“Transcript of a Meeting between Saddam and
His Commanders Regarding the Iran-Iraq War”
Document Date: Undated (after 23 September 1980) CRRC Record Number: SH-SHTP-D-000-847
Key: Translator comments, clarifications, and additions are italicized in brackets.
Classification markings, parentheses, and ellipses are from the original Arabic
Military Intelligence General Director: Almost 100% of the information we have on the F-14 aircraft indicates that they have about 70 aircraft. 60 of them are in good condition and three squadrons are distributed in Isfahan and Shiraz bases.
President Leader [Saddam Hussein]: And in the air base that the aircraft raided yesterday where they shot down two aircraft?
Air Force Commander: Bushehr air base.
President Leader: Bushehr base also has F-14 aircraft and this is confirmed since the F14 aircraft were the ones that downed two aircraft. As far as the aircraft, we made exhaustive political efforts to obtain the approval to strike, but the aircraft left and came back…left and came back with no result and we did not achieve anything even a whole week has passed. Air Force Commander: Sir, they did not allow them [to strike].
President Leader: Why is that?
Air Force Commander: We received a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, saying that the Omanis had contacted them and said, ―Postpone your visit at the present. We have a minister who will go to Jordan to explain the issue.‖
President Leader: Well, when did they call? Of course, who is going to stay for a whole week of going and coming back? Has the state of Oman engaged in a war? And is Sultan Qaboos our son or brother? Isn’t it good that this man gave us such a chance? I mean this…this man [Qaboos bin Said] (the Sultan of Oman) has the Brits who also put pressure on him…
President Leader: The Omani Air Force Commander is British and we only wanted him to (let us) get the aircraft ready to pass, load them with bombs, head to strike the target, and then come back to re-supply with fuel (from the Omanis) and take off. Therefore, if we spend one week going and coming back this would be impossible, of course. If we were in his place, we would not have agreed and we would have participated in the operation, but…all captured officers should be sent to the Intelligence Agency for investigation (interrogation).
Military Intelligence General Director: We did send them, Sir.
President Leader: For investigation, because the Intelligence people know how…to interrogate them so that we know spiritually and morally…we know the competence of pilots, how many retired officers have joined them, how they obtained the reserve materials and spare parts, and when they received the spare parts. [They] know…what their training curriculum is and what are the corridors (passages) they launch outside the radar (range). This is a key piece of information to the war and will determine its results…we did not come…to watch them. We have not had information of true value to [inform or support] our military action for a while.
Air Force Commander: Sir, to say there are 60 F-14 aircraft in good condition; I do not think this information is accurate.
President Leader: This information is exaggerated because if 60 F-14 aircraft were in good condition, why did they then store them and not use them? Why did they keep the aircraft like this? Besides, why do they use the Phantom aircraft on targets inside the city of Baghdad instead of the F-14?
Air Force Commander: These aircraft are not for ground-attack, Sir.
President Leader: Not for ground-attack? Are they for interception? So that’s why they used them for interception…in this case, can’t we estimate the exact number?
Air Force Commander: For interception.
President Leader: Because like our aircraft could not intercept all this time, therefore we should take their status into account. Although our army is more organized than theirs, the interception aircraft still cannot intercept.
Air Force Commander: Sir, the other information we obtained from the pilots who were interrogated states that our first air strike did affect their air bases runways…the runways were paralyzed. Otherwise they would have retaliated immediately upon our return from the aforesaid air strike. Like he said, it was effective, but in what regard?
President Leader: Staff Major General Pilot Mohammed Al-Jibouri? I cannot consider this a good reason because if this was our case (he means ―the strike‖) today, our reaction will not, as well, take place until the next day. I mean did the Air Force Commander himself issue the orders to engage in a war with a state? Shouldn’t their Command meet to issue the order? Therefore, they retaliated the next day and they were capable aircraft. They spread almost all over Iraq (attacked positions across Iraq) the next morning.
Director of Military Movements: Their aircraft arrived on Tuesday, September 23, 1980.
President Leader: I tend to believe that our air strikes were not effective. Besides, striking the runways was not the primary goal of the first strike…I mean why? Is the airport just a runway? The airport is radar. The airport is an institution and the
Air Force Commander: They admitted this, Sir, but what we did not have – and I did mention it to Your Excellency – was the aircraft shelter. They [captives] have provided us with information stating that there were several shelters for each air base. I mean a big percentage of their aircraft were outside the shelters, and that meant they had no shelters while the reality is just the opposite. Most Iranian aircraft were in the shelters, but after we obtained information from the captured pilots downed inside Iraq, we were able to hit the shelters of the Iranian aircraft. But at the beginning of the operation we did not have a clear idea whatsoever on the number of shelters they had.
Military Intelligence General Director: Dezful air base was very clear…about…
President Leader: What type of aircraft that are supplied with photography tools do we have?
Air Force Commander: Sir, we have MiG 21 aircraft…we have reconnaissance flight, and we have the Hunter aircraft with front and profile [side] photographic equipment.
President Leader: How about the Sukhoi aircraft?
Air Force Commander: Some Sukhoi aircraft have cameras.
President Leader: Aren’t they equipped with photography tools?
Air Force Commander: Some of them are, Sir.
President Leader: Well, why don’t we take a picture of the target prior to striking it?
