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POWs Say Iranians Offered Them Money, Brides To Stay

December 9, 1988

MOSUL, Iraq (AP) _ Repatriated Iraqi prisoners of war claim Iranian officials offered them money and marriage in an effort to dissuade them from returning to Iraq.

About 30 prisoners, repatriated for health reasons after the Aug. 20 cease- fire in the Persian Gulf conflict, said many Iraqi prisoners decided to stay in Iran after such offers were made.

There was no comment from the International Red Cross on the allegations, made Wednesday after reporters were driven in government buses from Baghdad to Mosul’s Saddam General Hospital, where the former prisoners are being treated.

″They would tell us, ’We will arrange for you to marry a beautiful Iranian girl, get you a well-paid job, a house and a car, if you ask for political asylum and stay on in Iran,‴ said Osama Youssef Abdullah, a 29-year-old soldier who was captured in 1981.

Another recently freed prisoner, Raad Hammoud al-Saiidi, 25, who said he was captured along with his father and brother while working on a construction project in a border town in 1980 at the beginning of the conflict, said:

″The mullah (Moslem priest) at the prison kept telling me that he will arrange for me to marry a beautiful Iranian girl if I stay in Iran.″