the world.
In this attack, the hands of the arrogant of East and West, regional reactionaries, and Zionism were at work; however, Iraq's Ba'athist regime was at the head of the attack. With its silence vis--vis the attack, the international community, too, acted improperly. The actions taken by the international community regarding Iraq's aggression against Kuwait were applicable at that time also: these were convening a meeting of the Security Council, issuing a resolution condemning the aggressor, calling for its unconditional withdrawal, and blockading and employing economic sanctions, etc. However, none of these actions were undertaken and even in the various discussions, bad things were continually said against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Although in their first military strikes the Iraqis were able to take big steps, they were not able to achieve their objectives. They were neither able to occupy Abadan and Ahvaz nor were they capable of blocking the Ahvaz-Dezful road or cutting the links between Khuzestan Province and the capital (Tehran). At the beginning of the attack they were not even able to occupy Khoramshahr--which was one of their primary goals. In the western region, too, the situation was similar. The [main] factor in this situation is also clear: first, the people's resistance. All will recall that for 24 days the people in Khoramshahr held the large Iraqi army at the gates of the city, and this was a great feat --while in its attack against Kuwait, the Iraqi tanks were able to move in about two hours from Ramila to the Emir of Kuwait's palace. However, after the occupation of Khoramshahr, at the gates of Abadan, the Iraqis were grounded and were unable to untie this knot.
During those days, the Islamic Republic of Iran's army had no military preparedness. The army had been purged, and high-ranking officers and foreign advisers had left. At that time, there was no unity in the army and it was not anticipated that it could perform any action of importance; and it was due to this very point that Ba'athist Iraq selected the time for its aggression. The amount of resistance at the borders was effective enough to delay the enemy's movements. Afterwards, during that time period, the army's air force acted extremely well, and it was truly this force which inflicted the first blow, and at times in order to obstruct the advance of the enemy, took over the functions of the army's ground forces. With more than 150 flights daily inside Iraq, the air force inflicted severe economic and technological damages behind the enemy lines bringing great destruction. Iraq's oil industry stopped functioning completely, and on the front, the advance of the Iraqi forces was checked.
The assistance of the peoples' voluntary forces was effective and thereafter, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps entered the battlefield. At that time the [Revolutionary] Guard Corps was not a military force, acting more like a disciplinary and security force within the country. During this period, with the presence of the mobilization and peoples' forces, by arresting the enemy's movements and stabilizing the front and defense lines, Iran's forces behind the front prepared themselves for a subsequent attack.
After leaving behind this phase of the war, the attack of the forces of Islam began. His Eminence Imam Khomeini (Peace Be Upon Him), by issuing the order for breaking the siege of Abadan, expanded the operations and by launching operation Darkhoein, Thamon-ul-Aimme, Fathol Mobeen, Bostan, and Bayt ul Moqaddas in succession and without giving the enemy any respite to strengthen its forces --with the re-capture of Khoramshahr which was the climax of Iran's victories --Iraq was forced to flee from Iran.
Iraq took refuge behind its lines and fortifications and by creating large lakes, minefields and several layers of wire fences, took a defensive position while Iran's forces maintained their offensive stance (for the Iraqis were still inside a large area of Iran's territory). Consequently, a series of operations, namely, the Val Fajrs, Karballas, Faths and Nasrs were launched, and often during the last several years, Islam's warriors were victorious.
During this period, the disunity and malevolence of the enemy become apparent. The Zionists, the Americans, the British, the French, the Russians, and the Arab reactionaries [all] spoke of peace and at the same time assisted Iraq. At the stage where the Iranian forces put pressure on the Iraqis behind their own fortifications, they helped Iraq in every way and performed every possible act of wickedness against Iran --which there is no necessity to repeat or to remind; and we know that by the connivance of international centers, many international regulations were violated and horrible war crimes were committed by the enemies of Islam: attacking passenger aircrafts and residential areas, and the use of chemical weapons on a large scale are examples of these.
After the great conquest of the forces of Islam in Halabcha and our presence deep within enemy territory in the north of Iraq, three new factors entered the stage:
1. [The Iraqi regime's] sanction to slaughter the Iraqi people;
2. The "scourged earth" policy.
3. The presence of foreign forces in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.
It became clear that the Iraqis intended --even through the destruction of their own nation and the massacre of the people of Iraq --to ask for mercy from Iran so that she would not advance too much within Iraqi territory; and the Ba'athist crimes in Halabcha were a clear example of that. Because they knew that Islamic Iran wanted the continuation of combat for the sake of liberating the people of Iraq, with this deception they wanted to block our path towards our goal. You witnessed what the Iraqis did to Halabcha. In Kurdistan they committed massacres with chemical weapons. At that time, Islam's forces were present in the region and in their penetration operations they advanced as far as Mosul and were a witness to these hardships. The "scorched earth" policy became an obstacle for Iran's forces. The continuation of the war was for the sake of liberating the people of Iraq, and Iran did not want such calamities to be visited upon them. This situation revealed that even if Iran's forces would march to Baghdad, this very situation would arise and there would be no people left to liberate.
Parallel to this policy, the buildup of the forces of global arrogance in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman took place and these forces formally went to war against Iran and exploded our oil platforms. A permanent peace has always been our principal objective, and at this juncture, for the attainment of peace, the path of Resolution 598 was chosen. Fortunately, during those very days, it became clear that this adoption [of Resolution 598] was not due to weakness, for immediately after Iraq's refusal to accept a ceasefire and [their] advance within Iran's territory, with the issue of the mobilization decree, great numbers of people went to the fronts. The rush of the people's forces in order to participate in the [war] front was such that in the last month of the war we witnessed the most extensive presence of the forces and [their] capabilities that we had seen all through the years of our defense. But due to the correct decision of the Imam (Peace Be Upon Him) and the implemented planned action for not continuing the war, permission was not granted to the forces to attack, and our forces, in reality, by suppressing their anger, returned from the fronts. From the bases, great pressure arose for granting permission to conduct operations and to sweep away the victories the Iraqis had achieved; however, the Imam did not consent and did not give his approval and thus permission was given for defense only.
Consequently, the negotiation phase for the implementation of Resolution 598 began. All are aware that we did not reject this Resolution while we were at the height of our advance into Iraq's territory, for in fact, we had approved it and had announced our acceptance of it. Our interests and also what was right and just had more or less been included in this Resolution, as it had been drawn up during our advance and during the Ba'athist's defeat.
During this period, much time was lost for the two countries, but the truths were revealed. It became evident to many that Iraq's Ba'athists did not want a true peace and were not prepared for the implementation of Resolution 598; that the "peace-seeking" slogans of the war years were the result of the conditions existing at the fronts and due to their weakness and helplessness. Also it became clear that the situation of the arrogant --supporters of Iraq and Arab reactionaries --were and are similar to Iraq's, and unfortunately, it became evident that the United Nations and the Security Council also did not favor the implementation of the Resolution under the special ceasefire conditions; and during this phase, oppressed Iran, similar to the war period, alone and forsaken in the negotiations arena in order to secure her rights, continued her efforts and with vigilance and perseverance, deprived the enemy of extorting concessions and did not permit the colonialists to take advantage of the no war no peace situation.
Next to this unpleasant and revealing situation, the inner contradictions within the enemy front of the Islamic Revolution, Iraq's economic difficulties and the intolerable requests she had exacted from her wealthy supporters during the war, created a new set of conditions which we are a witness to its effects today.
Without doubt, the promises of divine assistance for patient, persevering and jihad-loving people who have given up everything for the sake of fulfilling their God-given human responsibilities, and have set as their highest aspirations God's approval, are the principal factors in these new conditions, the enjoyment of which is yet another arena for divine testing that as in the past, we hope to have the privilege of satisfactorily passing.
Signs of change in policy on the part of the opposite party were received, and information, indications and calculations showed us the correct path of action. On 5/2/69, we were informed that confidential letters from the President of Iraq and Mr. Yasser Arafat were received by the Eminent Leader and our country's President. The person who carried the letter was from the Palestinian Liberation Front and this was initially confronted with disbelief in regard to the claim, since the situation between us and Iraq was not such that could be explained on the basis of the diplomatic norms of sending an emissary and a letter.
The initial investigations concerning the content and signature on the letter, the seal and the emblem, and given that the carrier of the letter was known to us, and the accompanying letter from Arafat gave us relative assurance in regard to the validity of the claim.
For the study of the content of the letter and preparation of a response and a proper approach to the subject, a meeting was held on 8/2/69 in the presence of the Eminent Leader and with the participation of the members of the Supreme National Security Council and the political advisors to the Leader and myself.