Air Force Commander: All the aircraft that have photographic camera equipment come with the cameras, Sir, but they cannot analyze them accurately.
President Leader: Why? What are we missing? I mean is this…the situation we just discovered now, or has it been always like this?
Air Force Commander: It has been always the case, Sir.
President Leader: Didn’t we take measures to tackle it?
Air Force Commander: We could not tackle it for many reasons…first, the technicians that we have working in this field do not meet the required level. It has been said that it is because the photographic equipment of the eastern [Eastern block] aircraft were not efficient and advanced, but housed outdated and non-advanced equipment. I don’t believe this is a good reason. Instead the failure is in the people and components, and not in the equipment itself. Usually, in such cases, special photographic aircraft [surveillance/reconnaissance equipment] are supposed to be used to take pictures of the strike and the results of the strike, and give complete results.
President Leader: We have to discuss the other point related to the existing corridors [gaps in radar coverage/air defense capability that can be exploited by an adversary’s aircraft or missiles system]. It is true it is the corridor, but is there something like the Tigris River at the borders? Each radar gap is a corridor, but because of the war that has been going on for eight days we definitely came to conclusions on the approach zones that the aircraft followed to Baghdad, like the taxi that comes and goes to these zones. I mean we went to Tehran twice, right?
Air Force Commander: Yes, Sir.
President Leader: Wasn’t it twice? Well, twice. In the first strike, we only sent four aircraft only. Two of them dropped two bombs according to the information obtained from more than one source. The enemy’s aircraft raid Baghdad every day back and forth and with good spirits. We don’t say they don’t have good spirits. If the true numbers you are talking about (of their downed aircraft) are right and I told you that only what the radar shows is right, that means we shot down 200 aircraft, correct?
Deputy Prime Minister: We were just counting before Your Excellency arrived. It was about 100 aircraft.
President Leader: Two-hundred aircraft. Those pilots leave but do not come back. Those cowards, the (TU) pilots…have you issued an order to execute them?
Minister of Defense: By God, Sir, I asked for jurisdiction.
President Leader: According to my authorities, those [Iraqi] pilots who refused to fulfill their duty should be executed. You need to leave now with an officer and a presidential decree that will be issued tomorrow to execute them. So far, we have not had one of our (TU) aircraft downed because the pilots (acting on their own) take off and land immediately. Meanwhile the enemy pilots are like rockets raiding us with six of their aircraft raiding and only one returning yet they keep raiding us.
President Leader [continued]: These are really the people who sacrifice. I would like to hold a conference for the Air Force tomorrow evening and have the air base commanders attend, including the officers of the Air Force Headquarters. I would also like to be in the picture of the entire Air Force since I don’t have a clear idea about the Air Force.
(Participants break for dinner)
Air Force Commander: Pardon me, Sir?
Minister of Defense: The Israelis
Director of Military Movements: Sir, the Israelis broadcasting abroad have transmitted a statement saying, ―The Iranian authorities have denied that they missed the nuclear reactor when they raided it today. They hit other miscellaneous targets.‖ Therefore, we bring it to their attention. This is an indication.
Military Intelligence General Director: Sir, the Israelis are ready… Minister of Defense: They came flying low by the river behind An Najaf to hit it. General Director of Military Intelligence: They mentioned since the day before
yesterday and today, Sir, and they carried out [air raids] today and yesterday. This other one [broadcast] confirms that they [the Iranians] did it and not other ones (the Israeli aircraft).
Director of Military Movements: And with such momentum. General Director of Military Intelligence: It’s them [Iranians], Sir.
Top Secret Director of Military Movements: Sir, this was the intention. Minister of Defense: Fourteen missiles hit this shelter. Therefore, they [Israelis]
definitely arrive and travel as tourists with forged passports and some of them used to
work for the companies carrying out the project. Military Intelligence General Director: There is no other possibility, Sir… they are Israelis but taking off from there, and this is an indication, warning them that they did not hit the target.
Minister of Defense: This is coverage. Military Intelligence General Director: This is related to the (TU) aircraft. Minister of Defense: The pilot who flew the (TU) aircraft…we have to execute this
Flight Lieutenant who took off and then landed. We were supposed to execute him yesterday, but I forgot. Air Force Commander: He is their wing commander. Minister of Defense: All of them…the corporal who hit…and those I saw…every base… Military Intelligence General Director: How would the picture be clear, Sir, so that…
Minister of Defense: Colonel Fawaz Ahmed Al-Salo, Director of Air Intelligence. Military Intelligence General Director: Colonel Fawaz Ahmed Al-Salo? Is he there? I will go to him now.
Air Force Commander: A company commander…
Director of Military Movements: No, the telephones are available here.
Staff Officer from the Military Movements: How is the situation?
[Name redacted #1]
[Name redacted #2]: Good, God willing.
[Name redacted #1]: God willing, Sir. Is the Ahwaz issue resolved, or are we still at the
outskirts? Council Secretary: I don’t know…you have the latest about the position. [Name redacted #1]: We received instructions now to describe the position and the
losses…Sir, can’t we get the number of…aircraft and pilots from those [we] captured? Council Secretary: Yes. [Name redacted #1]: I wonder why? Council Secretary: The Air Force is the one that knows that. Staff Officer from the Military Movement Directorate, [Name redacted #3]: Air base
Sharoukhi…have we not received their evening report? [Name redacted #1]: We have not received anything.
