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Iran Responsible for Gassing of Kurds?

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According to this article, from News24.com, Saddam Hussein’s lawyer has said that it was Iran, not Iraq who was responsible for the 1988 gassing of the Kurds:

Issam Ghazzawi, who was part of Saddam’s defence team, told the daily Die Presse that “Iran is responsible for the murders of the Kurds” killed by poison gas in 1988.

The lawyer was quoted as saying: “Iraq did not possess poison gas at this time.”

There is actually evidence to back this up, as this piece from Common Dreams makes clear.

Al-Majid is accused of ordering the 1988 gassing of Kurds at Halabja that killed over 5,000 civilians. He led the bloody suppression of Iraq’s Shias, killing tens of thousands. These were the same Shias whom former U.S. president George Bush called to rebel against Saddam’s regime, then sat back and did nothing while they were crushed.

The Halabja atrocity remains murky. The CIA’s former Iraq desk chief claims Kurds who died at Halabja were killed by cyanide gas, not nerve gas, as is generally believed.

At the time, Iraq and Iran were locked in the ferocious last battles of their eight-year war. Halabja was caught between the two armies that were exchanging salvos of regular and chemical munitions. Only Iran had cyanide gas. If the CIA official is correct, the Kurds were accidentally killed by Iran, not Iraq.

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Edited: LI

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About Voice 1

  • Its stuff like this, real facts injected into the anti-saddam frenzy that started during Gulf War 1 and fueled by 10’s of millions of dollars of Kuwaiti cash funneled into various Washington PR firms, that make me look forward to seeing Saddam get his day in court.

    I think Saddam is going to come out looking better than most people think. Its not the slam dunk the neo-cons and the phony flag-wavers have been saying.

    I wonder how many more of his so called atrocities are going to be debunked by the facts?

  • Todd, thanks for the comment. Quite obviously, the regime in Washington have lied so often that it seems to have become second nature to them.

    Fortunately, when these liars continue to lie, they forget to cover up after themselves, and eventually get found out.

  • Nancy

    Is anyone going to care? Hussein committed enough atrocities that a few more (or less) aren’t going to make much difference; plus he’s such a liar – w/good reason, as his life is on the line – that nothing he says will be credible anyway; plus BushCo is very, very good at ‘spin’ and launching non-sequitur accusations to sufficiently muddy the field so that the original issue is forgotten.

  • Todd, Voice. Perhaps when your dreams come true and Saddam is free you’d like to spend some time with him in a torture room? What size alligator clips do your nipples take?


  • Well, Hussein wasn’t lying about the weapons of mass destruction, although I do see your point Nancy.

    Dave, firstly, you’ve conveniently failed to address the point, and thrown one of those non-sequiturs in.

    Secondly, who would be doing the torturing? “Our” new friends, the old Saddam Hussein era torturers reemployed under US occupation? Or would it be your friends in the US army who seem to have a thing for torture and abuse?

  • PseudoErsatz

    Like I said before, we’re stuck watching ‘Reality TV’ when blog sites are rife with incredible works of fiction like this. Voice, there is a screenwriter position in Hollywood for you!

  • For a more balanced look at the events at Halabja, I recommend checking out the Wikipedia entry here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halabja_poison_gas_attack) which outlines some of the questions involved in whether the gas atack was iraqi or Iranian in nature. It concludes that the Iraqis were the primary culprits.

    There are a number of online sources that extensively cover the available information including the Human Rights Watch reports(http://hrw.org/reports/1993/iraqanfal/ANFAL3.htm and http://www.hrw.org/reports/1991/IRAQ913.htm) which also places the blame squarely on the Iraqis buttressed by a significant number of surviving eyewitnesses.

    It should also be noted that the UN pointed the finger at Iraq in 1986, after sending its own inspectors to the region.

  • George

    Come on guys. Now that US has finished Iraq and needs an excuse to attack Iran, there are people that find it convenient to blame the gassing of the Kurds on Iran. Actually neocons came up with this baloney right after Saddam fell and US was cocky enough that it felt it can continue the marsh towards Iran. Suddenly neocon media was actively airing this humbug. Saddam’s legal team should have got the idea from the neocons are told by them to try this. Next they will say Iran occupied Kuwait and it wasn’t Saddam !!

  • George

    Aiding Iraq chemical war (NewYork Times)


    Global policy:




  • >>Secondly, who would be doing the torturing? “Our” new friends, the old Saddam Hussein era torturers reemployed under US occupation? Or would it be your friends in the US army who seem to have a thing for torture and abuse?<< I'll just let this statement stand as a testament to what a fine fellow you are, Voice. Dave

  • George
  • George

    Correct UPI link (the one above doesn’t work)


    Global policy: Iraq


  • Vilas

    This argument is ridiculous. The cities which were gassed at this point in the war were held by Iranian soldiers and anti-Iraqi Kurdish militia allied with Tehran. Why would Iran gas its own fortifications.