A Parliamentary deputy from Iran's oil refinery centre of Abadan called on the Iranian Parliament on Wednesday (5 November) to send further reinforcements and prevent the city falling into Iraqi hands.
GV Mullahs head procession through streets of Teheran, Iran.
TV Military officers in procession through crowded streets. (2 SHOTS)
SV Coffins draped with national flag carried through crowds. (3 SHOTS)
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Background: A Parliamentary deputy from Iran's oil refinery centre of Abadan called on the Iranian Parliament on Wednesday (5 November) to send further reinforcements and prevent the city falling into Iraqi hands. Since Iraqi troops first thrust into Khuzestan six weeks ago they have slowly tightened a noose around Abadan. In Teheran on Thursday (6 November) thousands of people joined a funeral procession behind the coffins of Revolutionary Guards killed in the fighting in Khuzestan.
SYNOPSIS: The cortege was led by the Iranian Prime Minister, Muhammed Ali Rajai. Representatives of Iran's armed forces and clergy were among the mourners. Banners carried before the coffins proclaimed the dead men as heroes and martyrs. Iranian losses in Khuzestan have been heavy. On Wednesday (5 November) the Iraqi High Command in Baghdad claimed 200 Iranian troops had been killed in the northern part of the front in the previous twenty-four hours.
The Iranian authorities have not released official casualty figures of their own troops. But in a military communique on Wednesday (5 November) they said the Iranian Air Force had inflicted heavy damage on Iraqi tanks and encampments around Abadan. On Wednesday (5 November) Ayatollah Khomeini urged Iranian troops to break the siege of Abadan. Speaking to a group of religious officials, the Ayatollah warned soldiers, officers and revolutionary guards the Iraqis could not be driven out once they had penetrated the city.
The revolutionary leader also called for the expulsion of Iraqi troops from Khorramshahr, the cargo port ten miles (15 km) north Abadan where much of the fiercest fighting in the Gulf war has raged. He said both areas must be defended at all costs and Iraq punished for the casualties inflicted on the Iranian people.