NICOSIA, CYPRUS, OCT. 3 -- Iran warned tonight that it would launch retaliatory attacks on Baghdad and other Iraqi cities on Sunday morning.
Tehran radio quoted a statement from Iran's War Information Headquarters warning Iraqis to seek safety in four holy cities that would be spared.
The radio, monitored by the British Broadcasting Corp., said the threatened strikes were in retaliation for continued Iraqi raids on Iranian civilian centers.
Using air raids deep into Iran and against oil installations and Persian Gulf shipping, Iraq has sought to pressure Tehran to accept a July 20 cease-fire call by the U.N. Security Council.
Iran has demanded an inquiry to brand Iraq the aggressor in their seven-year-old war before agreeing to a halt in hostilities.
Tehran radio quoted today's statement as saying Iranian forces would launch a "new phase of retaliatory action" beginning Sunday morning against military, industrial and economic targets in Iraqi cities, including Baghdad.
It said Iran had so far carried out limited retaliatory strikes against Iraq.
But Iraq had continued to bomb and shell Iranian residential, industrial and civilian targets, "blatantly trampling on all international regulations," the statement added.
It listed safe areas as the four cities of Najaf, Karbala, Samarra and Kazimiyah, which are holy to Shiite Moslems.
The "war of the cities" flared early this year, with heavy civilian casualties on both sides. Iran fired ground-to-ground missiles into Baghdad and shelled border centers, while Iraq sent its planes to bomb Tehran and other cities deep inside Iran.
This bitter phase ended in mid-February when Baghdad declared a unilateral moratorium on raiding city targets and Tehran also stopped its bombardments.