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August 21, 2004Top

* No contest

Dear Mr. Abadi, [It all disolved]

You bring many good points in your arguments about the Iranian military. There is no doubt that an honorable and respectable military is one that has the mandate of its people and therefore has legitimacy. I would just like to add to your points, as well as clarifications.

First of all, we Iranians should be proud that unlike most third world militaries, our regular armed forces for the most part, both before and after the revolution, have performed honorably and served their country. They did not commit war crimes, although they were in a position to do so many times and the other side had committed such crimes.

When they were put in front of the people, they did not stay stand their ground. This is why after maydan Jaleh incident, you saw their refusal to fight at high levels of command (I know I know, the theories about the US told them to not fight, etc. etc., but it was more than that). This should not be taken as their weakness, but their strength and desire for legitimacy.

When I compare both the Imperial and post Imperial Iranian armed forces to their counterparts such as the Arab armies, the Israelis, and the US and USSR, I think it is safe to say that there is no contest in who conducted themselves the most honorably.

This being said, I must say that the credit for creating such an armed forces goes to the previous regime. This was and continues to be a professional force with strong organizational values. Talk to any officer today privately, and they will confirm this for you. What is good in the Iranian *regular* military today, both in terms of values and training, is what was created back then. Despite the mullahs ravaging of our armed forces, short of dissolving them completely, there is no turning back from this.

Second, I wanted to clarify a misconception you seem to have. I don't mean this in a bad way, because it is in no way your fault. Most people have the same misconceptions. There was a lot of misinformation about the war, and those actually saving our land could not also tell their story and save the truth. For example, you state:

Just look at the Iran-Iraq war. How many people were willing to give up their lives to defend Iranian soil? They did it for a combined reason of nationalism and God. They didn't allow Iraqis to control Iranian land for more than a short while, even though Iraq had superpowers supporting, while Iran had no spare parts for any of its US made weapons.

Giving up one's life is heroic, but in itself is not good enough to defend a country. The truth of the matter is, the late Shah had indeed not only purchased the weapons, but also enough spare parts for several years (that's right, years), as well as the technological know how and factories to support and eventually manufacture these weapons. (As an example, we still operate F-4's today 36 years later- completely on our own, whereas the Egyptian Air Force had much trouble doing so years later even with complete US support.

We still operate the F-14's all on our own. We obtained all this expertise *before* the revolution.) So in fact, we had plenty of spare parts and ammunition for our high tech weapons, which lasted us well past 1982. And we used them heavily. Remember, there was no army, and this was not because of equipment, but because of complete neglect and disarray due to the new government systematically destroying the officer corps and personnel. 

I strongly urge you and all Iranians to study newly researched material regarding our war of defense, in the books I refer to below. There, you will see how during the last months of 1980, the Iranian Air Force confronted the Iraqi invading army in the open fields of Khuzestan, literally pounding them into submission.

While the volunteers on the ground fought bravely, this was only possible in the cities with urban warfare, not in the open fields. And even that was doomed to fail eventually if the Iraqi resupply routes were not cut off (such as in Khorramshahr). Everywhere else, the Iranian Air Force (and in Abadan's case the Iranian Navy) effectively cut and disrupted the Iraqi supply lines and stopped them. Otherwise, Khuzestan would today be part of Iraq. I will be glad to explain why in more detail if you are interested.

On the other hands, one thing that "high tech" weapons do indeed need is trained people (pilots, technicians, etc.) to operate them. Our biggest problem with our weapons was not spare parts, but the systematic destruction of our personnel by the new regime. The mass execution and purging and dismissal of some of the best trained personnel in the world happenned right up to September 22, 1980, and even continued on into the war and even recently. I hope Iranians realize how lucky we were and how much we owe to the pilots and technicians and officers who survived this onslaught.

While Iran may no longer have US high-tech weapons (which was useless anyway without the spare parts), it has both the nationalists and the religious people behind fighting for its integrity. The Shah only had the nationalists. If Iran is attacked tomorrow, even those who HATE the Islamic Republic (and wish its demise), will fight for the integrity of the nation.

Everybody who fights for their country is a nationalist. Please keep in mind that in the days that we bought these high tech weapons, there was a real threat of Soviet invasion , and it was us (not the US 5th fleet) that had to maintain stability in the Persian Gulf. This, in a country surrounded by neighbors who all had wars, during our peaceful period of 37 years. If we were to follow the current policy of our country today in the 1970's, the Soviets would have gladly invaded us instead of Afghanistan (there were serious plans to do this).

For more information on this important topic, please refer to the following books andwebsites:

- Iran-Iraq; War in the Air, 1980-1988
- Iranian F-4 Phantom II Units in Combat

both by Tom Cooper and Farzad Bishop, available on the following website://

Also, excellent articles and forum on the following website:

Most importantly, please remember our heroes of the air war here, the only place in the world that they are commemorated:


Thank you for your thoughts, and Payandeh Iran.


An Iranian


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