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US-Iraq 1980s

 
  

Project: History of US Interventions

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Showing 1-100 of 117 events (use filters to narrow search):    next 100

1979

       The US State Department includes Iraq in its list of states that sponsor terrorism. [Phythian, 1997]
          

1980

       A US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document reports that since the mid-1970s, Iraq has been “actively acquiring” chemical weapons. [Financial Times 2/23/83 cited in Phythian 1997]
          

April 10, 1980

       Saddam's Interior Ministry issues directive No. 2884, which orders the detainment of some 5,000 people—mostly Kurds of Iranian background—between the ages of 18 and 28. These people will never be seen again (see Late Summer 1980). [Independent, 12/13/02]
          

Late Summer 1980

       Roughly 5,000 Iraqis, mostly northern Kurds, are detained by Saddam's army—never to be seen again. According to numerous Kurds later interviewed by the Independent of London, the detainees were killed in gas and chemical weapons experiments. A Kurdish refugee in Lebanon will recall: “It is now clear, that during the war with Iran many of the young detainees were taken to secret laboratories in different locations in Iraq and were exposed to intense doses of chemical and biological substances in a myriad of conditions and situations. With every military setback at the front causing panic in Baghdad, these experiments had to be speeded up—which meant more detainees were needed to be sent to the laboratories, which had to test VX nerve gas, mustard gas, sarin, tabun, aflatoxin, gas gangrene and anthrax.” The refugee will also claim that Western intelligence was fully aware of what had happened to the 5,000 detainees. [Independent, 12/13/02 Sources: Unnamed Kurds]
          

September 1980

       Iraq invades Iran.
          

1981-1988

       The Reagan administration provides covert support to Iraq in an effort to prevent Iran from overrunning the oil-rich states of the Persian Gulf. [New York Times, 8/18/2002; Washington Post, 12/30/02; The Nation, 8/26/2002]
US Air Force officers are secretly deployed to Iraq to assist their counterparts in the Iraqi military. [The Nation, 8/26/2002]

The US provides satellite photography to Iraq revealing the movements of the Iranian forces. [Washington Post,12/15/1986; New York Times, 8/18/2002 Sources: Unnamed informed sources interviewed by reporter Bob Woodward, senior military officers with direct knowledge of the program]

The US provides Iraq with intelligence gathered by Saudi-owned AWACS operated by the Pentagon. [The Nation, 8/26/2002]

Iraq uses US-supplied military intelligence “to calibrate attacks with mustard gas on Iranian ground troops....” (see 1984) [Washington Post,12/15/1986 Sources: Unnamed informed sources interviewed by reporter Bob Woodward]

“[M]ore than 60 officers of the Defense Intelligence Agency .... secretly ... [provide] detailed information on Iranian deployments, tactical planning for battles, plans for airstrikes and bomb-damage assessments for Iraq.” [New York Times, 8/18/2002 Sources: senior military officers with direct knowledge of the program]

President Reagan and Vice President George Bush personally deliver military advice to Saddam Hussein, both directly and through intermediaries (see 1986). [Washington Post, 12/30/2002 Sources: Teicher Affidavit]

The US closely monitors “third country arms sales to Iraq to make sure Iraq [has] the military weaponry required.” [Washington Post, 12/30/2002 Sources: Teicher Affidavit]

According to the censured portion of Iraq's December 7, 2002 declaration to the UN (see December 7, 2002) (see December 19, 2002), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories help train Iraqi nuclear weapons scientists and provide nonfissile material for Iraq's nuclear weapons program. [San Francisco Chronicle, 1/28/2003]

 Additional Info 
          

(1981-1993)

       US and British companies are among several Western firms that sell Iraq materials that can be used to develop nuclear, chemical, biological, and conventional weapons. [Associated Press, 12/21/02; New York Times 12/21/02b; Sunday Herald, 2/23/03; Washington Post,12/30/02; San Francisco Chronicle, 1/28/2003]
United States -

Biological: American Type Culture Collection, several biological precursor agents for diseases like anthrax, gangrene, and the West Nile virus; Alcolac International, Thiodiglycol, the mustard gas precursor; Al Haddad, 60 tons of a chemical that could be used to make sarin; Dow Chemical, $1.5 million of pesticides (see December 1988). [Washington Post,12/30/02; New York Times 12/21/02b; Die Tageszeitung 10/18/02]

