Iran demands to charge Saddam Hussein with 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war crimes

Iran has asked the court trying Saddam Hussein to charge the former Iraqi dictator with crimes from the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, such as his use of chemical weapons, an Iranian judiciary spokesman said Tuesday. Spokesman Jamal Karimirad said the petition was filed Tuesday through diplomatic channels to the Baghdad court where Saddam is to due to begin his 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.

Saddam Hussein and seven senior members of his toppled regime will stand trial on charges of ordering the 1982 massacre of nearly 150 people from the mainly Shiite town of Dujail following a failed attempt on his life.

Saddam faces seven preliminary charges including the 1982 killings, crushing the Kurdish and Shiite rebellions after the 1991 Gulf War, killing political opponents over 30 years, massacring members of the Kurdish Barzani tribe in 1983, killing religious leaders in 1974, invading Kuwait in 1990, and gassing Kurds in the northeastern town of Halabja in 1988.

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.

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.

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


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