(10 – 138) Top Secret Top Secret
Council Secretary (Staff Colonel Mohammed Saleh Younis): We received a new plan and we sent it to you. [Name redacted #1]: The Corps’ plan? Council Secretary: It is related to the axes.
President Leader: Have a cigarette. Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: I will take two instead of one so that you will not have all of them.
President Leader: Staff Brigadier General Shaker, don’t you and Staff Colonel Miyassar smoke? Planning Director: No, Sir. Thank you.
President Leader: Good for you for not smoking. Chief of Staff of the Army (via telephone): …asking the operator to connect him with the Director of Aircraft Resistance.
President Leader: Put it here. Minister of Defense: …they didn’t destroy it…[Talking about Al-Ahwaz radio station] Deputy Prime-Minister: No…we wanted it to be destroyed (Al-Ahwaz radio station])
like Qasr-e Shirin station that was hit by missiles or artillery. Council Secretary: We hit it yesterday. Deputy Prime-Minister: Yes…I mean it is not working, but not destroyed…we want it
to be [destroyed]…and the Ground Forces should do this.
President Leader: What is it?
Deputy Prime-Minister: It is Al-Ahwaz radio station, Sir.
President Leader: The Ground Forces should destroy it in the next couple of days, God willing. The Ground Forces can reach it and then destroy it completely. With regard to the Iraqi-Iranian conflict, Soviet president [Leonid] Brezhnev said, ―As far as the Soviet Union [is concerned], we support the idea that Iran and Iraq must resolve all their conflict matters at the negotiating table. It would be good if they can resolve whatever is possible to resolve now amicably, and leave what they cannot resolve today until tomorrow when it might be easier to find a solution.‖ In his speech during a banquet he threw in honor of the Indian president, he said, ―It would be better if they [Iraq and Iran] postpone it to a day when it will be easier…huh? Rushing does not help them and is not in their favor (it is not useful).‖
Minister of Defense: Rushing does not help them, Sir.
President Leader: Does not help the Soviets.
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: They are slow. (Nonchalant)
President Leader: No… [illegible]…this distraction helps them [Soviets] alleviate the
American pressure on Afghanistan…it is a problem…Afghanistan where the whole world is preoccupied with a new situation…where? Like treating the neck with cauterization ([illegible] is cauterization).
Political Guidance Director: On this main tube [of the oil pipes], Sir?
President Leader: Yes, on the main tube, we pour on the main tube.
Deputy Prime-Minister: The look on their faces does not show they are worried about the situation.
President Leader: They don’t have vital interests to worry about. The Pentagon confirmed sending four airborne radar American aircraft type (AWACS) [Airborne Warning and Control] to Saudi Arabia to protect the oil fields in that area should a possible Iranian attack take place…again, where is Iran attacking?
Deputy Prime-Minister: They sent a reconnaissance aircraft yesterday (according to the news) to monitor the Americans…to monitor the movements in this area. This aircraft could be a reconnaissance, and not protection aircraft, for the purpose of offering quick services.
President Leader: [Reading] Dr. Sa’doun Hammadi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs met with Edmund Muskie, the American Secretary of State, as per the request of the United States of America. Muskie told journalists that he notified the Iraqi minister…of our point of view regarding the situation, along with the meeting of the United Nations, and said they discussed points, which…the Unites States of America already expressed concerns about the risks of aggravating the current conflict. It was also an occasion to talk directly to the Iraqi representative, and they discussed various points with a common understanding, he added.
On the occasion of answering a question regarding what Dr. Sa’doun Hammadi said, Muskie replied that the Iraqi minister confirmed the position of his government, which includes some positive aspects. The American minister mentioned the need to
communicate with Iran at this time…
President Leader: This peaceful talk does not agree with the procedures they started implementing… This is the letter of Al-Hassan II, King of Morocco…a diplomatic letter similar to the letter of the President of Yemen Ali Nasir Mohammed. It looks like one copy for both parties… the French news agency (providing buses to all of them…Israel provides buses, and France is after the reactor to put it…men who got such a reactor can get another one and bring it).
[Talking to the Chief of Staff of the Army]: What is the situation?
Chief of Staff of the Army: The situation in the sectors is good.
President Leader: It has to be good …what do they have? What is it they have if it is not good? Those people…cities…and…
Chief of Staff of the Army: One of the brigades, which is the 30th Armored Brigade, was very much affected by the battles, especially the artillery bombing and the weapons… the anti-tank resistance [defenses]. The enemy is getting closer to the Brigade at night and engaging it (in action).
President Leader: At night?
Chief of Staff of the Army: Yes, the tanks of this brigade suffered from 30-32 hits.
Top Secret President Leader: Good hits. Chief of Staff of the Army: Losses. President Leader: Didn’t we attack them at night? Didn’t we come closer to their tanks?
Actually, we can fight armor at night this way. Chief of Staff of the Army: Sir, I don’t believe those people are Iranians. President Leader: No…this committee…Provisional Command. Chief of Staff of the Army: Provisional Command? President Leader: Provisional command. Chief of Staff of the Army: It appears they also know the area very well since they
advance at night, approach, and carry out this operation. This means these are good
troops. President Leader: Have you made special arrangements? Why didn’t you send out infantry detachments?