Nuclear: TI Coating; UNISYS; Tektronix; Leybold Vacuum Systems; Finnigan-MAT-US; Hewlett Packard; Dupont; Consarc; Cerberus (LTD) ; Canberra Industries; Axel Electronics Inc. [Memory Hole; Zmag 10/29/02; Die Tageszeitung 10/18/02]

Rocket Program: Honeywell ;TI Coating; UNISYS; Honeywell; Semetex; Sperry Corp.; Tektronix; Hewlett Packard; Eastman Kodak; Electronic Associates; EZ Logic Data Systems, Inc. [Zmag 10/29/02; Die Tageszeitung 10/18/02; Memory Hole]

Conventional weapons: Honeywell; Spektra Physics; TI Coating; UNISYS; Sperry Corp.; Rockwell; Hewlett Packard; Carl Zeis -U.S; Union Carbide. [Zmag 10/29/02; Washington Post,12/30/02; San Francisco Chronicle, 1/28/2003; Die Tageszeitung 10/18/02; Memory Hole]

United Kingdom -

: Nuclear weapons: Euromac Ltd-UK.; C Plath-Nuclear; Endshire Export Marketing; International Computer Systems; MEED International; International Computer Limited; Matrix Churchill Corp.; Ali Ashour Daghir.; Inwako; XYY Options, Inc. [Sunday Herald, 2/23/03]

Chemical weapons: MEED International; International Computer Systems; International Military Services; Sheffield Forgemasters; Technology Development Group; International Signal and Control; Terex Corporation; Walter Somers Ltd. [Sunday Herald, 2/23/03]

Conventional: International Computer Systems; International Computer Limited; TMG Engineering. [Sunday Herald, 2/23/03]

People and organizations involved: Finnigan-MAT-US, Honeywell, Al Haddad, Dow Chemical, Axel Electronics Inc., Alcolac International, Canberra Industries, Hewlett Packard, Dupont, Consarc, Cerberus (LTD), Semetex, Sperry Corp., Inwako, Ali Ashour Daghir, International Computer Limited, MEED International, Matrix Churchill Corp., XYY Options, Inc., International Military Services, Walter Somers Ltd., Terex Corporation, International Signal and Control, Technology Development Group, International Computer Systems, Sheffield Forgemasters, Endshire Export Marketing, C Plath-Nuclear, Euromac Ltd-UK, Electronic Associates, Leybold Vacuum Systems, Eastman Kodak, EZ Logic Data Systems, Inc., Union Carbide, Carl Zeis -U.S, Spektra Physics, Rockwell, Tektronix, American Type Culture Collection, TMG Engineering, TI Coating, UNISYS
          

August 13, 1981

       The official Iranian news agency claims that Iraq used chemical weapons against Iranian forces along the northern section of the Iran-Iraq border. [Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03] By the end of the decade, some 100,000 people will die as a result of chemical warfare waged by the Iraqis. [New York Times, 2/13/03]
 Additional Info 
          

1982

       According to some accounts, Iraq begins using chemical weapons against Iran at this time. However, Iran claims that Iraq's use of these weapons began in 1981 (see August 13, 1981). [Jentleson 1994, p. 48; Cole 1997, p. 87; Shultz 1993, p. 238; see also]
          

1982

       President Reagan orders the Defense Department and the CIA to supply Iraq's military with intelligence information, advice, and hardware for battle after being advised to do so by CIA Director William Casey. Former Reagan National Security official Howard Teicher will later reveal that Casey “personally spearheaded the effort to insure that Iraq had sufficient military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to avoid losing the Iran-Iraq war.” The US will continue to provide this type of intelligence to Iraq until 1988. [NBC News 8/18/02; New York Times 8/18/2002; Knight Ridder 2/24/1995 Sources: Teicher Affidavit]
People and organizations involved: Ronald Reagan, William Casey
          

February 1982

       The Reagan administration—despite stern objections from Congress—removes Iraq from the US State Department's list of states sponsoring terrorism (see 1979). [Washington Post, 12/30/02; The Times, 12/31/02; Freudenheim, Slavin, Rhoden, 2/28/1982 cited in Hurd and Rangwala 12/21/2001] This clears the way for future US military aid to that country. [Financial Times 2/23/83 cited in Phythian 1997]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