Although in the past, Mr. Saddam Hussein had made several attempts to send messages through Iraqi representatives in Germany, Switzerland and other places and had proposed direct and face-to-face negotiations between the leaders of the two countries, and for this purpose we had gone as far as preparatory talks between the official representatives, and [hence], the initiative was not without precedent, however, the particulars of the content of the letter were sufficient enough for us to take the issue seriously, which we did. With comprehensive consultations and care, a response was prepared and through our representative in Geneva, was delivered to the Iraqi representative there, and the exchange of letters in the manner reflected in the text of [this] book continued, and what attracted our attention was Iraq's haste which for us did not have any rational justifications. Although in the analyses and considerations of the motives of the opposite party in the presentation of this initiative and the unusual haste for its pursuit, along with many other probabilities, the probability of problems with its Arab neighbors and especially with the oil-producing countries of the Persian Gulf was at issue, other probabilities such as problems with the industrial countries which extended credit to Iraq, particularly the U.S. and France, or domestic economic and social problems emanating from the length of a futile war that Iraq had initiated, and the length of the period of captivity for tens of thousands of Iraqi prisoners who were mostly captured during the first years of the war, and the exorbitant expenditure for the maintenance of such a large force during the period of no war and no peace and...attracted our attention as factors of this move, and we gave the least importance to the probability of the outbreak of war with yesterday's and former supporters of Iraq.
It is appropriate that in this short introduction the following points be taken into consideration:
1. Today, irrefutable documents are available from history which show that this war broke out due to the desire of the arrogant, reactionaries, and Zionism to defeat or at least weaken the Islamic Revolution of Iran and to give the Ba'athists of Iraq, at the minimum, the hope of occupying Khuzestan, dismembering Iran, and attaining a hegemonic and gendarme position in the Persian Gulf.
2. For this evil objective, all possible means were employed: unsparing and generous financial, armament, intelligence, propaganda, and political assistance, paying no attention to war crimes and violations of international norms, and ultimately a formal and overt intervention of the superpower, the United States, at Iraq's side and against Iran in the war.
3. Islamic Iran was alone in its defense against the global infidel front and the small and the big satans, and received help from no one but the Merciful God; and it is interesting that except for a few weeks at the beginning and at the end of the war, all through the eight-year period of defense, Islamic and Iranian forces were engaged in an offensive position and Iraq's Ba'athist army was under pressure and near defeat, and the situation during these extraordinary weeks had their own special characteristics which have been mentioned; and this great and remarkable victory can be a lesson unto other nations, especially Islamic nations in sketching their path in life, on condition that they shall not betray history when recording the truth and shall provide the facts to seekers of truth.
4. The facts that had been concealed by the heavy propaganda offensive of the world's arrogant and had diverted a section of public opinion and the danger of distorting history also existed, were ultimately revealed; and today, the people all around the world from whom the many facts had been concealed are gradually becoming aware of them, and the righteousness of Islam, the Quran, and Iran's Islamic Revolution and the oppression they suffered are now being revealed. God knows how many billions of words and millions of lines and pages have been published during the past few weeks allover the world in which the truth has been admitted: and that from the tongues of those who in their entire lives were never prepared to utter a single word in favor of the truth, God, Islam, or us.
They now acknowledge that Iran was (in the) right. Today, in the American Congress Mr. Bush is being cross-examined about why he gave so much support to Saddam Hussein all through the war with Iran, and our southern neighbors are sorry because of their considerable financial, etc. assistance to Iraq; and the records of companies and other centers of imperialism are being continuously exposed [showing] that contrary to international regulations --with the aim of weakening Iran's Islamic Revolution --they assisted Iraq in illegitimate ways, including chemical warfare capabilities, etc. The truths that are being considered worldwide will be recorded in history, and the friends of righteousness will one day collect them and they shall, as authentic sources, be studied in libraries and research centers throughout the globe so that the people of the world will know what this oppressed nation has suffered at the hands of the oppressors of history and what bravery it demonstrated.
5. The people of Iran have become more sure of the rightness of their path and this too is important from the national perspective. If our people, after ten years of fighting, would have come to this conclusion that they were wrong, this would have been a devastating blow to their historical personality and to the cultural underpinnings of the nation and the revolution. Today our nation, by looking to the past will recognize that all the actions and policies were undertaken with objectives and planning. Defense, retaliation, acceptance of Resolution 598, perseverance in negotiations, correspondence and all actions undertaken by us were based on calculation and deliberation. This nation has self -confidence and the enemys' efforts to poison the minds of our people will not be effective. Our nation, by viewing the entire traversed path will recognize that the actions were correct and that the Imam of the umma under appropriate circumstances made the right decisions and showed the nation the correct path to be taken, and thus today, the people do not perceive any weakness in their past actions.
6. The quality of our fighting was in itself another great victory. At the war's end, our military capabilities and the forces with which we were fighting survived, for they did not belong to or were not dependent on others. The Islamic Republic of Iran's army had been able to preserve its capabilities, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fought with initiative, and the Volunteers [Basij] --that great infinite force, that endless ocean of human beings who in times of need went to the front, and when not needed worked in factories, universities, schools, etc., remained prepared. The experience of the sacred defense was a great experience for us. It was indeed a successful experience which was unique in the whole world. Having had this [grand experience] and such a resistant and fighting force, nobody for a long time, will even think of committing aggression against this land.
7. We will name some of the factors responsible for the successes: -first, the unprecedented and miraculous management of His Eminence the Imam, to whom we owe a great deal in this revolution.
-And today it is under the very wise and extraordinary direction of our great Leader who in the best possible manner conducts the affairs of state; -the self-sacrifice, devotion and the desire for martyrdom of the fighting forces of Iran who endured the difficult period of defense;
-the unwavering support of the nation wherein the country's leaders and the combatants at no time felt alone, and the responsible authorities always considered themselves under the protection of the Leader and the nation;
-the patience and the forbearance of the martyrs' families, prisoners of war, missing in action, and the endurance of the disabled who constitute a large portion of our jihad culture; -the endurance of our released [prisoners of war] who are our dear guests today, and in the enemy camps and under the most difficult and intolerable conditions, with their perseverance and patience, incapacitated the enemy and recorded great honors in Iran's (pages of) history.
8. By relying on the experience of eight years of the sacred defense and twelve years of conflict with the arrogant powers, today Islamic Iran has an outstanding and self-reliant defense force which can become a reliable axis for regional peace and stability; and the small and big satans will never think of aggression against Iran.
9. Today our nation feels victory, stability, and tranquility with all its existence while behind the scenes our enemies and the wicked conspirators and the powerful demons all feel troubled and insecure, and are attacking each other today. Of course, we are not satisfied with this situation and we do not want any country to be the target of aggression and for anyone to feel insecure. Our desire is for the security and tranquility of the world community. However, evil deeds and sins will ultimately catch up with the guilty. God's judgment both in this world and the hereafter is precise, and not an iota of anyone's deeds shall go unnoticed before God's justice. Those who have oppressed us are now entangled in the consequences of their oppression. They threaten each other, take each other hostage, and create such tension in the region that the ensuing negative results will affect others as well.
10. At this juncture, we shall again fulfill our Islamic role, without being affected by their oppression and vindictiveness towards us. We are not in pursuit of revenge, annihilating the enemy or even rebuking them. We condemned Iraq's aggression against Kuwait before others did --the Kuwait that assisted our enemy financially all through the war with billions of dollars.
11. Now the Islamic Republic of Iran accepts nothing other than the withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait. At the same time, we are worried about the large presence of the military forces of the wicked powers that we cannot trust. These forces which entered the region with expansionist objectives and have nested next to the House of God, we can infer from their words that they have long-term goals. The Islamic Republic of Iran is opposed both to the aggression and to the military buildup and will try to prevent the destruction of the region from a (re)kindling of the fire of a disastrous war. Iraq must stop its aggression and the Americans and their followers must also return to their own countries, leaving the region to its inhabitants. The Islamic Republic of Iran is also prepared to extend assistance to its neighboring countries so that we can all live together in peace and tranquility.
This book is a collection of the letters of the President of Iraq and the responses of the Islamic Republic of Iran to them which is to be published in its entirety for public information and recorded in the history of our country, and for the study and awareness of future generations.