Chief of Staff of the Army: We did. President Leader: You may prepare ambushes for them at a certain distance at the front. Chief of Staff of the Army: They did that at a certain point on the outskirts of the area
and we placed infantry components. President Leader: Infantry. Then you hide really well and you wait until they get closer with these weapons to open fire on them.
Chief of Staff of the Army: This is happening…there is a big chain of mountains called Kolina we used to drop Special Forces.
President Leader: The feature [a ground feature, such as a hill, mountain, or rise in the ground or river]?
Chief of Staff of the Army: The feature; they used to control it at the top of the chain. We designated some of the Special Forces that established 4-5 surveillance bases and missile launching bases in order to engage the tanks that could possibly advance…this is on the one hand. On the other hand, we made an arrangement with the Corps Leader where we withdrew one infantry regiment from the 3rd Infantry Brigade. It is currently very active…a brigade minus one regiment…we pulled this regiment so that we can send it once it is complete to hold locations on the heights on the left wing of the 30th Armored Brigade where the infantry can cover the gaps at night. In the front, there is a Special Forces regiment and I believe if these procedures are complete by tomorrow, the 30th Armored Brigade will be in a good condition and position. The Brigade also suffered some casualties…it had a number of missing people and about 23 martyrs last night…its losses are 100-120 between injured and martyrs so far.
Minister of Defense: Why did they gather in one place?
President Leader: These are serious losses in the Brigade.
Chief of Staff of the Army: In the operation that took place, this Brigade (the 30th Armored Brigade) came at a very early stage, rushed to the front, and blocked the road for the enemy.
Therefore, their troops suffered in Qasr-e Shirin area and they had casualties. What the Brigade did was very brave and made it impossible to withdraw it to the rear. Whoever wanted to do so would give the wrong impression, whether it was at the political or military level, since the Iranians might take advantage of it. Now, we are going to surround…surround the infantry while still having the chance to withdraw it [the Armored Brigade] a little bit to the back in order to replace it with anti-tank weapons infantry. This operation will be considered then a reinforcement operation of the front rather than a withdrawal operation. Other than that, there is nothing anywhere else…but we passed by…
[Although the original Arabic transcription indicates the next speaker as the Chief of Staff of the Army, according to the context it is more likely the Minister of Defense.]
Chief of Staff of the Army: He said it was advancing ahead of us.
President Leader: Yes.
Chief of Staff of the Army: This is another thing. The 3rd Artillery Corps Commander told me, ―Now, we have six guns, meaning a whole battery with its 155mm self-propelled guns…with its guns at its special command location along with its special technical equipment, even the firing tables and charts are complete.‖ He said, ―We trained people on it and we use it…as far as ammunition, we will look for it at Al-Hamidiyah camp where we heard there is a lot of equipment.‖
Minister of Defense: Are there any ammunition depots? They said there are ammunition depots in the same area.
Top Secret Chief of Staff of the Army: They said there are depots there, but so far… President Leader: Where?
Chief of Staff of the Army: In the operations zone of the 6Armored Division. The 6Armored Division Commander told us, ―We now have complete 155mm self-propelled guns with its technical equipment; they are ready to be fully used now.‖
President Leader: Is there an area with equipment near them so that they can move to it?
Chief of Staff of the Army: I asked him. He said, ―We will see.‖
President Leader: Yes.
Chief of Staff of the Army: And now they are looking for it. After that, as I was coming back, I saw 4-5 guns pulled [towed]. They were the type that we don’t have here…short guns, something like this with small artillery arcs. It seems as if these guns used to be placed behind the heights to disappear in the valleys and then start firing at our troops. When our troops look at these 155mm guns, they think these guns are the ones firing at them.
Minister of Defense: Have we seen the 175mm guns yet? Were any of them moved to Ba’qoubah?
Director of Military Movements: They were moved, Sir…this was mentioned in their report, Sir.
Minister of Defense: There is not even one photo…did they show any photos today?
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: We have not received the evacuation status. [Name redacted #2]: Sir, the 10th Armored Brigade evacuated nine guns and moved them
to Ba’qoubah. Chief of Staff of the Army: Moved where? Council Secretary: To Ba’qoubah. Military Intelligence General Director: 175mm guns? Minister of Defense: But they have not taken pictures yet. We have not seen any picture. President Leader: Do the other issues seem reassuring? Chief of Staff of the Army: They are good. Yes, at the administrative level. As far as the
troops’ security, (they seem) good, but what happened should not have happened to this Brigade (the 30th Armored Brigade). Therefore, I will seize the earliest opportunity to remove it to the rear in order to fill in the shortage of people and weapons. It is one of the best brigades and it did a magnificent job.
President Leader: They fought…Is the brigade [name redacted #4]? Chief of Staff of the Army: Yes. President Leader: Did he hear about the martyrdom of Staff Colonel Adnan Sharif?
Chief of Staff of the Army: I did not ask him. He was with Staff Colonel Mohamed Saleh Younis and I wanted to stop by, but could not since the road was blocked and the firing was heavy at night…It was hard to reach him, and we were supposed to reach him…
President Leader: Aren’t we going to talk about our duties for tomorrow so that the Air Force Commander knows his duties for tomorrow, as well?
Minister of Defense: Staff Colonel Miyassar (Director of Military Movements)? Brief us on the latest developments.