May 1982-June 1982

       Iran discovers a hole in Iraq's defenses along the Iran-Iraq border between Baghdad and Basra and prepares to launch a massive invasion aimed at severing the country in two. As Howard Teicher will later note in his 1995 affidavit, a successful invasion would give Iran control over a huge quantity of oil—precisely the outcome that the US fears most. “United States Intelligence, including satellite imagery, had detected both the gap in the Iraqi defenses and the Iranian massing of troops across from the gap.” Teicher will explain. “At the time, the United States was officially neutral in the Iran-Iraq conflict. President Reagan was forced to choose between (a) maintaining strict neutrality and allowing Iran to defeat Iraq, or (b) intervening and providing assistance to Iraq. In June, 1982, President Reagan decided that the United States could not afford to allow Iraq to lose the war to Iran. President Reagan decided that the United States would do whatever was necessary and legal to prevent Iraq from losing the war with Iran.” [The Times, 12/31/02; NBC News, 8/18/02 Sources: Teicher Affidavit]
          

June 1982

       President Reagan issues a national security directive which formalizes US policy toward the Iraq-Iran war, committing the US to continued support for Iraq to avoid an Iranian victory. The document is authored by National Security aides Howard Teicher and Geoff Kemp. [NBC News, 8/18/02; The Times, 12/31/02 Sources: Teicher Affidavit]
People and organizations involved: Ronald Reagan, Geoff Kemp, Howard Teicher
          

July 1982

       Iraq uses chemical weapons against Iranian troops. [Sources: Memo from Jonathan T. Howe to George Shultz regarding Iraq's use of chemical weapons, November 1, 1983]
          

October 1982

       “Unspecified foreign officers [fire] lethal chemical weapons at the orders of Saddam [Hussein] during battles [against Iranian forces] in the Mandali area.” [Sources: Memo from Jonathan T. Howe to George Shultz regarding Iraq's use of chemical weapons, November 1, 1983]
People and organizations involved: Saddam Hussein
          

December 1982

       The Italian subsidiary of Bell Textron, the manufacture of Bell helicopters, informs the US embassy in Rome that it has declined a request from Iraq to militarize recently purchased Hughes helicopters. [National Security Archive, 2/25/2003]
          

1983

       Iraq's use of chemical weapons against Iran increases significantly. The US is informed of Iraq's use of chemical weapons toward the end of the year. [Shultz 1993, p. 238; Cole 1997, p. 87; Jentleson 1994, p. 48]
          

1983

       The Reagan administration approves the sale of 60 civilian Hughes helicopters to Iraq, even though it is widely understood that the helicopters can be weaponized with little effort. Critics will regard the sale as military aid cloaked as civilian assistance. [Phythian, 1997, pgs. 37-38]
          

1983

       The US State Department reports that Iraq's support for anti-Western militant groups continues unabated. [Jentleson 1994]
          

(1983)

       Iranian diplomats bring photographs to the United Nations and several national capitals showing the swollen, blistered and burned bodies of injured and dead Iranians who have been victims of Iraqi chemical attacks. [New York Times, 2/13/03]
          

1983

       Secretary of Commerce Howard Baldridge and Secretary of State George Shultz successfully lobby the National Security Council (NSC) advisor to approve the sale of 10 Bell helicopters to Iraq in spite of objections from other NSC members. It is claimed that the helicopters will be used for crop spraying. These same helicopters are later used in 1988 to deploy poison gas against Iranians and possibly the Kurds.(see March 1988) [Phythian, 1997, pgs. 37-38; Washington Post, 3/11/1991]
People and organizations involved: Howard Baldridge, George Shultz
          

1983

       Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt supply Iraq with US howitzers, helicopters, bombs and other weapons with the secret approval of the Reagan administration. [Phythian, 1997, pg. 35] Italy also funnels arms to Iraq at the insistence of President Reagan who personally made the request to Prime Minister Guilio Andreotti. [Friedman 1983, 51-54; Phythian 1997, pg. 36]
People and organizations involved: Ronald Reagan, Guilio Andreotti
          

April 12, 1983

       Iraq warns Iran of “new weapons ... [to] be used for the first time in war ... not used in previous attacks because of humanitarian and ethical reasons ... that will destroy any moving creature.” [Sources: Memo from Jonathan T. Howe to George Shultz regarding Iraq's use of chemical weapons, November 1, 1983]
          