In producing this book, the Supreme National Security Council, the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Headquarters of Resolution 598 and the Institute for Political and International Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were involved, to whom we extend our thanks.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

Text of the Iraqi President's Letter Dated 26th Ramadan, 1410 H.Q. [2nd Urdibehesht, 1369 H.S., 21st April, 1990]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
His Excellency Mr. Ali Khamenei
His Excellency Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani:
Assalam-o-Aleikum
On different occasions in the past, all through the war, I addressed you directly through Iraq's mass media, the only possible means of announcing what we wanted to communicate to you, just as I, reciprocally heard your words through your mass media. The last initiative for attaining a total and comprehensive peace which was offered to you with pure intentions was the initiative presented on January 5, 1990. However, up to the present, together we have not been able to attain the peace which our two countries have desired so that we could distance ourselves from the scourge of war or the possibility of (re)kindling the flames of another war. It is obvious that a good cause and whatever can serve as the basis and foundation for aspirations and desires may be placed in a halo of doubt, uncertainty and dubious interpretations... Thus now...without engaging in a reiteration of past viewpoints that could reciprocally result in the expression of your viewpoints, and distance the discussion from its constructive limits and objectives, and lead towards a dispute wherein the elements of conflict would become apparent; and in order to prevent such a situation from affecting our desired agreement for the attainment of an implementable, comprehensive and speedy peace, God-willing, not only between Iraq and Iran but between the Arab Umma and Iran, this time I shall address you directly in this Holy Month wherein Muslims are fasting and turning to find refuge in the will of the Most Holy and Great God; I am proposing that a direct meeting take place between us, [a meeting] in which from our side, I, God's creature, the sender of this letter, and Ezzat Ebrahim along with a group of our assistants, and from your side, Mr. Ali Khamenei and Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani with a number of your assistants should participate. I also propose that this meeting take place in revered Mecca, the Kibla of Muslims and the ancient household which our Lord Abraham (Peace Be Upon Him) constructed, or in any other venue which we shall agree on in order that with God's help we can strive for the attainment of a peace which our peoples and all of the Muslim umma are waiting for; in this way, we can prevent the blood that for any reason may once again spill on the ground. For one of the possibilities resulting from the status quo is that elements that have plotted against Iran and Iraq in the past, are trying once again to launch the war in such a fashion as to distance the two countries from peace. You have surely been following the news concerning the threats against Iraq and the Arab umma from [the part of] Zionism and some superpowers and large countries, and undoubtedly know that the main objective of these threats is to leave the hands of the Zionist regime open to corrupt the world so that it can suppress whoever becomes an obstacle to falsehood, and whoever tries to prevent the Zionist regime from its evil intentions and greed in the region, and whoever tries, on the path of liberating the Arab land of Palestine and Holy Qods which is dear not only to every Muslim, but to every believer in God, the Books, His Prophets, and the Day of Resurrection. We hope with the help of God that the desires of these evil forces will come to nought and their arrows will miss [the target], for they shall surely try to restart the armed and bloody conflict between Iran from our side and the Arab Umma from the other, and these [forces] have at their disposal considerable potential to attain this [aim]; in that case, not only will the Muslims lose that opportunity to put their capabilities and what is available [to them] to work for the purpose of liberating that which is sacred to them in Palestine, but will have to suffer enumerable losses as well.
It is our belief that in the direct meeting which we shall have together, the achievement of what Iraq deems as its right and what Iran considers as its right is attainable; this meeting shall block the path of opportunists and those who may try to pollute the peaceful and tranquil environment, provided that intentions are honestly directed towards observing a God-approved peace and one which meets with the satisfaction of our peoples. To [the point] where it concerns us, this intention exists along with a deep and enduring faith, and in that there is nothing but the desire to attain our permanent rights which parallel your permanent rights. With reference to the principle that to make haste for good deeds is admirable, I propose that this meeting take place on the second day of the blessed Aide Fetre or any other time which will be agreed upon.
Regarding your trip to Mecca and the relevant protocol to be provided by the host country, on the basis of the mutually brotherly and respectable relationship which we have with our brethren in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we shall request our brother, King Fahad Abdul Aziz to provide whatever is necessary and appropriate in such a situation. Note that we have pot as yet informed him of the contents of this letter.
In order to facilitate and make preparations for this meeting, you may be of the same opinion as us that a person be present as our representative in Tehran while a representative from your side be present in Baghdad, and in order to make the necessary contacts between the two capitals, direct telephone communication lines be established.
Oh God, Thou be a witness that I have communicated [this].
Was-Salam Aleikum (Peace be upon you).
Saddam Hussein
Baghdad
26th Ramadan, 1410 H.Q., Corresponding to 21st April, 1990

Text of Letter of the Head of the Government of Palestine and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization Dated 27 Ramadan 1410 H.Q. [3rd Urdibehesht 1369 H.S., 22nd Apri1, 1990]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
The Eminent Jurisprudent, His Eminence Mr. Ali Khamenei
His Excellency (Brother) President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani
With greetings of jihad and revolution,
I take the opportunity to inform you through brother Abu Khaled, my envoy and bearer of President Saddam Hussein's special letter, which was given to him by me, that the Iraqi President's unexpected and important letter is, in fact, indicative of Iraq's initiative of good-will towards Iran; in other words, the good-will of the Iraqi leadership towards its brethren, the members of the Iranian leadership. This letter has been dispatched due to the momentous conditions facing the Islamic Umma in general and the Arab Umma in particular. The conditions referred to are the result of the joint international decision taken on the issue of immigration of Jews in the Soviet Union and the East European countries following the summit meeting (of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A.) in Malta. The number of Jewish immigrants in the future ten years will exceed 3 million and reach 4 million in view of their increasing birthrates. Thus, a new Israel will emerge in the Middle East and this means the stabilization of the domination of colonialists over Islamic Holy Places in Palestine and Qods, the first Kiblah and the third Holy Sanctuary. Moreover, the immigration of Jews mentioned takes place solely to suppress the blessed uprising of the mujahid Palestinian nation.
In the face of the new developments in threats posed by Israel, the U.S.A. and some European states against the Arab nations, the Islamic Umma and the entire region --threats that aim to impose through Israel --this bridgehead and spearhead of the global forces of arrogance --their hegemony over the Middle East region which, in addition to its strategic location, contains the most significant oil resources in the world, the Arab and Islamic world and even the Third World nations and countries, especially the Palestinian people, expect you to take a positive and constructive initiative in response to the initiative displayed by President Saddam Hussein.
The Iraqi President's initiative emanates from a combination of the above-mentioned factors and laudable efforts which are the starting point for our movement towards putting an end to the status quo existing between the two Muslim and brotherly nations of Iran and Iraq; an end guaranteeing the interests of both the Iranian and Iraqi governments as well as the Islamic Umma of the land of Palestine and its mujahid nation; a nation which from the Holy Mosque of Al-Aqsa has fixed its eyes on the success of the said initiative, and lives for the attainment of the wish for unity, empowerment and the will of Muslims vis--vis Palestine, the land of captives and ascension.
In view of these facts, I sincerely and in brotherhood ask you in the name of all that is sacred, to let us take this auspicious step swiftly, for Muslims have pinned their hearts on you and are eager to witness the success of this measure.
I and your brothers, the mujahid people of Palestine -with all the global concern, approval and support which they enjoy, for the attainment and success of this initiative that is in the interest of the Islamic Umma --[we] shall be sincerely faithful.
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
"Our Lord! Decide between us and our people with truth for Thou art the best of deciders."
God, the Supreme, Speaketh the Truth, God is aware of our intentions.*
Congratulations to you and the brother nation of Iran on the approach of Aide Fetre, that with God's help we may pray beside each other in liberated Qods.
Your brother,
Yasser Arafat Al-Husseini,
Head of the Government of Palestine and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization
27th Ramadan, 1410 (22nd April, 1990)
* Translator's note: All the Arabic sentences in this book have been translated by Mr. Seyed Ali Qazvini, Institute for Political and International Studies.

Reply of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dated 6th Shawwal, 1410 H.Q. [12th Urdibehesht, 1369 H.S., 2nd May, 1990] to the Iraqi President's Letter Dated 26th Ramadan, 1410 H.Q. [2nd Urdibehesht 1369 H.S., 21st April, 1990]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds and prayers and peace be, upon Mohammad, His Servant and His Messenger, and upon his good and purified family.
His Excellency Mr. Saddam Hussein:
Your letter dated the 26th of the Holy Month of Ramadan 1410 H.Q. has been seen. In truth, had the issues raised in your letter been considered eight years ago, and in lieu of soldiers, messages had been dispatched, today the two countries of Iran and Iraq and possibly all of the Islamic Umma would not have been confronted with such tremendous loss and disaster. All are aware that the Islamic Revolution from its inception and always has endeavored to strive for the closeness of the Islamic countries and the grandeur and glory of Islam and Muslims; and to struggle against the usurper government of Israel and fight for the independence of Palestine. If all Arab governments of the region had recognized and appreciated this anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist revolution, like some did, and had cooperated with it, today the power equation in the Middle East would have benefited Islam and Muslims, and Israel and the arrogant would not have had the opportunity to expand themselves and spread their evil activities.
Of course, we do not have any problems with the Arab Umma and have benefited from the sincere cooperation of some Arab governments. Unfortunately the historic opportunity during the past 10 years has been lost. From the very beginning of the Islamic Revolution, an unwanted and destructive war was imposed on us and a large area of our homeland on the western borders were occupied; and an enormous amount of human, economic and military resources of the two great nations of Iran and Iraq which should have been employed in the struggle against blasphemy and atheism was destroyed.
The enemies of Islam and the great powers, especially world-devouring America benefited from this war, and in order to provide an excuse for supporting certain countries of the region, began either to intervene in the domestic affairs of these countries or to expand their interventions. Israel was also able to take advantage of the situation and to implement part of its expansionist and aggressive policies. Normalizing the Camp David humiliation and the collusion of certain governments in the region with the usurper Israel is the consequence of this situation.
We have repeatedly stated that if this war would not have been started, and the capabilities of both the nations of Iran and Iraq would have been employed for the unity and protection of the interests of Muslims, Western imperialism and Zionism would not have dared to display such audacity.
In any case, one must learn a lesson from the past and be aware that a continuation of the state of no peace, no war or the outbreak of another war will only bring more destruction to both the countries and people of Iran and Iraq, incapacity for the Islamic Umma, and for the non-believers worldwide, joy and the opportunity for extracting concessions.
