Tehran, Iran — Iran claimed it destroyed Iraq's Fourth Army, which Baghdad said it was ordering to withdraw from the Persian Gulf war battlefront.
A communique broadcast by Tehran Radio said an Iranian offensive launched eight days ago west of the towns of Dezful and Shush led to destruction of the Fourth Army, comprising three divisions.
The Iranian communique said that since the start of the offensive, about 25, 000 Iraqi soldiers had been killed or wounded and 15,000 taken prisoner. It claimed recapture of 800 square miles of strategic heights in the northwestern part of Iran's Khuzestan Province, invaded by Iraq more than 18 months ago.
In addition, the Iranians said they recaptured their Abu Gharib oil wells, described as one of the largest oil fields in Khuzestan, center of Iran's once mighty oil industry.
Tehran Radio broadcast a military announcement calling on all ground forces and revolutionary guards to prepare for a ''major and final'' offensive.