The U.S. Navy's presence in the Persian Gulf pressured Iran to end its 8-year-old war with Iraq, a senior Iranian official said in remarks published Thursday.
The remarks by Chief Justice Abdul-Karim Musavi Ardebili were taken from a collection of unusually candid interviews with Iranian leaders published in a volume marking the 10th anniversary of the revolution.Ardebili also said the Nov. 4, 1979, U.S. Embassy takeover by Iranian militants in Tehran lasted too long. He did not elaborate. The militants, in a spasm of outrage after the United States gave refuge to the deposed shah, took over the embassy and held 52 Americans for 444 days.
The official said in the interview excerpted by the Islamic Republic News Agency that Iran accepted the Aug. 20 cease-fire with Iraq because it realized it had overestimated its military capablities.
"We had done some calculations on our capabilities. But we saw that the U.S. is prepared to send its navy to the Persian Gulf and pull the world along with her. We had not taken this into account," he said.
The chief justice said the war, which left at least 1 million people dead, should have been stopped two years after it began in September 1980.