Of course, the lesson which the imposed war taught to doubters was that military attacks are not capable of weakening the foundations of the Islamic Revolution; supported by the will of the Muslim people.
I find it necessary to emphasize here that just as the Great Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the Founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, His Eminence Imam Khomeini (May his grave be sanctified) stated after the acceptance of the U.N. Resolution, "we speak sincerely to our people, we contemplate a lasting peace within the framework of Resolution 598 and this is not, by any means, a tactic." In the attempt to attain a true and comprehensive peace we shall not entertain any self-doubts, and His Eminence Ayatollah Khamenei, the Great Leader of the Revolution will decisively continue along the same path outlined by the late Imam for the attainment of a comprehensive peace.
On this basis, we shall welcome any kind of initiative or proposal which would help to bring the two countries closer to a comprehensive peace. Particularly under present circumstances, when the supporters of the usurper Israel are planning to take advantage of the disunity in the Muslim world in order to extract more concessions, weaken Muslims, and strengthen conspiratorial Zionism, we do not consider the state of no war, no peace as beneficial; and, thus we decisively choose the path of a true and comprehensive peace which encompasses the good of the Islamic Umma.
I would like to call your attention to this fact that the continued occupation of a portion of our Islamic homeland can slowdown the momentum on the path towards a comprehensive peace, or make it futile. You know that after we made the decision to terminate the war, we immediately recalled all our forces from inside Iraqi territory back to the borders. Rest assured that such a situation [the continued occupation of part of our territory] will --for the Muslim people of Iran who have dedicated themselves to Islam and the Revolution --raise serious doubts as to the good will of the other side; and we are determined that on the path of peace --just as during the period of defense --to retain the people's confidence.
Another point is that before attempting to arrange a meeting between the presidents of the two countries, it is necessary for representatives appointed by me and you to meet in a country which has friendly relations with both sides in order to discuss what must be done so that the groundwork and preliminaries for the ultimate decisions can be made without any loss of time; and on the other hand, the method of implementation must be such that it will not affect the validity of Resolution 598 which forms a suitable framework for the resolution of differences.
I desire nothing but reform. So far I am able. On Him do I rely and to Him I turn. And peace is on him who follows the guidance.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
6th Shawwal, 1410 H.Q.* corresponding to 12/2/69 H.S.*
[2nd May, 1990]
* H.Q. stands for Hejira (or the beginning of the Muslim era) computed according to the lunar calendar.
* H.S. stands for Hejira computed according to the solar calendar

Reply of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dated 28th Shawwal, 1410 H.Q. [3rd Khordad 1369 H.S., 24th May 1990] to the Letter Dated 27th Ramadan 1410 H.Q. [3rd Urdibehesht, 1369 H.S., 22nd Apri1, 1990] of the Head of the Palestinian Government and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
His Excellency Mr. Yasser Arafat
Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization
I received Your Excellency's letter sent via a special envoy. It is our desire in such difficult and critical times to have all anti-Zionist and resistant Islamic countries, movements and forces to gather around a united axis which is the same as jihad until freedom and liberation.
The leadership and the revolutionary Muslim nation of Iran have explicitly reiterated their consideration of the Palestinian problem as their own and voiced their support to grant such facilities as to secure the rights of this brave, resistant, and combatant Muslim nation. The response to your letter has been given in such a way as to pave the way for the attainment of a lasting peace and harmony among the Islamic countries vis--vis the Zionist aggressions and if the [other] side acts with good will, we shall achieve results.
May God help Your Excellency in fulfilling your duties and grant the brother nation of Palestine honor and prosperity.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
3/3/1369 [24th May 1990]

Text of the Iraqi President's Letter Dated 24th Shawwal, 1410 H.Q. [29th Urdibehesht, 1369 H.S., 19th May, 1990]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Mr. Ali Khamenei:
Mr. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani:
We have received your letter dated 6th Shawwal, 1410 which was written in response to our letter of 26th Ramadan, 1410 (corresponding to 21st March, 1990). Your letter has been studied more than once by me and my brethren in the Iraqi leadership. Although what we gather from your letter in connection with our proposal for a meeting of the heads of state, in order to solve decisively and finally the existing difficulties between the two countries which have been the cause or the result of the conflict, is that you are in agreement with it, and thus we are happy about this matter; however, the spirit of your message was not what we expected it to be, for in the introduction at every opportunity, the wording contained double-meanings and the ending was rather severe. Gentlemen, when we contemplated communicating with you directly, we studied the extraordinary circumstances prevailing in our relationship and came to the conclusion that the method of communicating directly, and the kind of relationship that would emerge on that basis was a more useful approach for the convening of this meeting and the holding of direct talks; and that for the realization of a desirable peace not only between Iran and Iraq but also between the Arab Umma and Iran, no other approach would be as beneficial and effective. We know and we presume that you also know that peace between our two countries cannot be realized if it is to be based upon whether the other side believes in its attainment. If parallel to favoring peace, thoughts, meanings and approaches are not approved by the opposite side, it will not be beneficial. Before writing our first letter, we recalled this point that during the past ten years both sides employed and heard the strongest and most severe words against one other. Notwithstanding the consequences of this approach and its effects which was one dimension of the conflict and war between us, this method was incapable of achieving peace. From amongst the phrases used in your letter are "imposed war" and "mental slowness," and in the letter's closing instead of saying "and peace be upon you" which should generally be utilized in such letters, "and peace is on him who follows the guidance," was employed.
As we desire peace only because of the exalted place it has in our conscience and for reasons of faith, the concepts and terminology we use in our letters are such that they are in harmony with human standards and our lofty objectives. Thus we only utilize words that both God and man would approve of, and this situation in the first instance does not mean that there has been a change in all our concepts and viewpoints, but that we would like to open a new chapter in order that it will be closer to the heart of the other side, and to have the power of influencing it more in order to be able to serve the peace which is our noble aim and which is to the benefit of all nations and humanity.
As this approach is worthy and proper for such a path and destination, duty calls that we experiment with a new mode of correspondence, unlike the mode used during the war period or before it. Additionally, employing words and phrases used during the war period does not create this apprehension that the user of such words has acquired additional power than what it was known to have had during the war. Needless to say, such an approach does not prove the rightness of a matter. If the employment of the correct terminology in such correspondence does not add to the capability of the capable, and after trusting in God and asking for His help, his power cannot be reduced nor his proven right taken away; but there will be an opening for light to enter into the hearts of those who have been afflicted with considerable pain and suffering because of the war. And if those hearts are set on the path of righteousness, they will be guided towards the good that will make peace possible.
Thus what we have found to be proper in our mutual correspondence was to avoid writing what we considered our right in order that you too may not be impelled to write what you think is your right. If we do not do this, there is the possibility that the suitable psychological preparedness for both sides to welcome direct talks may not be secured. Our intention is not to hold talks concerning useful topics that each side perceives as worthy of presentation, but so that in this way each side recognizes the relationship between the first and last steps on the road to peace and sees the peace process as comprised of a collection of related preliminary steps; and thus to specifically comprehend the connection between what he deems is his right and what the other side considers as his right.
Now that we are together making an effort to attain peace, it is better that neither side refer to the past so that in this way the future will not suffer. For the policy of regurgitating past events will only lead to where our people (who are more capable than us in recognizing such particularities) will accuse the side who possesses this characteristic of mental retardation.
With reference to the above matters [we would like to state that], we do not wish to escape from the past, for you know or have made this evaluation that we are capable of producing enough documents to prove details of our viewpoints in a debate venue (on who started the war and the conflict... and how it began?). You also know that the documents and evidence for convincing a large portion of our population and the world community is more effective than the words and prejudgments of the leaders of both countries. As you know, to question this matter and deliberate on it as a prelude to discussions, just as you did before July of 1988 in connection to the time sequence (specifying who initiated the war), is a claim the proof of which will require as much time and effort as the entire war period and the period before it. You also know that each side in the conflict has its own specific date for the outbreak of the war, and in this matter documentary reference is made to the actual and legal reasons and events other than those of the other side, and it is there that it will become obvious who, in describing the war as "the imposed war," and who, in referring to the sending of letters instead of soldiers, and... has more of a right.
Concerning Security Council Resolution 598, from our point of view, we accepted that Resolution when it was passed in July 1987. This Resolution is a comprehensive and permanent peace plan between our two countries, based on what the two can agree on and wherein both can seek help from the principles and instructions. Thus we are committed to this Resolution, and based on this understanding, to its implementation. While we struggle to attain peace, we assume that the two countries' desire and use for peace enjoys the same kind of enthusiasm and strength. For conflict is not becoming to either side, that a prepayment other than the serious desire for attaining peace (that can be talked about with practical and logical interpretations) be made in order for a direct meeting to take place. It is obvious that the achievement of peace will confine each country's army within its own boundaries and will terminate its presence on any hill, or an inch of land, or in the waters of the other side-a presence that had been forced upon it by the ceasefire and the neither peace nor war conditions and considerations.