June 1983

       The South Korean government informs the State Department that it received a request from Iraq to militarize some helicopters. [National Security Archive, 2/25/2003]
          

July 1983-August 1983

       Iraq uses “a chemical agent with lethal effects against ... Iranian forces invading Iraq at Haj Umran...” [Sources: CIA Declassified Report, 1997, Memo from Jonathan T. Howe to George Shultz regarding Iraq's use of chemical weapons, November 1, 1983]
          

October 21, 1983

       An Iraqi warplane drops a chemical bomb near the Iranian village of Bademjan. Iranian ambassador Said Rajaie Khorassani claims, “A white fume spread in the area causing severe skin injuries and several cases of loss of eyesight among people in the vicinity and 11 people lost their lives.” [Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03]
People and organizations involved: Said Rajaie Khorassani
          

November 1, 1983

       US State Department official Jonathan T. Howe tells Secretary of State George P. Shultz that intelligence reports indicate that Saddam Hussein's troops are resorting to “almost daily use of CW [Chemical Weapons]” against their Iranian adversaries. [The Times 12/31/02; Washington Post,12/30/02 Sources: Memo from Jonathan T. Howe to George Shultz regarding Iraq's use of chemical weapons, November 1, 1983]
People and organizations involved: George Shultz, Jonathan T. Howe
          

November 21, 1983

       US State Department official Jonathan T. Howe sends Secretary of Defense Lawrence Eagleburger a memo reporting that US intelligence has determined that “Iraq has acquired a CW [chemical weapons] production capability, primarily from Western firms, including possibly a US foreign subsidiary” and that Iraq has used chemical weapons against Iranian forces and Kurdish insurgents. Referring to the US policy “of seeking a halt to CW use wherever it occurs,” Howe says the US is “considering” approaching Iraq directly, but in a way that avoids playing “into Iran's hands by fueling its propaganda against Iraq.” Significantly, the memo acknowledges that the US has so far limited its “efforts against the Iraqi CW program to close monitoring because of our strict neutrality in the Gulf war, the sensitivity of sources, and the low probability of achieving desired results.” [Sources: Memo from Jonathan T. Howe to George Shultz regarding Iraq's use of chemical weapons, November 1, 1983]
People and organizations involved: Lawrence Eagleburger, Jonathan T. Howe
          

November 26, 1983

       US President Ronald Reagan issues National Security Directive 114 on the United States' policy toward the Iran-Iraq war. The document—which makes no mention of Iraq's use of chemical weapons—calls for increased regional military cooperation to protect oil facilities and for improving US military capabilities in the region. The directive states, “Because of the real and psychological impact of a curtailment in the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf on the international economic system, we must assure our readiness to deal promptly with actions aimed at disrupting that traffic.” [Sources: US National Security Directive 114]
People and organizations involved: Ronald Reagan
          

December 1983

       By the end of 1983, 60 Hughes MD 500 “Defender” helicopters have been shipped to Iraq despite objections from four Republican Senators. The US Department of Commerce had decided that the exporting of aircraft weighing less than 10,000 pounds to Iraq did not require an export license. [Middle East Defense News, 11/9/1992]
          

December 2, 1983

       The US State Department invites Bechtel officials to Washington to discuss plans for constructing the proposed Iraq-Jordan Aqaba oil pipeline. Former Bechtel president George Shultz is US Secretary of State at this time. [Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03]
People and organizations involved: George Shultz, Bechtel
          

December 19, 1983

       President Reagan dispatches US envoy to the Middle East, Donald Rumsfeld, to convey the administration's intention to “resume [US] diplomatic relations with Iraq.” [American Gulf War Veterans Association, 9/10/2001; Seattle Post Intelligencer, 9/24/2002]
People and organizations involved: Ronald Reagan, Donald Rumsfeld
          

