Zia carries peace call to Baghdad
Efforts to halt the Iranian-Iraqi conflict are continuing following the arrival of Pakistani President Zia ul-Haq in Baghdad, Iraq. General Zia went to Iraq Sept. 29 after a visit with Iranian officials in Tehran, Iran, the previous day. The Zia peace mission is on behalf of the 40 -nation Islamic Conference. Few signs of success were apparent at this writing and in fact, the Zia reception in Tehran was described as polite but with a negative response.
Iraq, however, said on Sept. 29 it would conditionally accept the UN call for an end of hostilities if Iran did the same.
Earlier on that day Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said he was willing to halt all military operations against Iran -- if the Tehran government accepted his conditions for ending hostilities. Among the conditions: return of all "usurped" territory, full Iraqi control of the Shatt al-Arab waterway at the head of the Gulf, and ending of Iran's "occupation" of three Gulf islands seized when the Shah was in power in 1971.
Iran, meanwhile, rejected calls for a cease-fire and pledged to fight until the last Iraqi soldier had been ousted from its territory. It gave no indi cation that the Iraqi conditions would be accepted or were even under consideration.
Unlike Iraq, Iran so far has not formally replied to the unanimous UN Security Council resolution of Sept. 28 calling on both nations to cease fighting and seek a negotiated settlement of their differences.
Conflicting claims surrounded reports of the fighting. Iran now denies The Iraqi claim to have captured Dezful, in southwestern Iran. Fierce street fighting was reported to be taking place in Ahvaz as the battle for control of Iran's major oil-producing area continued.