In your letter, you mentioned that you had withdrawn from Iraq's territories... to the end of the sentence. And of course, what you meant was that your withdrawal from Halabcha was undertaken under special and recognized circumstances. Our analysis of this is that...the withdrawal of our military forces from your territory, which they had entered under identifiable conditions at the beginning of the armed conflict in 1980, took place on June 20, 1982. In this way, we announced our decision concerning withdrawal to the mass media on June 10, 1982, and stated that at the maximum in 10 days time we would withdraw our forces, and in fact we did, while the withdrawal of your forces from Halabcha was undertaken under special wartime conditions, unlike the conditions existing at the time of our withdrawal. So if you consider your withdrawal from Halabcha (which was under the literal translation is "preprice." taken under special circumstances) as proof of your good will and that you do not covet or desire to occupy the territories of others, then our withdrawal from your land after the fourth Tavakolna illa-allah (military) operation in the southern and central regions in July of 1988 is one more reason among others of our good will and our reluctance to occupy one inch of Iranian territory. In any case, from our point of view, one of the meanings of peace is that neither side should usurp the established right of the other nor usurp or occupy an inch of the other's land or waters. And this is the approach that we have always emphasized and have been committed to it under the most difficult and hostile circumstances. Thus it is obvious that while we invite you to be responsible to this in the ambiance of the peace negotiations, and, God willing, as a pathway to the attainment of peace, we ourselves are committed to it.
We have been notified through your ambassador, of your response to our ambassador's questions in Geneva, of the substance of your letter concerning the preparatory meetings between the representatives of the two sides, that you prefer this approach for the preparation of the summit between the two heads of state. We agree with this approach, and have granted our ambassador in Geneva, Mr. Barzan Ebrahim Al-Takriti the authority of participating in the negotiations with your ambassador in Geneva, Mr. Cyrus Nasseri.
In our view, the assignment of our representatives could be an exchange of views on the positions of both sides in order that each side can get acquainted with the other side's position concerning issues of interest to both countries. It could be that the representatives could agree on some issues and provide at the time of the summit a clear picture, making our endeavor easier; and, possibly whatever cannot be agreed upon can be left for the summit for ultimate consideration. Concerning the meeting place of the heads of state, we are waiting for your proposal, for in your response to our proposal of revered Mecca, we did not get a definite reply. This can be one of the issues that can be discussed between our representatives. But concerning who should participate in the summit, we believe that if you have accepted in practice the idea of the meeting between the heads of state and are determined to attain this goal with us, trusting in God, the summit meeting must include the principle decision-makers of the two countries. For our presence together at the level of heads of state is a test of our seriousness in the ultimate solution of this dispute in such a fashion as to be acceptable to both sides.
If with the help of God this matter is settled, the result will be a lasting and comprehensive peace. Thus, if some of the major authoritative centers of decision-making (who are capable of saying yes or no) are not present in these meetings, it can affect both the implementation of whatever has been agreed upon and the extent and the degree of commitment. For their non-participation in the meetings will neither safeguard their views nor will it give assurance in a desirable manner to the signatories of the agreement; or it could prevent the implementation of the meetings' ratifications or subject them to (certain) modifications. Furthermore, peace in practice begins from the point wherein its growth has sprung from the soul of the peacemakers and when it has permanently taken shape in their bosoms.*
Therefore, those who have froth the beginning participated in creating the peace, will ethically and psychologically hold themselves responsible and committed to the implementation of it. In addition, the participation of all the centers of decision-making, will block the road to any possible seeking of excuses that could, after the peace agreement, complicate or slow down the peace process. In this way, I shall once more reiterate my commitment to our proposal that in the summit meeting, the Head of the Revolutionary Command Council, the President, and the Deputy Head of the Revolutionary Command Council from our side, and Mr. Ali Khamenei and Mr. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from Iran's side, should participate
* The literal translation of this sentence is as follows: "Furthermore peace in practice begins from the point wherein its growth has commenced in the soul of the weavers of the structure of peace and been placed in a permanent manner in their bosoms."
And God is behind the goal (aim).
Was-Salam Aleikum (Peace be upon you).
Saddam Hussein
Baghdad, 24th Shawwal,1410 H.Q
[19th May, 1990]

Reply of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dated 24th Ziqadat-ul-Haram, 1410 H.Q. [28th Khordad 1369 H.S., 18th June, 1990] to the Iraqi President's Letter Dated 24th Shawwal, 1410 H.Q. [29th Urdibehesht, 1369 H.S., 19th May, 1990]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Praise be to God, and peace is on God's Messenger, and his family and his pious companions.
His Excellency Mr. Saddam Hussein:
We have received your second letter dated 29th Urdibehesht, 1369 H.S. (24th Shawwal, 1410 H.Q.). Since the possibility of the seriousness of your government on the path of peace can to a large extent be implied from your letter, we will also answer [your] second letter. However, we expect that from now on we do not waste time exchanging letters, unless when necessary, and that our two nations and the people of the region should no longer suffer and witness losses under such no war, no peace conditions. We pray that this may be the last letter and that we will be a witness to serious practical steps taken on the road to peace.
In your letter you have complained about certain expressions and remarks made in our letter to you. In our correspondence concerning peace, we too are not content with the employment of offensive terminology, but, unfortunately the stone of this edifice was laid in your first letter which in your own words aimed at eliminating the remaining conflicting elements, and facilitate the path to friendship.
For instance, in your first letter it was somehow alleged that our [opposing] side, so to speak, was "the Arab Umma," a matter on which great effort was unsuccessfully exerted all through the war to have it accepted. In those days when you and your party were talking of the progressive trend and the opposition front (position), you stated that individuals like the kings, sheikhs, and emirs who were behind you during the war, were not "the Arab Umma;" but enough has been said and written, and enough clear documents are available to divulge their true nature.
It is unlikely that you have forgotten that the majority of progressive governments who were with you in the "opposition front" were either on our side or neutral in this conflict; and you are well acquainted with the people's situation, especially the devoted Islamic forces.
And also in your first letter, as [though you were] the custodian of Palestinian affairs and the Palestinians and resistant forces who stand against the onslaught of imperialism, you extended an invitation to us, although it is not very probable that the writers of this letter were unaware of the empathy and vanguard nature of the Islamic Republic of Iran on this issue; and [it is highly improbable] that they did not realize that the primary objective of the onslaught of the arrogant is really directed towards the Islamic Republic of Iran and if this letter was written for the purpose of gaining our confidence, it would have been better that the above reality would not have been overlooked.
In addition [to the fact] that in your letter you did not observe the conventional etiquette employed in formal and prevalent forms of correspondence, in your first and second letters, also, other offensive and negative terminology and expressions similar to what you criticized in our letters existed. So it is better to leave these and pass on, for if you had not opened the door of complaints, we would not have even mentioned these points, for we now reflect upon peace and not of arguing and having a war of letters.
Concerning the official negotiators, it is good to clarify from right now that His Eminence Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution will not be participating in the negotiations. Of course, the President and other responsible officials will not take any action contrary to the Leader's wishes, and in all important issues will procure his views before taking any action. On this issue, too, if the President participates in the negotiations, he will definitely do so with full powers so that the decisions taken will certainly be implemented; and thus, there is no cause for worry (as could be discerned from your letter).
In your second letter, in order to prove your good will and seriousness on the path of peace, you made a comparison between the withdrawal of our forces after the acceptance of the Resolution (598) and the [prevailing] circumstances after the "Bayt-ul-Moqaddas Operation," and the retaking of Khoramshahr and the tactical withdrawals at the end of the war.
I wish that you would not have brought up this discussion so that the necessity would not have arisen to give further explanations. You yourself know that even after our conquest of Khoramshahr, your military forces remained in the mid-fronts in many places within Iran's territory, such as in the cities of Naftshahr, Khosravi, Mehran, and tens of villages and hills where the conditions were different from those in the southern front where in most of the regions, from the beginning of the war up to today, have been under the occupation of your forces. It is improbable that your commanders have concealed these truths from you.
Although in your letters emphasis has repeatedly been placed on the necessity of avoiding the adoption of controversial and reactive positions, in your second letter you have referred to certain claims which are incompatible with your [repeated] emphases; and you are aware that rights are not defined on the basis of perceptions and personal wishes, but on the basis of recognized laws and regulations. It is our belief that one of the most important principles that guarantee the establishment of a durable and honorable peace between our two countries is the principle of good faith in fulfilling one's promises and respecting international obligations.
We consider the emphasis you have placed on the credibility of 598 Resolution as positive, but must mention that this Resolution is clear and free of ambiguity, and can be implemented on the basis of the proposed procedures of the Secretary-General, who has the responsibility for implementing them.
Repeating a useless stance whose non-productivity has been demonstrated from the first few negotiating sessions under the auspices of the Secretary-General, portraying as difficult the designation of who initiated the war (which according to Resolution 598 is one of the key responsibilities of the Secretary-General in order to establish a comprehensive and lasting peace between the two countries), blocking the road to gradual measures and practical steps in the direction of attaining a comprehensive and final peace, and making unreasonable claims and other similar things which are incompatible with the good will necessary for peaceful purposes are not fitting for either side. Unfortunately, inappropriate statements reflected in the Arab summit resolution in Baghdad in connection with Resolution 598 issues and the rights of Iraq and Iran, can become a difficulty on the path of obtaining trust and confidence in the good will and peace-lovingness which will have to be remedied.