Director of Military Logistics (briefing): Sir, there is nothing in Qasr-e-Shirin sector, except for the Special Forces Regiment that rushed in to take its place by the Hill, Dana Khoshk Hill, and got to temporary path, Sir. It moved closer to this Hill, Sir. No other activity took place in this sector. As far as the troops’ location in Badra sector, Sir, the 2nd Infantry Division reached this line. Therefore, it moved 40 kilometers. We don’t know, however, what targets were assigned to it, Sir, but it seems to be in an advanced position.
President Leader: Which division is this?
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: It is the 2nd Infantry Division.
Director of Military Movements: Sir, it still had three kilometers to go to reach Ilam… it is now across from Ilam vertically. Ilam is here, ir, and the division is now in the same, straight direction as Ilam.
Planning Director: This is Tabriz.
Top Secret Director of Military Movements: This is a basin. Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: They will not be afraid to stop. Minister of Defense: This one was advancing a while ago (the 2nd Infantry Division
President Leader: This one? Does this mean he is going to keep advancing? Tell him then to stop…Do we keep advancing? Where are they going? Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: There is nothing in front of him in
the area. President Leader: Yes, doesn’t he need someone to tell him to stop? Planning Director: But he has a specific target. Director of Military Movements: Sir, he is heading toward the Mehran-Dehloran road. President Leader: Huh? Planning Director: He has a specific target and I don’t know what his move is? Director of Military Movements: No, as a matter of fact, he issued an order last night
and they are now implementing this order. They told us today that they were on the
Mehran-Dehloran road. Chief of Staff of the Army: He advanced about 40 kilometers, but then came back? Or did he stay?
Director of Military Movements: No, Sir, he stopped. This is the line where he stopped.
[Pages 22-48 of the Arabic transcription are missing]
Air Force Commander: Sir, when our pilots moved from Sana’a, they supposedly came to Muscat, stopped on the way for fuel, and continued afterward to Oman…They were told not to come.
President Leader: There is a Tikriti country proverb from Tikrit City, not the country, that says, ―Too bad he wants to get milk from a billy goat.‖ And therefore, we want milk from the male deer or goat (billy goats). Those were told a story like the story of Shaykh Zayed and how he said his aircraft were ready. He knows us, but it did not occur to him that we learned a few things that we do sometimes for the purpose of irritating others. We told him, ―Yes, we need aircraft.‖ Then he said, ―I have one million dollars that I brought to buy aircraft for you on the condition that you leave me alone for God’s sake.‖ We wrote him and said, ―We thank you. We thought you might get upset if we did not thank you, because the battle is noble and national. We feared that you would still be upset with us and that you wanted to participate if we did not tell you. Other than that, we don’t need money or weapons.‖ Can you imagine we just told him ―thank you, etc…‖ and one day, he will say, ―I am your brother; don’t continue putting pressure on me. Didn’t I one day ask you to send us aircraft at so and so location?‖ But when we told him our aircraft would come to you, he started to dodge and went back on his word. It was annoying. This is the summary.
Deputy Prime-Minister: What about the Sultan?
President Leader: No, the Sultan of Oman is the same. Now, we want our aircraft. We fear for them and we want them here; to come back to their places. Do you need them?
Deputy Prime-Minister: They can strike on their way, drop bombs on their target, and come back.
President Leader: I don’t think they have a load. Air Force Commander: We sent a loaded (Ilyushin) aircraft with them. Minister of Defense: What did the Ilyushin aircraft do? Air Force Commander: Sir, we should return these three aircraft to Al-Walid Air Force
President Leader: Can they drop bombs on their target on their way? …drop bombs completely in Tanb Island, in one of the Tanb’s islands and then continue? Air Force Commander: They are in Riyadh now, Sir. President Leader: Oh, in Riyadh now? Air Force Commander: Yes, Sir. President Leader: What does comrade the Minister of Defense think of their arrival
location in Iraq? Minister of Defense: We intended to move them from Yemen to land in Sana’a. Their materiel will be ready and they will be armed the same night with the first light.
President Leader: Land in Riyadh you mean. Land in Riyadh.
Minister of Defense: No, supposedly go to Muscat.
President Leader: To Muscat and not to Sana’a.
Minister of Defense: They will be loaded to deal with the target and then come back to Saudi Arabia to land in Al-Walid Air Force Base. They said that, at the airport where they landed in Yemen when they wanted to load the aircraft, it would need 3200 meters for takeoff. President Leader: Staff Major General Pilot Mohamed Jassam Al-Jibouri, the Air Force Commander knows them, but he is not tough with them because I heard him talking with them over the phone saying, ―Can you reduce the fuel amount? That will reduce, in return, the weight and the distance by 200 meters, to make it 3,000 meters instead, right?‖
Air Force Commander: Yes, Sir, this is right.
President Leader: Therefore, they complied with this.
Air Force Commander: They are not here, Sir. Otherwise, I would not be easy on them. The Minister of Defense knows that I will not have mercy on any of them when it comes to the truth.
President Leader: You don’t have mercy on them but sometime you are not tough on them either.
Air Force Commander: Sir, by God I was not easy on them in this regard.
President Leader: Staff Major General Pilot Mohamed? Why do you think Saddam Hussein is different than the others?...just because his name is Saddam Hussein?
