INTRODUCTION: Iraq's President Saddam Hussein has threatened to advance deeper into Iran if Ayatollah Khomeini refuses to start peace negotiations.
GV & SV Crowds surround Presidential motorcade. (4 SHOTS)
CU President Hussein shakes hands, greets crowd and kissed by women.
CU PAN FROM Decorative work outside building TO President entering.
CU Housewife greets President.
CU Women applauding and chanting.
SV Jubilant woman watches President take food from cooking pot.
TRAVELLING SHOT People wave as Presidential motorcade leaves. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Iraq's President Saddam Hussein has threatened to advance deeper into Iran if Ayatollah Khomeini refuses to start peace negotiations. On Monday (16 February), he told an infantry brigade, bound for the front line, that Iraq was capable of taking more Iranian cities whenever it wished. It could, he said, force the Teheran regime to "kneel and plead for peace".
SYNOPSIS: Official film from Iraq shows President Hussein driving through Baghdad to visit the families of soldiers killed in the war. He told them that Iran was leaving its dead on the battlefield despite Iraqi offers to allow special evacuation of casualties. And the President said Iraq had fought battles to recover the bodies of its own soldiers.
During the last month of the war, Iraq has insisted it didn't intend to advance further into Iran. It would continue to hold parts of Khuzestan province until Iran was ready to negotiate. Iraq, however, has been forced to accept losses caused by Iranian counter-attacks.
In President Hussein's address to his troops, he said Iraq now had more aircraft, tanks and guns than at the start of the war. He stressed that the lull in the fighting, allowing Iran time to open peace talks, was virtually over. The longer the war continued, he said, the greater would be Iraq's demands. Iran was adding to the length of the war by not negotiating for peace.
But Iraqi forces holding part of Khorramshahr are still coming under regular bombardment, four months after Baghdad announced its capture. Iraq holds the northern city of Qasr-e-Shirin, but has failed in its attempts to capture Susangerd and the refinery town of Abadan. And its forces are still quite a long distance from Iran's other strategic cities of Ahwaz and Dezful.