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Iran Wants to Charge Saddam with Crimes from 1980-88 War

10-18-05 - Iran has asked the court trying Saddam Hussein for war crimes to charge the former Iraqi dictator with crimes from the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, including the alleged use of chemical weapons, an Iranian judiciary spokesman said Tuesday.

Jamal Karimirad said the petition was filed through diplomatic channels Tuesday to the Baghdad court where Saddam goes on trial Wednesday.

"The invasion of Iran in 1980 was definitely one of the crimes committed by Saddam. We want the court to investigate the charges brought by Iranian people," Karimirad told a press conference.

The charges in this case have not yet been specifically spelled out, but are expected to be laid out on the first day. The case centers on the role of Saddam and his seven co-defendants in a 1982 massacre of 143 people in Dujail, a mainly Shiite Muslim town north of Baghdad, after a failed assassination attempt.

So far, Saddam has not been charged with actions against Iran during the 1980-88 war.

Iran wants the court to include Saddam's invasion of Iran in the list of charges, Karimirad said.

In 1991, the United Nations recognized Iraq as the aggressor in the 1980-88 war, which left more than 1 million dead on both sides. After Saddam's overthrow in 2003, Iraqi officials acknowledged that Iraq had initiated the war with Tehran.

Karimirad said Saddam was a war criminal who should be brought to justice for using chemical weapons against Iranians, including civilians, in Sardasht, western Iran. Karimirad said the Sardasht attack was similar to Saddam's gassing of the Kurds in Halabja.

"There is sufficient evidence to prove Saddam violated international treaties," Karimirad said.


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