Air Force Commander: No, Sir. No, by God, Sir.
President Leader: Or are there other reasons? Well, how do we set up rules? What do you like? Would you like us to call you a pilot, good officer, and a good man while someone else who is also a pilot and sits next to you is intentionally creating a technical failure in his aircraft in the air?
Air Force Commander: No…I will not accept it, Sir, I mean those people who were cowards.
President Leader: No…because you do not have left…because it is not easy for someone to give his soul…he wants to feel, at least, that other people say such a person is a chivalrous and brave man (he is very brave)…with principles…etc…indeed if men were equal… (there is a small defect in the tape here)… Here are our aircraft. You either leave them in Yemen, if you don’t need them, or they have to be returned to their country. We have no contact with them. The only way of communicating with them is the letters and ambassadors. This has been going on for a while. The operation is no longer fulfilling its goal even if they went.
Minister of Defense: By God, Sir, it would be better for the aircraft to come back if your Excellency allows it.
President Leader: Yes.
President Leader: If they come back, they will be assigned targets in Iran.
Minister of Defense: But going there is not…
[Pages 53-98 of the Arabic transcription are missing]
Minister of the Interior: Sir, the female volunteers from the Civil Defense Unit gathered today around one of the enemy’s pilots. There were about 20 volunteers that blocked him.
President Leader: And started biting him.
Minister of the Interior: He had a gun, but could not move. Who was he going to hit when they were this many? Then fighters from the Popular Army came and took him. This incident took place at Al Safina district in Al A’zamiyah.
Air Force Commander: Was his aircraft downed at Al Safina in Al A’zamiyah?
Minister of the Interior: Yes, this morning. The aircraft of another pilot was downed and he parachuted. His parachute was found in the April 7th area, but he was nowhere to be found. They looked for him until the end of the day, but he was nowhere to be found.
Air Force Commander: This means then…
Minister of Defense: In that case, they must be wearing civilian clothes (after they parachute).
Minister of the Interior: I expect them to be wearing civilian clothes under their military uniform.
President Leader: Yes.
Minister of the Interior: This is clear now, but where do they go? I suggest, Sir, that detachments from Air Force Intelligence go and check the aircraft wing, as well as check other personal matters. They also need to identify the missile that downed the aircraft and make sure to capture the pilot if found.
President Leader: That’s the way it should be.
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: Especially these aircraft that target the nuclear reactor. Director of Military Movements: We should confirm and verify the type of aircraft that
target the reactor because some of them are (F-16s). President Leader: And the power? (Referring to the nuclear power plants) Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: Definitely the power [plants] as
Minister of the Interior: And the power [plants]. The one [aircraft] that was downed today in Al Saydiyah area, because Al Saydiyah is in front of Al Rashid camp. Air Force Commander: In that incident, the (F-16) aircraft was an Israeli one, Sir. Director of Military Movements: One hundred per million (Israeli). Minister of the Interior: I saw an aircraft. It was green with a green and white wing. Director of Military Movements: Would they write (F-16) on it if they wanted to send it
to Iraq? Air Force Commander: No, it can be recognized from its shape. Minister of the Interior: For sure. President Leader: I mean… experts are needed (in order to recognize the aircraft).
Minister of the Interior: More than 70 missiles fell on the atomic power compund, but did not explode. Half of these missiles were seen sunk into the ground.
Air Force Commander: Yes, but did they detonate? Minister of the Interior: No, they did not and they were all removed after they were dismantled.
Director of Military Movements: I am afraid the missile might be timed. Air Force Commander: The missiles will not be timed here. Minister of the Interior: It may not be timed, but it was dismantled by components of
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: A missile…and they cannot communicate and decide in this regard. Minister of the Interior: We did communicate and we have a representative from the
President Leader: We can tell and diagnose the type of the aircraft from the nature of the missile. Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: We could. Air Force Commander: There are types of it, Sir. President Leader: Isn’t that right? Minister of the Interior: The engineering.
Air Force Commander: One of the missiles we have here can be mounted on a helicopter, as well as the different types of combat aircraft. This is a normal procedure. President Leader: You can also learn lessons from this. Air Force Commander: We can get some conclusions. President Leader: You have to… Minister of the Interior: Is this your engineering [Air Force] or the Army’s? Air Force Commander: No, it is the Army’s. President Leader (at ease): Air Force Commander, Staff Major General Pilot Mohamed
Jassam Al-Jibouri, this requires some effort on your part. Air Force Commander: Yes, Sir. Minister of the Interior: Because some of the engineers take them apart. Director of Military Movements: Those must be from the non-fragmented bombs
Minister of the Interior: Yes, we have a detachment of them in Civilian Defense that we provide with information about them [the bombs]. President Leader: Comrade the Minister of Defense came to a conclusion, which I
support because this case of the non-fragmented bombs applies to us and the enemy. Based on its analysis, the reason is the low flight since the pilot does not give the bomb enough distance (to explode).
Air Force Commander: That’s right. President Leader: It should be in the right position to explode. Chief of Staff of the Army: The fuse falls out of it. Air Force Commander: It has to have a temporary fuse. Chief of Staff of the Army: It heads to the bomb (making signs with his hands). President Leader: And drops, but does not explode. Chief of Staff of the Army: The bomb should head to the target like this (making signs
with his hands). President Leader: Because this happens a lot to us here and to them. The pilot is aware
that the counter [anti-aircraft] missile will hit his aircraft if he flies high. Therefore, he stays close to the ground. Chief of Staff of the Army: He launches the missile and then returns.
