Iraq Warns Foreigners Away From Iran
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ Iraq’s air force commander said Thursday that foreign companies operating in Iran and airlines that serve it run the risk of attacks on their facilities by his warplanes.
Lt. Gen. Hamid Shaaban said in a statement published in the armed forces newspaper Al-Qadisiyeh: ″Iraq warns foreign companies cooperating with the Iranian enemy that it will strongly hit all areas and targets of Iranian aggression in land and sea ... The Iraqi air force will not distinguish (one target from another) in striking from the air deep in Iranian territory.″
″The air force accords a priority to strikes on the sources of energy and oil in Iran,″ Shaaban said in the statement. It was published a day after Iraqi planes raided six oil installations in Iran, with which this country has been at war since September 1980.
A military spokesman reported another ″successful″ attack Thursday on Iran’s huge Kharg Island oil export terminal in the Persian Gulf. Iraqi planes bomb the terminal regularly in an attempt to cut off the oil revenue Iran needs to finance its war effort.
Shabaan said in April that Iraqi planes would strike economic as well as military targets, and advised foreign companies and airlines to leave Iran.
Iraq has attacked oil tankers and other shipping around Kharg for two years, and scores of ships have been hit. The terminal in the northeastern gulf handles 90 percent of Iran’s oil exports.
Two attacks on tankers were announced earlier this week.
Iran said its planes killed about 200 Iranian guerrillas in a bombing raid on the headquarters of the Mujahedeen Khalq in northern Iraq.
Tehran radio and the official Islamic Republic News Agency said the raid on the headquarters complex north of Sulaimaniyeh occurred last Saturday. The reports were monitored in Nicosia, Cyprus.
IRNA quoted ″reliable reports″ from Iraq as saying 17 Iraqi army trucks were needed to carry the bodies away, and the dead included Iraqi soldiers.
There was no confirmation of the raid from Iraqi authorities.
A Khalq statement telexed to The Associated Press in Nicosia said U.S.-built F-5 fighter-bombers of the Iranian air force hit the headquarters with rockets and delayed-action bombs, but casualties were only one dead and 10 wounded.
The movement’s leader, Massoud Rajavi, left France earlier this month to make his base in Iraq and is expected to intensify guerrilla activity inside Iran.
Rajavi’s Mujahedeen were a key factor in the Islamic fundamentalist revolution led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which overthrew Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1979. Rajavi split with Khomeini soon afterward and fled to France in 1981.