December 20, 1983

       US Special Envoy Donald Rumsfeld—who at this time is CEO of the pharmaceutical company, GD Searle and Co.—personally meets with Saddam Hussein for 90 minutes in an attempt to reestablish diplomatic relations with Iraq. Rumsfeld also discusses US interest in the construction of the Iraq-Jordan Aqaba oil pipeline [to be built by Bechtel (see December 2, 1983)]. [New York Times, 4/14/03; Baltimore Sun 9/26/2001; Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03; The Times, 12/31/02; NBC News, 8/18/02; Washington Post,12/30/02; Newsweek, 9/23/2002 Sources: State Department memo summarizing Donald Rumsfeld's December 20 with Saddam Hussein, December 21, 1983, State Department memo concerning Rumsfeld's planned visit to Baghdad, December 10, 1983, Videotape of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein] Rumsfeld does not raise the issue of Iraq's use of chemical weapons with Saddam. [Sources: State Department memo summarizing Donald Rumsfeld's December 20 with Saddam Hussein, December 21, 1983] After his meeting with the Iraqi president, Rumsfeld meets with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz. They agree that “the US and Iraq ... [share] many common interests.” Rumsfeld briefly mentions US concerns about Iraq's chemical weapons, explaining that US “efforts to assist [Iraq] ... [are] inhibited by certain things that made it difficult for us.....” [Sources: State Department memo summarizing Donald Rumsfeld's December 20 with Saddam Hussein, December 21, 1983] On September 19, 2002, almost two decades later, Rumsfeld will be questioned in Congress about this visit (see September 19, 2002). [US Congressional Record: September 20, 2002 (Senate) Page S8987-S8998]
People and organizations involved: Tariq Aziz, Saddam Hussein, Donald Rumsfeld
          

Late 1983

       US intelligence begins receiving reports that Iraq's use of chemical weapons against Iran has increased. [Shultz 1993, p. 238; Cole 1997, p. 87; Jentleson 1994, p. 48 Sources: George Shultz]
          

1984

       The CIA secretly provides Iraqi intelligence with instructions on how to “calibrate” its mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops. [Washington Post,12/15/1986]
People and organizations involved: Central Intelligence Agency
          

February 1984

       An Iraqi military spokesman warns Iran, “The invaders should know that for every harmful insect, there is an insecticide capable of annihilating it ... and Iraq possesses this annihilation insecticide.” [Washington Post,12/30/02 Sources: Memo from Jonathan T. Howe to George Shultz regarding Iraq's use of chemical weapons, November 1, 1983]
          

February 1984

       Western journalists reporting on the war between Iraq and Iran verify the use of chemical weapons. [New York Times, 2/13/03]
          

February 29, 1984

       Bechtel executive H.C. Clark notes in an interoffice memo that “the State Department has exerted strong pressure on Ex-Im to make additional credits available [in Iraq], including for this [Aqaba ] pipeline.” [Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03]
People and organizations involved: Export-Import Bank, H.C. Clark
          

March 1984

       The United Nations dispatches experts to the conflict zone in the war between Iran and Iraq who document Iraq's use of chemical weapons. [Jentleson 1994, p. 76]
          

March 1984

       European-based doctors examine Iranian troops and confirm exposure to mustard gas. [Jentleson 1994, p. 76]
          

March 5, 1984

       The US State Department issues a public condemnation of Iraq's use of chemical weapons. [New York Times, 12/23/2003]
          

March 6, 1984

       A US Department of State telegram reports, “The United States has concluded that the available evidence substantiates Iran's charges that Iraq used chemical weapons.” [Gwertzman 3/6/1984 cited in Hurd and Rangwala, 12/21/2001; New York Times, 2/13/03; Cole 1997; pg. 24 Sources: US Department of State Telegram, March 1984]
          

March 9, 1984

       Frank Ricciardone, a US State Department desk officer, urges the Export-Import Bank to provide Iraq with short-term loans “for foreign relations purposes.” [Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03]
People and organizations involved: Export-Import Bank, Frank Ricciardone
          

March 15, 1984

       US Secretary of Defense Lawrence Eagleburger meets with Iraqi diplomat Ismet Kattani to minimize the damage that the State Department's March 5 condemnation (see March 5, 1984) of Iraqi chemical warfare has caused to US-Iraqi relations. Secretary of State George Shultz is also present and later sends a cable to embassies in the Middle East with a summary of the meeting. “Eagleburger began the discussion by taking Kittani aside to emphasize the central message he wanted him to take back: our policy of firm opposition to the prohibited use of CW [chemical weapons] wherever it occurs necessitated our March 5 statement condemning Iraq's use of CW,” the note explains. “The statement was not intended to provide fuel for Khomeini's propaganda war, nor to imply a shift in US policy toward Iran and Iraq. The US will continue its efforts to help prevent an Iranian victory, and earnestly wishes to continue the progress in its relations with Iraq. The Secretary [of State, Shultz] then entered and reiterated these points.” [New York Times, 12/23/2003 Sources: US Department of State cable summarizing meeting between Lawrence Eagleburger and Ismet Kittani, March 1984]
People and organizations involved: Said Rajaie Khorassani, George Shultz, Lawrence Eagleburger
          