Mr. Cyrus Nasseri will participate as my representative in the negotiations with your representative; his mission will be to negotiate on substantive issues for the implementation of the Resolution 598 and to prepare the groundwork for the reestablishment of peaceful relations between the two Muslim countries of Iran and Iraq. We have requested him to refrain from participating in non-substantive and marginal discussions which can only result in a loss of time and the continuation of the present situation. It is also necessary to emphasize that a summit meeting (between the presidents) is only appropriate and advisable when both sides are confident of its positive results; for if the results are not positive, it is possible that its negative results can be more damaging than the present situation.
Due to the negative stances of the Saudi rulers towards the Islamic Revolution of Iran both in the past and the present, the land (under the jurisdiction) of the government of Saudi Arabia at present is not a suitable place for peace negotiations, and in view of the existence of numerous venues, we shall not have any difficulty in selecting an appropriate venue. It is preferable that the proper location be designated close to the start of the negotiations; and we are in agreement with your proposition that our representatives in the preliminary negotiations can specify the venue. It is natural that during the preliminary negotiations, the Secretary-General of the United Nations will be notified of the negotiations (in progress) and when necessary his views and initiatives on the way to strengthening the peace will be taken into consideration and employed; and we shall not restrict the path to peace to direct negotiations only (as you mentioned in your second letter) and will not close other paths (to peace), including the main path --the larger part of which we have already tread.
In closing, I beseech Almighty God, to grant us total success in eliminating hostility and the roots of conflict, and in paving the path to peace and cooperation between our two nations and other peoples and governments of the region for the welfare of the Islamic Umma, and for jihad with the enemies of Islam and Muslims, especially in the complete liberation of the Islamic land of Palestine.
And with none but God is the direction of my affair to a right issue; on Him do I rely and to Him I turn.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Tehran
28th Khordad, 1369 H.S. corresponding to 24th Ziqadat-ul-Haram, 1410 H.
[18th June, 1990]

Text of the Iraqi President's Letter Dated 24th Zilhajjah, 1410 H.Q. [25th Tir, 1369 H.S., 16th July, 1990]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
And say: Act and God will observe your actions, and (so will) His messenger on the believers. God, the Supreme, speaketh the truth.
Mr. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Salam Aleikum,
In order to expedite the peace process, I would like to announce my desire to send my representative to you in order to hold face-to-face discussions on the establishment of peace between our two countries and inquire as to your views concerning whatever will facilitate the implementation of peace in Iraq and Iran.
According to your wish this meeting can be made public or kept confidential. And God grant success.
Saddam Hussein
Baghdad, 24th Zilhajjah, 1410, corresponding to 16th Tamooz 1990
[16th July, 1990]

Text of the Iraqi President's Letter Dated 8th Moharram, 1411 H.Q. [8th Mordad, 1369, H.S., 30th July, 1990]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
His Excellency Mr. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani Honorable President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Assalam Aleikum
After studying carefully what must be studied, and after close scrutiny of the change[s] in the current relations between Iraq and Iran, and the dangers that have engulfed the region and encompassed it, and in order to continue our role in presenting initiatives in [our] actions which can provide wider opportunities for the realization of peace, on the basis of the national and human responsibilities which the principles of our great beliefs have placed on our shoulders, we have found ourselves in a position to present a new proposal. In view of the fact that this time, our proposed initiative covers all substantial issues which the paragraphs in Security Council Resolution 598 deals with as a whole, within one framework and in a detailed fashion, we are hoping that the response to it will be on the same level and the reconciliation regarding it will be on such a serious level, so that the opportunity to live under peaceful conditions when even the details have been agreed upon, will not be taken away from our two nations, and this matter is intended to repel the designs of the enemies of nations who are endeavoring to, God forbid, bring the conditions of the two countries to those that existed prior to August 1988; thus, whoever has given up anything has lost without having gained any profit. Satanic forces who are searching in the dark and who possess the tools of trickery and deception, by reference to the reality that war between the two countries from the legal point of view has not been terminated, can lead the two countries towards something that can once again ignite the spark of war between them. And as you know, the outbreak of war can be due to affairs which may appear to be simple, just as a terrible fire starts from one spark.
The evil forces that are lurking may, due to their inability to realize their objectives, without involving the two countries or one of them in war or perhaps because of their concern over the accumulated weapons of the warring sides and often times motivated by their desire to know the performance of these weapons or parts of them, attempt to create a spark with their sinister instruments and for this they may not have much problems, especially in a battle front that extends twelve hundred kilometers in land and almost eight hundred kilometers in the sea. These fronts are full of possibilities and probabilities for scattered sparks from (the mouths of) these weapons. Hence, for a start, there is no need for the opening of fire by many people. It is sufficient for one person, for whatever reason and influenced by any factor, to engage in such an act and cause a large number of people to open fire, and, accordingly, great loss will face everybody and from this no one but the lowly will benefit and all these activities, as we said previously, will be to the detriment of our nations.
As such a situation is not the aim of either Iraq or Iran, and as stated by the representatives of both countries, therefore, duty commands us that we should not only attain peace but attain it as quickly as possible so that the possibility of the dreams of ill-wishers and oppressors about our region coming true shall not happen.
On the basis of all these issues, we shall attempt to make the following points:
1) We shall once again propound the idea of the prompt meeting between the heads of the two countries in a location to be agreed upon so that we can discuss the subject matters on which we concur in order to be able to achieve a comprehensive and permanent peace.
2) Discussions and agreements should include all outstanding issues, and the proposition of each new issue after reaching a comprehensive accord, if not agreed upon by the other side will be considered as a rejected matter by the other side and regarded as an evasion of the agreement; subjects of minor issues concurred on must be selected from the paragraphs of Resolution 598, and this agreement which is based on this understanding and with emphasis on this (fact) that the main objective of Resolution 598 is the attainment of a comprehensive and permanent peace through talks and not any other thing, and on the grounds that areas of general agreement are indivisible and must be presented as a total and interconnected deal wherein the violation of a paragraph among the paragraphs will mean the breach of all the paragraphs.
3) It is unimportant from where the talks and agreements concerning the issues should commence; however, agreement concerning each one of the areas or several of the areas of the topics for discussion according to section 2 of this letter will depend on consensus on the other paragraphs. Therefore, each of the two sides involved (in the talks) has the right to reply to every one-sided statement of the other side as he deems appropriate, including the right to reject parts of the agreement concerning every subject of discussion.
4) Withdrawal will take place within a time schedule of no more than two months from the date of the final approval of the comprehensive agreement of the two sides, the shorter the time period, the better. Also agreement should be reached concerning the uninterrupted relationship of each step which each side of the conflict takes in the implementation of its commitments to the agreements, in such a manner that it should be responded to with a proportional and parallel step of the other side.
5) We continue to consider the issue of prisoners of war as falling under the Geneva Conventions, and on this basis we assume that their release must be implemented on the basis of the paragraphs of the aforementioned conventions; and two years has now passed since (the time of) the release of the prisoners of war which had been based on the said conventions; in other words, two years have expired between the establishment of the ceasefire and the present time.
Thus, in order to facilitate the peace process, we, while taking note of the above principles and understandings, see no reason why we cannot come to an agreement and plan for the release of the prisoners of war within the framework of the specified time in section 4 (two months) from the date of the final approval of the agreement to be considered as the maximum time limit; and the quicker this job is undertaken, the better it is.
6) Discussions concerning the Shatt-ul-Arab (should) take place on the basis of the following three headings:
a. Complete sovereignty of the river should be Iraq's for it is its historical and legitimate right.
b. The exercise of sovereignty over the Shatt-ul-Arab by Iraq together with the application of the borderline in navigation in such a manner as to provide Iran and Iraq with the right of shipping, fishing and participation in the regulation of navigation over the Shatt-ul-Arab and the apportionment of the profit to be divided.
c. To submit the Shatt-ul-Arab issue to arbitration within the framework of a formula to be agreed upon along with a prior guarantee based on the acceptance of the arbitration results and until such time that the arbitration authorities pronounce their vote, to begin the dredging of the Shatt-ul-Arab according to a mutually agreed upon formula in order to prepare it for navigation and operation. The agreement is based on this assumption that the parties would together select one of the above three topics with this observation that the first topic represents Iraq's right and we assume that the other two represent Iran's inclination.
7) Agreement to delete Paragraph 6 of Resolution 598 from the talks and its definite omission; for not only does it not benefit peace but would also place obstacles on the path of peace and might even result in hostility, enmity and revenge in the future, and this under circumstances wherein peace has placed another path before the two nations of Iran arid Iraq. In this respect, it is necessary to notify officially and in writing the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the agreements reached.
8) The implementation of none of the mentioned steps that will be included in the upcoming peace agreement between Iran and Iraq shall be commenced before taking all the legal actions necessary for their ratification according to the respective constitutions of the two states in such a manner as to legally establish and pronounce as inviolable its finality at the detailed and general levels. Meanwhile, it is required that the approved documents of the agreement be deposited simultaneously with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
9) The future peace agreement between Iran and Iraq shall include all the items agreed upon. In order to facilitate the speedy finalization of the peace agreement, the said agreement may, besides new topics and issues related to land boundaries and other agreed upon rights, also include, without disturbing the text of the present letter, certain items of the past agreements ratified during the history of relations between the two countries and any other matter duly agreed on.
