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Burnt Trees

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"We didn't want war to begin"

The 8 year war between Iran and Iraq began on the 22 September 1980, when Saddam Hussein's Iraq army invaded Iran, which in 1979 had experienced the Islamic Revolution ending the Pahlavi reign.

The conflict has been compared to World War I in terms of the tactics used, including large-scale trench warfare with barbed wire stretched across trenches, manned machine gun posts, bayonet charges, "human wave attacks," extensive use of chemical weapons by Iraq, and later deliberate attacks on civilian targets. ref

According to Iraqi documents Saddam used chemical weapons purchased from Western nations, along with assistance in developing chemical weapons. These  were obtained from firms in many countries, including the United States, West Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and France. A report also stated that Dutch, Australian, Italian, French and both West and East German companies were involved in the export of raw materials to Iraqi chemical weapons factories.

In a declassified 1991 report, the CIA estimated that Iran had suffered more than 50,000 casualties from Iraq's use of several chemical weapons, but did not include the civilian population contaminated in bordering towns or the children and relatives of veterans, many of whom have developed blood, lung and skin complications, according to the Organization for Veterans of Iran. 20,000 Iranian soldiers were killed on the spot by nerve gas. As of 2002, 5,000 of the 80,000 survivors continue to seek regular medical treatment, while 1,000 are hospital inpatients.

This film is an encounter with some of the victims of this chemical warfare.



Producer & Director : Zarrin Shajari

Sound & Camera : Maryam Ramezani




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