March 20, 1984

       US intelligence officials says they have “incontrovertible evidence that Iraq has used nerve gas in its war with Iran and has almost finished extensive sites for mass-producing the lethal chemical warfare agent.” [Hersh 3/30/1984 cited in Cole 1997, pg. 243]
          

March 23, 1984

       Iran accuses Iraq of poisoning 600 of its soldiers with mustard gas and Tabun nerve gas. [UPI 3-23-1984 cited in American Gulf War Veterans Association 9/10/2001]
          

March 24, 1984

       The US State Department briefs Donald Rumsfeld who is preparing to make another visit to Baghdad (see (March 26, 1984)). In a memo to Rumsfeld, Secretary of State George Shultz laments that relations with Iraq have soured because of the State Department's March 5 condemnation (see March 5, 1984) of Iraq's use of chemical weapons and expresses considerable concern over the future of the Aqaba pipeline project [to be built by Bechtel (see December 2, 1983)] which the US is pushing. Shultz writes:“Two event have worsened the atmosphere in Baghdad since your last stop there in December: (1) Iraq has only partly repulsed the initial thrust of a massive Iranian invasion, losing the strategically significant Majnun Island oil fields and accepting heavy casualties; (2) Bilateral relations were sharply set back by our March 5 condemnation of Iraq for CW [chemical weapons] use, despite our repeated warnings that this issue would emerge [as a public issue] sooner or later. Given its wartime preoccupations and its distress at our CW statement, the Iraqi leadership probably will have little interest in discussing Lebanon, the Arab-Israeli conflict, or other matters except as they may impinge on Iraq's increasingly desperate struggle for survival. If Saddam or Tariq Aziz receives you against consider, and to reject, a pending application from Westinghouse to participate in a $160 million portion of a $1 billion Hyundai thermal power plant project in Iraq, this decision will only confirm Iraqi perceptions that ExIm [Export-Import Bank] financing for the Aqaba pipeline is out of the question. Eagleburger tried to put this perception to a rest, however, emphasizing to Kittani the administration's firm support for the line (see March 15, 1984). The door is not yet closed to ExIm or other USG [US government] financial assistance to this project....” At the very end of the cable, it is noted that “Iraq officials have professed to be at a loss to explain our actions as measured against our stated objectives. As with our CW statement, their temptation is to give up rational analysis and retreat to the line that US policies are basically anti-Arab and hostage to the desires of Israel.” [Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03 Sources: US Department of State briefing to Donald Rumsfeld, March 24, 1984]
People and organizations involved: George Shultz, Donald Rumsfeld, Elda James, Esq., Lawrence Eagleburger
          

(March 26, 1984)

       Donald Rumsfeld travels to Baghdad to meet with Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz. While in Iraq, Rumsfeld discusses the proposed Iraq-Jordan Aqaba pipeline [to be built by Bechtel (see December 2, 1983)], relays an Israeli offer to help Iraq in its war against Iran, and expresses the Reagan administration's hope that Iraq will obtain Export-Import Bank credits. [Common Dreams, 8/2/2002; American Gulf War Veterans Association 9/10/2001; Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03 Sources: Teicher Affidavit]
People and organizations involved: Tariq Aziz, Donald Rumsfeld
          

(March 26, 1984)

       A UN investigation concludes that Iraq has been using mustard gas laced with a nerve agent on Iranian soldiers. “[C]hemical weapons in the form of aerial bombs have been used in the areas inspected in Iraq by the specialists,” the report says. [Common Dreams, 8/2/2002; American Gulf War Veterans Association 9/10/2001; New York Times, 3/27/84 cited in Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03]
          

