INTRODUCTION: Iran has raised the possibility of a ceasefire in the five-month Iran-Iraq war for the first time since the fighting broke out.
SV PULL BACK GV Iranian frigate moving up Shatt Al-Arab waterway.
SV Naval personnel in helicopter watching radar screen. (2 SHOTS)
SV Armed soldier PAN TO oil jetty.
SV PAN Helicopter with pilot hovering over jetty. (4 SHOTS)
SV Two Iranian soldiers running from jetty to climb in parked helicopter. (2 SHOTS)
AV Helicopter flying over.
CU, GV Offshore oil rig burning. (2 SHOTS)
GV Another oil rig burning.
GV Oil installation complex ablaze. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Iran has raised the possibility of a ceasefire in the five-month Iran-Iraq war for the first time since the fighting broke out. Iran's chief of armed forces, General Valiolla Fallahi, said on Tuesday (3 March) night that he favoured a brief ceasefire to permit a full Iraqi withdrawal from Iran territory. Earlier Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had told a high-level Islamic peace mission that Iraq was ready to stop fighting within six hours of Iran's agreement to a ceasefire, but that Iraqi forces would not withdraw from Iran before negotiations took place to solve the conflict.
SYNOPSIS: Iran claims that the tide has turned in its favour in the war with Iraq. Freshly released film shows Iranian frigates and helicopters attacking Iraqi oil installations along the Shatt Al-Arab waterway in early February. Iranian forces claim they now hold the initiative on the battlefront, but Iraq maintains it is preparing for a fresh offensive.
In this attack Iran claims it dealt a severe blow to Iraqi oil installations. A Navy official said the eight piers used to handle supertankers and had a modern computerised system, which he maintained could take Iraq two years to restore. Since the outbreak of the war Iraq has been forced to rely on Turkish and Syrian pipelines to export its oil. Iran's oil installations have also suffered, but Central Bank Governor Ali Reza Nobari maintains that Iran will still export enough oil to cover its outgoings.
Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Rajai has said that Iran will continue fighting until Iraq comes to its senses. Iranian President Bani-Sadr has also called for an unconditional Iraqi withdrawal before an international commission should be allowed to judge the issue. But Guarantee Fallahi's call for a ceasefire to allow Iraqi troops to withdraw is the first sign that Iran is even prepared to consider the matter. However the sticking point is still whether it should be before or after an Iraqi withdrawal.
A top-level Islamic peace delegation, including the Presidents of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Gambia and Guinea, Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat, and officials from Malaysia, Senegal and Turkey has been working hard to reconcile the two sides in the conflict. It has been trying to bring about a ceasefire so that negotiations can take place, but Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini has called on it to condemn Iraq for starting the war rather than seek concessions from Iran.