10) The agreement shall include clear principles on the establishment of good neighborly relations, non-intervention in the internal affairs of one another and respect for the rights of each state in determining its political, economic and social system and also final and certain recognition of the right of all types of navigation in the international waterways of the [Persian] Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.
11) It would probably be appropriate for an international body, to be agreed upon, to ensure the proper implementation of the agreement (e.g., the Security Council)
12) Knowing that the international circumstances are not favorable to reconstruction assistance, we believe that international assistance, subject of Paragraph 7 [of Resolution 598], be equitably divided between Iraq and Iran.
13) In order to facilitate bilateral contacts and in the light of the positive changes in the two countries' relations, we believe that our embassies in Tehran and Baghdad should be reopened, especially since our embassies remained open during war conditions and were only closed since September 1987.
Mr. President, what in our view guarantees a permanent and comprehensive peace between Iraq and Iran is exactly what has been written in this letter.
The above proposal is all-encompassing and the parts are interconnected and indivisible. Attaining this has been (made) possible by having sought assistance from experience and also from the talks between our representatives in Geneva, Messrs. Nasseri and Barzan.
Thus everything has been clarified in such a manner as to leave no room for other interpretations, and the genuine, comprehensive and speedy peace which we have desired is this.
And God is Great.
Sending you best of wishes and through you to the members of Iranian leadership
Saddam Hussein
President of Iraq Baghdad, 8th Muharram 1411 H.Q. Corresponding to 30th July, 1990

Text of the Iraqi President's Letter Dated 12th Moharram, 1411 H.Q. [12th Mordad, 1369 H.S., 3rd August, 1990]
In the Name of God, The Compassionate, the Merciful
Mr. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
The Honorable President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Assalam Aleikum
On Friday morning, 3/8/1990, a summary of your political activities and part of what was issued by the government of Iran (statement issued by Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and your meeting with the Military Commanders and the news printed in this connection) was brought to our attention.
In order to underscore the human responsibility I feel vis--vis the people of Iran in addition to the national responsibility [I have] towards my own people, I deemed it advisable to once again write you this letter.
On (the date of) 16/7/1990 we proposed that you receive an envoy from our side for the purpose of advancing as soon as possible the peace process. At the time when your reply concerning the setting of a time for receiving our envoy was postponed, we hastened to dispatch a letter and ordered our envoy to deliver it to you, so that while preparing to study the letter, you could also engage in the necessary discussions and the deliberations with your brothers in the leadership concerning the contents, views, and proposals therein. Thus (we wanted) to be informed of your positions in that regard after (your) circumstances permit; however, you have not as yet appointed a date in lieu of our proposed date (Monday, 30/7/1990) to receive our envoys; and before [dispatching] this letter, on 2/8/1990, we sent you an explanation, on our own initiative, through your representative, Mr. Nasseri in Geneva. We have taken all these actions not only as a sign of emphasizing our aspiration for peace but also to stress our desire for attaining a speedy peace in order that our two countries and our people can distance themselves from the whirlwind of change in the region and the world, and from [other] possibly dangerous events.
Mr. President...these measures of mine are being undertaken as a whole because I am certain that warriors are capable of understanding each other and their objectives quickly, although this quality of being a fighter has been achieved in the course of an armed conflict between them.
At present, after the Kuwait affair, signs of crisis have appeared on the horizon and it is possible that persons who do not show sufficient deliberation and forbearance can be drawn into the path of conflict. The most difficult of tasks and perhaps the most dangerous (of them) is that during a certain time period thoughts and actions for which the aim or objectives to be achieved were striven for through legitimate means, go [far] beyond them to the aim or objectives that would neither have legitimacy in the people's analysis nor in the thinking of those on the opposite side of the case. What we have understood from your announced objective is that you desire peace and we, from our side, have presented whatever emphasizes our preference for peace; and we know that you are striving for the achievement of a withdrawal; this matter was confirmed in our letter dated 30/7/1990 in which we also presented an unextendable timetable for the withdrawals.
Our letter dated 30/7/1990 contained specific remedies and implementable proposals and did not generalize on each of the paragraphs of Resolution 598 to which Iraq and Iran have stressed their allegiance. We are still awaiting your approval to set a date for receiving our two envoys whom we have introduced to you (the Foreign Minister and our Permanent Representative in Geneva) in order that, God willing, as we have hoped, after engaging in talks with you and with those individuals which you will introduce, we shall stand at the threshold of the fateful stage of peace. Thus if your wish is the same as that which has been announced, (and) we know it, and our response to it consists of all the topics I have mentioned, then to falter in the course of transitory events which are related to relations between Arabs and in the frameworks of their past and present affairs, will distance your efforts from your aim and will distort the image of your objective; and if this image (of your objective) is distorted, it will be difficult to prepare the preliminaries for a task which it is hoped, that with the hastening of its completion, peace will be realized, and that may direct people with little experience in a direction which could lead (the state of) affairs into one that is distant from accurate calculations.
But in any case, I do not predict and I do not hope that individuals such as you and your brothers in Iran's leadership --which have tested eight years of war --will become disturbed and turn to something which is neither in the interest of Iran nor is one of the objectives of the Iranian people.
Without doubt or at least I am presuming that you are aware of the motive of the statements made yesterday morning, Thursday, 2/8/1990, both from within and without the region, and have earlier evaluated [what was said by] the [involved] sides; we have also evaluated them and we all know their motives.
But you know that when all of them come to realize that their statements vis--vis the desires of the great people of Iraq who are determined to ascertain their rights and to confront oppression, cowardice and plots --will not accomplish anything, they are capable of adjusting their stances as they possess recognized means and capabilities. Those who export weapons to us and state that they have stopped exporting them, when they start the exporting once again, they will make an adjustment (in their business) and whoever severs its economic relations with us, on establishing these relations once again he will be in search of remedies; however, if Iran and Iraq, either one of them deviate from their correct positions, they will have lost an historical opportunity for their people to attain peace and also to establish their legitimate rights, and if the direction we have traversed on this path in our talks up to the present, and a reassuring beginning concerning one another's steps has been created --if these are shaken --then the resulting lose will be a great one, and I do not wish this for you, just as I do not wish it for us.
In any case, if what we know, and your announced objectives in the negotiations are your entire objectives --just as we have emphasized that whatever we have declared surely consist the sum total of our objectives --then we must hasten to set up our meeting and you have to hasten in appointing a date for receiving our representatives. It is in this way, and only in this way, that [our] legitimate rights can be attained
And peace that is lofty goal of the people of our two countries can be achieved.
And God is great,
Was-Salam aleikum (peace be upon you).
Saddam Hussein
President of Iraq
Baghdad
12th Muharram, 1411 H.Q. Corresponding to 3rd August, 1990

Reply of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dated 16th Moharram, 1411 H.Q. [17th Mordad, 1369 H.S., 7th August 1990] to the Iraqi President's Letter Dated 12th Moharram, 1411 H.Q.[12th Mordad, 1369 H.S., 3rd August, 1990]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds, and prayer and peace be upon Mohammad, His Apostle and His purified family.
His Excellency Mr. Saddam Hussein, Honorable President
Your letter of 12/5/69 has been received. Although your letter was apparently composed for the purpose of advancing the peace negotiations, parts of the contents are regrettable. More than anything else, I deem it necessary to emphasize once again the will and desire of the Islamic Republic of Iran for attaining a just and durable peace. I hope that you, too, have come to this conclusion. After accepting Resolution 598, with total awareness of our responsibilities towards peace and its ramifications, we have initiated a sincere move in this direction and believe that nothing except what involves the legitimate and immutable rights of the Iranian people should limit our advance towards peace, and we have done just this. Our manner of approach --whether during negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the U.N., in our response to your letter, or during the current talks between our representatives in Geneva --should have clarified this issue for you.
Hastening the task of attaining peace and taking practical steps to implement Resolution 598 instead of engaging in correspondence and lengthy negotiations, have been what we have emphasized from the start of the negotiations between the representatives of both our countries in Geneva, and today we also believe that progress in the substance of the negotiations (and not in its form) --and attempting to clarify one's position vis--vis the issues which are the key to the gateway of peace --will bring us closer to our objective. This objective can eliminate the potential areas for the deterioration of the current situation or those artificially contrived by the enemies of Islam --something which can be created, given the prevailing conditions in the region and the world. It is only thus that peace can be within reach of the two neighboring countries, and the forces engaged with each other can be used in the service of the vital needs of the two nations, their basic responsibilities utilized for reconstruction, peace, and regional security.
While calling attention to the above matters, I deem it necessary to remind you of the following points concerning the contents of letters dated 12/5/1369 (3rd August, 1990), 8/5/1369 (30th July, 1990) bearing no signature, and 25/4/69 (16th July, 1990):
1) Meetings and negotiations at a higher level than those currently in progress in Geneva can only be acceptable if specific results are obtained in the ongoing Geneva negotiations which can then serve as a basis for subsequent stages [of negotiations]. Although the mission of our representatives was to negotiate on substantive issues, you (must) know that in the Geneva talks, except for getting more acquainted with each other's viewpoints, we have not made any progress worth mentioning. Also for this reason, just as I pointed out before, a summit between the two presidents can only be fruitful when important and key issues have been clarified and solved; if this is not done, failure in negotiations between the two presidents can hurt the peace [process] and distance us further from peace.