March 29, 1984

       During a meeting in Jordan, Iraqi diplomat Kizam Hamdoon and US diplomat James Placke discuss a proposed daft resolution that Iran presented to the UN Security Council (see (Mid-March 1984)) calling on the international body to condemn Iraq's use of chemical weapons. Hamdoon tells Placke that Iraq would prefer a Security Council presidential statement in lieu of a resolution, adding that the statement should (1) “mention former resolutions of the war”; (2) include a “strong call for progress toward ending the war through ceasefire or negotiations”; and (3) not identify any specific country as responsible for chemical weapons use. Placke says that he will honor the request but asks that Iraq halt its purchasing of chemical weapons from US suppliers so as not to “embarrass” the US. Placke also warns that the US would be implementing licensing requirements on five chemical compounds for both Iraq and Iran. Placke says that the US does not want to be the “source of supply for anything that could contribute to the production of CW,” but adds reassuringly that the US does “not want this issue to dominate our bilateral relationship.” [Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03 Sources: State Department Summary of March 28 meeting between US diplomat James Plack and Iraqi representative Nizar Hamdoon]
People and organizations involved: James Placke, Kizam Hamdoon
          

March 30, 1984

       During a State Department press conference, reporters raise the issue of US relations with Iraq and the latter's use of chemical weapons. A reporter asks, “Has there been any export of these chemicals [referring to agents used for the production of chemical weapons] from the US to Iran or Iraq at all in the past, in the recent past?” The spokesperson responds, “No, we do not reason to believe that exports from the United States have been used by either Iran or Iraq in this connection.” Later in the press briefing, a reporter asks, “In light of your finding that Iraq has used nerve gas and/or other forms of chemical warfare, does this have any effect on US recent initiatives to expand commercial relationships with Iraq across a broad range, and also a willingness to open diplomatic relations?” The spokesperson answers, “No. I'm not aware of any change in our position. We're interested in being involved in a closer dialogue with Iraq.” [Sources: US Department of State Press Briefing, March 30, 1984]
          

March 30, 1984

       The United Nations Security Council issues a presidential statement condemning the use of chemical weapons without a specific reference to Iraq, despite Iran's insistence that the Security Council pass a binding resolution condemning Iraq's use of chemical weapons against Iran. Interestingly, the previous day (see March 29, 1984), Iraqi diplomat Kizam Hamdoon and US diplomat James Placke had met and Hamdoon had stated Iraq's preference that no resolution be passed and that any statement avoid referring directly to Iraq. As a State Department memo by James Placke notes, “The statement, by the way contains all three elements Hamdoon wanted.” [National Security Archive, 2/25/2003 Sources: US Department of State Memo from James Placke, March 30, 1984]
People and organizations involved: James Placke
          

April 5, 1984

       US President Ronald Reagan issues presidential directive NSDD 139, titled, “Measures to improve US posture and readiness to respond to developments in the Iran-Iraq War.” The directive stresses the importance of ensuring US access to military facilities in the Gulf region and preventing “an Iraqi collapse.” Though the directive says that the US should maintain its policy of “unambiguous” condemnation of chemical warfare—without mentioning Iraq—the document also emphasizes that the US should “place equal stress on the urgent need to dissuade Iran from continuing the ruthless and inhumane tactics which have characterized recent offensives.” The directive does not suggest ending or reducing US support for Iraq. [National Security Archive, 2/25/2003 Sources: US Department of State Memo from James Placke, March 30, 1984]
People and organizations involved: Ronald Reagan
          

April 10, 1984

       Representatives from Bell Helicopter meet with Department of State officials in the Baghdad interests section to discuss a possible deal with Iraq involving the sale of 20-25 helicopters to Iraq's Ministry of Defense. A State Department document summarizing the meeting says that the “Bell reps are fully aware that any helicopters they sell the Iraqis can not be in any way configured for military use.” [Washington Post,12/15/1986 Sources: US Department of State document on meeting with Bell Helicopter Representatives, March 1984]
          

May 9, 1984

       A Department of State memo from the special adviser to the secretary on nonproliferation policy and nuclear energy affairs titled “US Dual-Use Exports to Iraq: Specific Actions,” states that the government is reviewing its policy for “the sale of certain categories of dual-use items to Iraqi nuclear entities” and the review's “preliminary results favor expanding such trade to include Iraqi nuclear entities.” [Sources: Department of State memo, US Dual-Use Exports to Iraq: Specific Actions, May 9, 1984]
          

