Iranians and veteran groups have slammed a plan by their government to provide assistance to Iraqis who fought in the 1980s war against Iran.
During his visit to Baghdad last week, the head of Iran’s Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs, Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, signed a memorandum of understanding to provide a wide range of services to Iraqi veterans of the Iraq-Iran war and the families of Iraqis killed during the eight-year conflict.
The Iranian side will build homes in Iraq and set up a branch of Iran’s Shahed University to admit students from the families of Iraqi servicemen killed and veterans. The MoU is also set to pave the ground for the admission of Iraqis to universities in Iran.
Iran has been spending a lot of resources in Iraq to build influence.
Many Iranians have criticized the move, saying the Islamic Republic can barely provide the needed services for Iranian veterans and their families.
The Society of Devotees of the Islamic Revolution has issued a statement to condemn the agreement, questioning the justification for such a measure, and urging the resignation of Ghazizadeh Hashemi.
The society described the Iraqi veterans as “the murderers of the Iranian sons”, asking, “Have we really reached a point where the place of the murderer and the martyr has changed? When you are incapable of taking care of Iranian veterans, how have you announced readiness to provide such services to the Iraqis?”