2) In your letter dated 8/5/1369 you made [certain] proposals concerning the Arvand River --which although they are a kind of retreat from your previous announced claims --it must be clear to you that they cannot be acceptable to us. Our specific proposal is to base the peace negotiations on the 1975 Treaty, for without abiding by past treaties, specifically that Treaty which bears your signature, We cannot expect that trust --concerning what is said today --can develop.
3) The time limit of two months for the withdrawal of your forces from Iran's occupied territories is inexplicable, for if this withdrawal is to be completed in goodwill, it can be completed in a day or two. In his peace plan the Secretary General had designated a two-week period for the withdrawal of forces as compared to three months for the release of prisoners [of war].
4) It is Surprising that, by resorting to Pan-Arabism, criticism has been leveled against our rightful stance on the Occupation of Kuwait by the Iraqi army, while the most obvious issues such as planning for the extended presence of foreign forces in the region, depriving the people of welfare and tranquility and creating difficulties for the Muslim people, Islamic solidarity, neighborliness, breakdown of stability and regional security, changes in the conditions at the front and international obligations all have been neglected. How can one justify that in a letter which starts with the name of God, the Blessed and Exalted, and ends with the inspiring phrase of Allah-o-Akbar (God is Great), contrary to the explicit and moral teachings of Islam and the Quran, gives priority to racial and ethnic, instead of Islamic and ideological principles ? The clear verses (state): "The believers are naught else than brothers and verily) this brotherhood of yours is a single brotherhood and...We have created you from a single (Pair) of a male and a female, and we have made you nations and tribes that ye may know each other, verily the most honoured of you, in the sight of God, is (he who is) the most righteous of you."
It is enough that every Muslim adopt a position so as to place Islamic principles above those of race, geography, and language. You are better aware than others of the policies of the government of Kuwait during the war and the details of their injustice vis--vis the Islamic Revolution of Iran, but our position emanates not from our relationship with individuals but from our principles.
5) Without doubt, at the time and under the conditions of peace negotiations between our two countries, to engage in an unexpected attack on a neighboring country without informing or concurring [with us] in the least and with its far-reaching consequences and ramifications for us, can weaken our trust and create serious doubt concerning the motive for the holding of negotiations during the past several months, especially since we have not, during this period, observed any actions which would demonstrate your good will; and we have been a witness to the continued occupation of our homeland and have taken note of your opposition concerning such a minor issue as putting out the fire of oil wells which has no other outcome other than the squandering of our Islamic country's wealth.
6) The tone of your recent letter was not appropriate with the conditions necessary for the holding of negotiations. Using the same kind of tone and language whose inadequacy vis--vis our Muslim nation and Revolution has been tested before, and the use of analyses of the new positions of your former friends and supporters in order to convince us is inappropriate, for you know that in fact, we have tested and passed all these stages and have demonstrated that more than anything else we count on the faith, perseverance and support of our people and do not value the malevolence or benevolence of others of such particular importance as to base our lives, positions, and important decisions on them. We are not out to benefit from the prevailing conditions and desire nothing other than our legitimate and lawful rights -this is what we have emphasized all through the [different] stages of the negotiations.
7) We accept wholeheartedly the point you have emphasized in your letter concerning the pace [necessary] to move towards peace, for what gives momentum to peace is not initiating formalistic propositions or raising the level of negotiations without having made progress in the substantive content (of the) negotiations; but [it is] the honoring of bilateral treaties that have been formally recognized internationally as such, and not to demand more than what is our legitimate right; for it is unimaginable that what has not been accomplished after 8 years of war can be achieved through negotiations. If we accept this matter, it is unnecessary to go after anything other than the 1975 Treaty in order to determine the land and river boundaries; and if we do not accept it, it is better to turn over the implementation of Resolution [598] to the UN and the Security Council, while at the same time maintaining the Geneva communication line open for the exchange of views on matters of mutual [interest].
Was-Salam Aleikom (Peace be upon you).
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
16th Moharram, 1411 H.Q. corresponding to 17/5/1369 [7th August, 1990]

Text of the Iraqi President's Letter Dated 23rd Moharram, 1411 H.Q. [23rd Mordad, 1369 H.S., 14th August, 1990]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
His Excellency Mr. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani,
Honorable President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Trusting the Almighty and Exalted God and in order to remove obstacles in the path of brotherly relations with all Muslims, and those Muslims in the neighboring country of Iran who choose brotherhood and are in the path of creating space for deep bonds with all the pious so as to confront the evil and malevolent forces opposing Muslims and the Arab Umma; and with the motivation to keep away Iran and Iraq from the blackmail and deceit of evil-seeking international forces and their cronies in the region and in harmony with our innovative spirit which, with the objective of attaining a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region, was announced on 12/8/1990; and, in order to take away anti-bonding excuses from those wavering and suspicious seekers of excuses and so that none of Iraq's capabilities is left unutilized in the big battle and in order to mobilize all these capabilities for the pursuit of objectives that all the honorable Muslims and Arabs concur in their rightfulness, and for the prevention of the conflict of positions* and removing doubts and suspicions so that the benevolent can find their way for establishing normal relations between Iraq and Iran; and as a result of discussions between us which lasted in a direct manner from our first letter dated 21/4/90 to your last letter dated 8/8/90; and since a final and clear solution will not leave any excuses for those seeking excuses, we have taken the following decisions:
1. We are in agreement with your proposal presented in your letter of 8th August 1990 which our representative in Geneva, Mr. Barzan Takriti received from your representative, Mr. Cyrus Nasseri and which observes the necessity of recognizing the 1975 Treaty as the basis due to its being related to the principles mentioned in our letter dated 30th July 1990, especially those concerning the exchange of prisoners and Paragraphs 6 and 7 of Security Council Resolution 598.
2. On the basis of section one of this letter and the contents of the letter dated 30th July 1990, we are prepared to dispatch a delegation to Tehran or to receive a delegation from your side in Baghdad so that while preparing the relevant agreements, we can provide the groundwork for the signing of the agreements on the level that will be acceptable to both sides.
3. In order to demonstrate our good will, we shall begin our withdrawal from Friday, the 17th of August 1990, and except for retaining a symbolic force along with our border officers and police which remain only for the sake of daily duties under ordinary conditions, we shall recall our forces all along the border from regions where they confront your forces.
4. The immediate and comprehensive exchange of all prisoners of war, captive in whatever numbers in Iran and Iraq to be undertaken from (land) borders, the Khanegein, Qasre-Shirin road, or other mutually agreed upon roads. We shall be the initiator of this action and shall begin the exchange starting from 17/8/1990.
Brother Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the President...
With this decision of ours everything has been clarified and thus, whatever you had desired and emphasized will be attained, and no other action other than the exchange of documents will remain, so that together from the position of responsibility we can be a witness to a new life filled with cooperation under the auspices of the principles of Islam, to respect one another's rights; and thus, in this way we can hold back from our shores those who try to fish in troubled waters, and even cooperate in certain areas, so that we can, as a result, convert the [Persian] Gulf into a waterway of peace and security without the presence of foreign warships and forces who are lying in wait for us. Furthermore, this kind of cooperation may come to include other aspects of life.
God is great and praise be to Him.
Saddam Hussein
President of Iraq 23rd Moharram, 1411 H.Q. 14th August, 1990
*phrase is translated literally it will read:"... an of the permeating trenches..."

Reply of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dated 27th Moharram, 1411 H.Q. [27th Mordad, 1369 H.S., 18th August, 1990] to Iraqi President's Letter Dated 23rd Moharram, 1411 H.Q. [23rd Mordad 1369 H.S., 14th August, 1990]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Praise be to God for His grace, and thanks be to Him for His inspiration
The Honorable President of Iraq
His Excellency Mr. Saddam Hussein
Your Excellency's letter dated 23/5/69 (August 14, 1990) has been received. The announcement of the re-acceptance of the 1975 Treaty from your side has paved the way towards the implementation of the Resolution and the resolution of differences within the framework of Resolution 598, and can convert the existing ceasefire into a permanent and lasting peace. We consider the commencement of the withdrawal of your forces from the occupied territories of Iran as reason of your sincerity and seriousness on the path of peace with the Islamic Republic of Iran; fortunately, at the specified time the release of prisoners [of war] has also begun; and we hope that the withdrawal of your military, according to the announced timetable and the release of the prisoners [of war] of both sides, will continue and be completed with more deliberation and speed.
Just as we informed you through our representative in Geneva, we are now ready to receive your representatives in Tehran and hope that with the continuation of the positive environment and existing good will, we can, by protecting all the legitimate rights and limits of the two peoples and the two Islamic countries, attain a comprehensive and lasting peace.
Was Salam Aleikum (Peace be upon you).
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
27/5/1369 [18th August, 1990]

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