Jan 02, 2019 15:40 Asia/Tehran
  • West supported Saddam against Iran: envoy reminds

Western governments gave aid to Iraq during its imposed war on Iran from 1980 to 1988, Iran’s ambassador to the United Kingdom Hamid Baeidinejad reminded in a post published on his Telegram channel on Wednesday. 

Iran Press/ Europe: Ahead of the anniversary of Iran's major offensives, Karbala-4 and Karbala-5, Hamid Baeidinejad referred to the testimonies of a former official of the US National Security who acknowledges that during Saddam's imposed war on Iran, the Western governments provided the Iraqi regime with chemical weapons and sophisticated military equipment as well as strategic supports.

According to Iran Press, Iran’s ambassador to the United Kingdom also called for more details to be provided about this issue.

Howard Teicher, an Iraq specialist in the Reagan White House, testified in a 1995 affidavit that the then CIA director, William Casey, used a Chilean firm, Cardoen, to send cluster bombs to use against Iran's "human wave" attacks.

A 1994 congressional inquiry also found that dozens of biological agents, including various strains of anthrax, had been shipped to Iraq by US companies, under licence from the commerce department.

Furthermore, in 1988, the Dow Chemical company sold $1.5m-worth (£930,000) of pesticides to Iraq despite suspicions they would be used for chemical warfare.

US support for Iraq was not a secret and was frequently discussed in open session of the Senate and House of Representatives. On June 9, 1992, Ted Koppel reported on ABC's Nightline, that, "Reagan/Bush administrations permitted—and frequently encouraged—the flow of money, agricultural credits, dual-use technology, chemicals, and weapons to Iraq."

Although the United States delisted Iraq from the state sponsors of terrorism in 1982, European and American companies and administrations were already helping Saddam long before that. This move was taken despite the fact that the US government was already convinced that Iraq was involved in terrorism.

Iraqi president Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of US president Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983

Iraq received 200 million dollars’ worth of arms from America between 1983 to 1990; all this for the purpose of defeating Iran.

Apart from US military aid to Iraq, there were also economic aids, since Iraqi oil exports had almost come to a halt, as had that of Iran's. While Iran was under US and European sanctions, which increased the volatility of Iran’s oil exports, Iraqi oil tankers were escorted under the American flag, by the American Navy past the Persian Gulf.

Moreover, a five billion dollars US loan was granted to Saddam in his war with Iran, in addition to over 680 million dollars for building oil pipes and later one billion dollars of aid; all of which were spent on Iraqi military buildup.

Marine Cpl. Edward Chin of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, covers the face of a statue of Saddam Hussein with an American flag before toppling the statue in downtown in Baghdad, Iraq on April 9, 2003

Iran-Iraq War began 38 years ago when Saddam Hussein launched what he hoped would be an easy victory over. By its end, nearly eight years later, more than 1 million people were dead.

In the west Iran-Iraq War often seemed, even at the time, like a forgotten war. Far more attention has been paid to later conflicts: Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the US-led invasion and occupation of 2003 which overthrew Saddam.


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