President Leader: He gets a little bit higher in his flight, but to the extent that he can, he
shoots without getting hit and then returns at a low altitude. Minister of the Interior: But we have a lot of these, Sir…I mean there are hundreds in the country and they [Army engineers] are in the middle of pulling them out while some of them are detonated.
President Leader: You mean the enemy’s missiles? Minister of the Interior: Yes, the enemy’s missiles.
President Leader: The same thing [happens] because the information we receive from the enemy’s territories also indicates they have almost the same case, especially the one in Tehran and in another area where the pilot evaluates the missile defense there. I mean as a human case. And after that it is permissable to tell him if he does not want to be hit, he has to fly as close to the ground as possible.
Minister of the Interior: [Name redacted #5] confirmed to us that some missiles do not split. Their analysis depends on the power of God and Khomeini, he said jokingly.
President Leader: No, don’t we also have some of this?
Minister of Defense: He [Khomeini] also (said a prayer) and sent them to us, but they did not explode … (laughs) Deputy Prime-Minister, State Minister of Foreign Affairs: Whatever Khomeini reads
[in prayer], he damages [all that he prays about]. President Leader: So, these are the targets. Air Force Commander: Yes, Sir. President Leader: So, there are no targets. Everything in depth to the east of Dezful and
Al Muhammarah handles all the columns [of forces] in retreat that are seen by the pilots. Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: Even civilian vehicles [can be seen], as those vehicles might be evacuating fighters.
President Leader: They might evacuate people and combat groups, so they will certainly use the vehicles for evacuation.
Deputy Prime-Minister, State Minister of Foreign Affairs: They ask the citizens for Land Rover vehicle donations.
Minister of the Interior: Maybe to be used on rugged terrain.
Deputy Prime-Minister, State Minister of Foreign Affairs: They are asking for Land Rover vehicles.
President Leader: I commented today on some of these Iranian calls and I recommend instructing Comrade, the Minister of Culture and Information, to publish such matters in our newspapers and comment on them in Farsi, telling them, ―Are these calls of a victorious party or a defeated and retreating Party?‖
Deputy Prime-Minister, State Minister of Foreign Affairs: We should do this every day in order to hurt them. We did hurt them in the figure of Khilkhali.
President Leader: It looks like our broadcast is effective.
Minister of the Interior: Very effective and they listen to it.
President Leader: And it looks like the Iranian army and Iranian people are listening to it. Therefore, every one of our comments is important as they comment back on it.
Deputy Prime-Minister, State Minister of Foreign Affairs: We said the day before yesterday that Khilkhali committed suicide since no one mentioned him... (laughing) because the Air Force is not doing its job.
Minister of Defense: He must have appeared giving a speech.
Deputy Prime-Minister, State Minister of Foreign Affairs: He appeared the next day giving a speech where he said his blood will be shed, etc…we said that’s good, but then we told them that the Air Force Commander has been dismissed since he failed his attacks (missions). However, they have not answered us back yet. The Minister of Defense left. His name is Munthiri… I mean we need to leak some of this news since things are chaotic there (by them).
Sir, this is not the news media now… I mean sometimes as you know…
President Leader: True, but I really don’t want to do this very often so that our media
credibility keeps its composure as far as accuracy in order for people to keep listening. Chief of Staff of the Army: Yes, so that people would favor it. Deputy Prime-Minister, State Minister of Foreign Affairs: Sir, this evaluation of
yours is right. President Leader: Although it is a dysfunctional society [Iran], it would believe any story about someone who is defeated, and would start talking about it.
Minister of the Interior: He talks…
President Leader: The Iranian side denies it. Let them deny it as much as they want, as long as we tell the news to even 50,000 people. Deputy Prime-Minister, State Minister of Foreign Affairs: Sir, we remember in 1967,
there were rumors saying they were…
President Leader: Rumors had a great effect on us as Arabs.
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs: The spies were talking with the pilot from the house. They had a [radio] set that they used to talk with the pilot to guide him…there is no such thing, but people believed it since they were defeated… They were psychologically down and it stuck in people’s minds for years until it was gone. These Iranians, one of them hears some news but does not verify it with another person and corrects it appropriately. I recommend spreading news like this every two or three days.
Minister of Defense: We don’t say this, but rather…quoted from…
President Leader: There is a comment on the reactor (nuclear reactor) issue… where they mention the Israeli statement that says they hit it, maybe destroyed it, or just partially destroyed it. Tell them we know that many aspects of the war that the Khomeini group wanted were to be, regardless of the reactor, a tool for Israel to hit the Iraqi nuclear reactor. In case they destroyed the reactor, those who brought its technical equipment can bring new equipment again. But we ask ourselves one simple question:Would the destruction of a nuclear reactor, like Israel has been saying and spreading the rumor for the last two years, be in favor of Iran or Israel? Do the people talking about this issue want to join the Arabs in liberating Palestine from the Zionists through these attempts? Really, do they want to help Israel or the Arabs? We wonder… and we tell them, ―For us, people who are engaged in the war take everything into account. And if they destroy the reactor or else, we can bring another one. And if a vital side of the economy is destroyed, we can replace it.‖
Top Secret Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: So that they can be aware. Minister of the Interior: Because why does the aircraft fly at a high altitude? Can the
pilot take a picture at night or not? Minister of Defense: Yes, why not? He can take pictures. Minister of the Interior: The targets were engaged this morning, as planned. Minister of Defense: The pictures that we publish in the magazines show the shape of
the aircraft at night. Even when it has landed and the exhaust is still hot, it will still
appear behind the aircraft on the ground…it is obvious.
