Excerpts from the Friday prayer speech of Hojjat-ol-Islam Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, the Imam’s representative to the Supreme Defense Council, and Speaker of the Majles, broadcast on Tehran radio, July 6, 1984.

As the spokesman of the Supreme Defense Council I am able to inform you that today the Islamic Republic forces are enjoying the best position on the fronts since the beginning of the war. The Saddamists are suffering from the worst position, despite the noise and din reverberating around the world. Iraq’s vulnerable areas have been pinpointed all along the front, our plans have been prepared, and our forces have received the necessary training and have obtained the necessary weapons and ammunition and at their stations and ready for the time when we will move. But as to when we should take action, this is among the extremely important issues at this time and has completely puzzled and perplexed the Westerners to the point of witlessness. They do not have correct yardsticks and they lack proper intelligence information from us, praise be to God. Their intelligence links have been severed and they speak with conjectures and guesses, thanks to the intelligence information which is at the disposal of first-class senior commanders? It is clear that this is the level of their intelligence. For instance, a satellite can pass overhead and photograph a bus or something else in the desert or an AWACs aircraft takes photographs from the other side. This is the level of their intelligence.

But as for us we have always maintained that our attacks are not motivated by revenge. We do not wish to kill people. We do not want our own boys to be martyred or the Iraqis to be killed, and insofar as is possible we try not to inflict a nosebleed on anyone. So should we wish to launch our operations, we must calculate a great many things: our own capabilities, the enemy’s capabilities, our chosen place, the political conditions and our concrete aims. The day when we said the final attack will come, these people thought that we would carry out this action in a month’s time. And now we say that the final attack might take place in a year’s time, it might take place in two months’ time, or it might even take place today, this afternoon. We are ready. We are fully prepared and are assessing the conditions. When we carry out certain operations we wait for some time so that Saddam’s international backers can assess the position and come to realize, if possible, that this beastly Saddam — quoting the imam — is incorrigible and should be left alone so that we can solve the problem without war. The world more or less knows about our situation, and it understands our words and what we say. Nonetheless, it is now contriving to create a set of circumstances, kicking up a dust storm and bringing about a crisis whereby it hopes to save Saddam; it has embarked on various moves, it has been defeated in all its moves; we do not know what its next stratagem is going to be, and we have to await this in the future. It has done everything. For the past four or five months, on every possible occasion they said that Iran’s final attack would coincide with this or that day. On Nowruz they said they would attack on 13 Sha‘ban, for instance. They said they would attack on Imam Husayn’s birthday. They said they would attack on 1 Ramadan. They said that we would attack on [13] Ramadan. They said they would attack on 21 Ramadan. They said they would attack on Id-i Fitr. So every day they concoct something for themselves, some occasion and write an article forecasting things so that they can claim that they have intelligence.

Just imagine how this situation is affecting the Saddamists! To begin with, the Saddamists have no morale whatsoever and they have witnessed our assault. They have seen what our hezbollahi forces do to them in the trenches when they launch an attack. Just imagine how Saddams’ unfortunate army is suffering in the trenches. Every moment it expects something. Every dark night it expects something. Every festival it has such expectations. It expects something on every religious holiday. And the Westerners keep churning things up, and these people become even more scared. And recently two sets of anaylses have been obtained from these people’s pronouncements. It is said that when these people make all this noise and din about Iran, saying that Iran has no weapons, Iran is beset by differences, Iran has this and that, Iran cannot launch an attack and is procrastinating, they pursue two aims. One of these is that they want Iran to embark on a hasty attack, that it should attack before it has mustered all its capabilities so that it will not be successful. The second move which they have recently made is to shore up the morale of the Iraqi troops. This state of affairs of not knowing, the terror which they are daily expecting, and all these alerts, all these alerts have tremendously frightened these troops who are constantly clutching their rifles. So they said: Let us do something whereby Saddam will be saved from this nerve-breaking experience and his army too will be saved in the same way. These two views have emerged from their pronouncements, and devilry lies behind all this. These people do not realize what the situation is. So I would like to assure them that what we have is nothing to do with today, tomorrow, festivals, mournings, and similar things. This depends on what is expedient for the public, on what is possible. It could take place in the month of Ramadan, it could happen in Shawwal, it could be on Id-i Ghadir, it could be on Ashura. Whenever it is expedient and this has been worked out, and whenever the leader issues the command, our forces will be ready on the battlefield…. [applause]

Today the world and world public opinion has been informed that the Islamic Republic’s policy is to preserve security in the Persian Gulf, which is the artery of the world economy, and that this policy will continue as long as possible. However, on the other hand, we will not allow a Western or Eastern country to buy oil from Saudi Arabia but not to be able to take oil from Kharg. No, this won’t do. Both are the same. Either you can take oil from Kharg and from Saudi Arabia, or you will not be able to take it from anywhere, and we will implement this policy. We have demonstrated that we can implement it. Now, the entire world of arrogance with all its cunning and politicking sits together at the summit conference of the industrialized world, in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and with their other allies in the region and starts hatching conspiracies; but what do they gain? Today Kharg is exporting oil, the same as a month ago. Today the Islamic Republic is in control in the Persian Gulf, as it was a month ago, and can use its forces at any time and in any place it wishes. We are still maintaining the security of the Persian Gulf. Therefore, they do not gain anything from the issue, and the war should follow its course in the battlefields. Saddam has attacked us on the ground and should be confronted on the ground, and we will extirpate Saddam and the Baath Party on the ground and, God willing, we shall liberate the Iraqi people.

How to cite this article:

"Rafsanjani Discusses Timing of Next Iranian Offensive," Middle East Report 125/126 (July-September 1984).

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