As the fighting between Iran and Iraq continues, each side is waging another kind of war: a propaganda battle for the hearts and minds of the other's dissidents.
Appealing to the "Arab masses" in the Iranian oil-producing province of Khuzestan, which has an ethnic Arab majority, Baghdad Radio declared: "The Iraqi armed forces are the shield of the Arab nation on the eastern part of the Arab homeland. You are the domestic front in Arabistan. Confront the Persian occupation by all methods. The revolution and victory are yours."
Iranian Arabs have been agitating for regional autonomy in Khuzestan Province, which the Arabs call "Arabistan," since the Iranian revolution, but it is not known what effect the Iraqi propaganda is having.
Iran's official radio, meanwhile, broadcast the appeal by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, apparently aimed at fellow Shiite Moslems in Sunni-dominated Iraq:
"Revolutionary people in Iraq: Listen to the radio of liars in Baghdad and laugh. Wait for their doom . . . Mad Saddam [Iraqi President Saddam Hussein] has lost his senses. He cannot behave better than the sanest madman. If you can kill him before we execute him, stab him in the back. Paralyze the economy. Stop paying taxes. This is fighting between Islam and blasphemy."