Deputy Prime-Minister: This is the one that came to Saudi Arabia...
Minister of the Interior: But the Staff Air Chief Marshal Adnan Khayrallah…they turn on the aircraft’s lights in the air at night. Why?
President Leader: These could be the American aircraft on which the Saudis were trained.
Minister of the Interior: I said these are their aircraft…
Director of Military Movements [on the phone with Basra’s governor]: Does your Excellency wish to speak with him, Sir, or should I talk to him? Minister of Defense: Who is he? Director of Military Movements: He is the Basra governor, Comrade Ghazi Al-Ubaydi?
Minister of Defense: Send him my regards and tell him about the amount of oil at the power plant [and] that the oil should be reduced in the tanks in order to control them in case of fire.
Director of Military Movements: Yes, Sir.
Minister of the Interior: Is this the Al Haritha thermal power plant?
Minister of Defense: Yes.
Chief of Staff of the Army: Staff General Abd-al-Jabbar? Go get some rest and sleep.
Chief of Staff of the Army: I am not doing any work here.
President Leader: Yes, me neither.
Director of Military Movements (still on the phone): The Minister of Defense says that Al-Haritha has…oil tanks and requests to reduce its content in order to prevent having continuous fires in it in case of an anti-air raid or bombing, or a fire breaks out in these tanks. He says to make it is easy to control the fire and put it out because—as you know—we are talking about the fuel in the tanks that operate the machinery of this power plant, and in order to prevent the fire from continuing. Yes, even the electricity…this is the power plant in Al-Haritha and its fuel tanks. We prefer that the amount of fuel in the tanks be less than the stock level decided [upon] in order to decrease the impact of fire. That’s what the specialists say. For instance, if a fire breaks out in these tanks, it could be treated quickly when the amount of fuel in the tanks is small. Thank you.
[End of the telephone conversation]
(135 – 138) Top Secret Top Secret
Chief of Staff of the Army: I went to Mandali and from there to Somar, Naft Shahi [in the transcript it might read “Naft Shahr”] and Naft Khana, and stopped by our troops there. I arranged for everything with the brigade commander and the corps commander
and then came back…
President Leader: What is the capability of the person operating the power? Minister of the Interior: Yes, this is the power… Chief of Staff of the Army: But the road we take by our borders…when I was in Somar
it was very dusty and became like a powder. President Leader: Is it because of the vehicles’ tires? Chief of Staff of the Army: Yes, and I recommend turning to the president of the Public
Establishment of Roads and Bridges for help as of now. President Leader: They let the citizens starve to death in Iran and they still got busy…
the Shah got busy with many issues including lavishness and left the Iranian people starve to death. Chief of Staff of the Army: By God, I have not seen an Iranian village with one house
built of stucco and stone. They are all built out of clay. President Leader: They will go back to the old days, right? Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: I swear on your life, Sir, we have
seen them all…soldiers or gendarmerie? President Leader: Yes.
(136 – 138) Top Secret Top Secret
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: Their salaries are just a few kilos of
flour, sugar, and tea. Deputy Prime-Minister: The day we arrived, he [illegible] told us funny stories. He said, ―I was having a discussion with their [Iranian] leader Bani Sadr…‖ And I replied, ―There is…‖ He said, ―In this case, the entire army shall be destroyed.‖
Minister of the Interior: They want to destroy the army.
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations: Because the army might stage a coup against him. Deputy Prime-Minister: One of them told him [illegible], ―We will go back to ride
donkeys, God willing, and eat barley. Good, so that both of them…‖ President Leader: With the mouths that… how do those think? And how do we make an
effort now for our people and collect for them so that they stay relaxed and their clothes stay clean? We collect that which is necessary for them from now on. Minister of Defense: They say (in Iran), ―Let us show the Iraqis the damage they
inflicted on Tehran.‖ Deputy Prime-Minister: It is the… Minister of Defense: He says, ―How far did we send our aircraft to cause this damage?‖ President Leader: Is this true?
Minister of Defense: By God, yes…Rajai [Iranian president] says we…
Minister of the Interior: Abu-Hatim [Islamic religious figure] told me about a few sites they have. President Leader: What did we strike of theirs? Minister of the Interior: Not too much. Deputy Prime-Minister: As the rumor says…it is true the regime did not establish in
Iran. They did not build Iran and therefore, they did not make any effort for Iran. President Leader: This analysis of theirs is right. Yes. Deputy Prime-Minister: This is a smart remark. President Leader: This is an intelligent and true analysis. Minister of the Interior: They did not work hard (to build Iran). President Leader: He said… ―You [Iraqis] found a destroyed country and you built it.
When any of its stone is scratched it is as if your heart is scratched…on the other hand, those (the new Iranian regime) found a developed country… buildings that were already set up that they did not need to work hard for and had no relation to it.‖