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Iran claims victory in latest thrust into Iraq

Senior Iranian politician-clergyman Hashemi Rafsanjani said Sunday that Iran's latest Persian Gulf war ground thrust had caused irreparable damage to the Iraqi armed forces.

Mr. Rafsanjani, the Majlis (parliament) speaker and spokesman for the Supreme Defense Council, told parliament the Iranians had gained territory in the latest offensive launched early last week in the central sector of the war front.

Iran has said its forces reached all their objectives in the offensive in Meimak region, recovering territory lost earlier in the four-year-old conflict. In Baghdad, Iraq, however, an Iraqi military communique last night said Iraqi troops had recaptured all positions initially lost in the Iranians' new thrust.

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