May 25, 1984

       Bechtel official H.B. Scott informs his colleagues in a memo that “US government officials at the highest level in Washington know of the [Aqaba pipeline] project and the president supports the concept.... I cannot emphasize enough the need for maximum Bechtel management effort at all levels of the US government and industry to support this project. It has significant geopolitical overtones... The time may be right for this project to move promptly with very significant rewards to Bechtel for having made it possible.” [Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03]
People and organizations involved: H.C. Clark
          

June 21, 1984

       The Export-Import Bank approves a preliminary commitment of $484.5 million in loan guarantees for the Iraq-Jordan Aqaba pipeline project. This commitment will remain in effect until 1986. [Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03]
People and organizations involved: Export-Import Bank
          

(Mid-March 1984)

       Iran presents a draft resolution to the UN which condemns Iraq's use of chemical weapons. The US delegate to the UN is instructed to push for a “no decision” on the resolution, or if not possible, cast an abstaining vote. Iraq's ambassador meets with the US ambassador to the UN, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and asks for “restraint” in responding to the issue of Iraq's use of chemical weapons. [National Security Archive, 2/25/2003]
People and organizations involved: Jeane Kirkpatrick
          

August 1984

       The CIA establishes a direct intelligence link with Iraq. [Washington Post,12/15/1986]
          

September 25, 1984

       A Defense Intelligence Agency report concludes that Iraq will probably “continue to develop its formidable conventional and chemical capability, and probably pursue nuclear weapons.” [Sources: US Department of State Press Briefing, March 30, 1984]
          

October 1, 1984-October 13, 1993

       The Reagan and Bush administrations' commerce departments allow US companies and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to export chemical and biological agents as well as other dual-use items to Iraq, despite the country's known record of using chemical weapons. According to government regulations, the Commerce Department must send applications for export licenses which involve items related to national security to the appropriate US government agencies for review. Reviewing agencies include the State Department, Department of Defense, Energy Department, and Subgroup on Nuclear Export Coordination. But in many cases, the Commerce Department either does not send national security-related applications to these agencies for review, or if it does, it overrides a review agency's recommendation not to grant a license, allowing the item to be exported anyway. [Jentleson 1994,p. 79; Hurd and Rangwala 12/12/2002; Timmerman 1991, pp. 202 and 410 n5] According to two Senate Committee Reports that will be completed in 1994, one on May 25 and another on October 7, dual-use chemical and biological agents exported to Iraq from the US significantly contributed to the country's weapons arsenal. The initial May report will say the agents “were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction” and the October report will reveal that the “microorganisms exported by the United States were identical to those the United Nations inspectors found and removed from the Iraqi biological warfare program.” The 1994 investigation also determines that other exports such as plans and equipment also contributed significantly to Iraq's military capabilities. “UN inspectors had identified many United States manufactured items that had been exported from the United States to Iraq under licenses issued by the Department of Commerce, and established] that these items were used to further Iraq's chemical and nuclear weapons development and its missile delivery system development program,” Donald Riegle, the chairman of the committee, will explain. He also says that between January 1985 and August 1990, the “executive branch of our government approved 771 different export licenses for sale of dual-use technology to Iraq.” [The Times 12/31/02; Sunday Herald 9/8/2002; Yellow Times 8/20/2002 Sources: US chemical and biological warfare-related dual-use exports to Iraq and their possible impact on the health consequences of the Persian Gulf War, October 7, 1994, US senate, committee on banking, housing, and urban affairs report, May 25, 1994, US chemical and biological warfare-related dual-use exports to Iraq and their possible impact on the health consequences of the Persian Gulf War, May 25, 1994]
Biological and chemical agents -

Bacillus Anthracis, cause of anthrax. [Sunday Herald 9/8/2002; Yellow Times 8/20/2002]

Clostridium Botulinum, a source of botulinum toxin. It was sold to Iraq right up until 1992. [Sunday Herald 9/8/2002; Yellow Times 8/20/2002]

Histoplasma Capsulatam, cause of a disease attacking lungs, brain, spinal cord and heart. [Yellow Times 8/20/2002]

Brucella Melitensis, a bacteria that can damage major organs. [Yellow Times 8/20/2002; Sunday Herald 9/8/2002]

Clotsridium Perfringens, a highly toxic bacteria causing systemic illness, gas gangrene. [Sunday Herald 9/8/2002; Yellow Times 8/20/2002]

Clostridium tetani, highly toxigenic. [Yellow Times 8/20/2002; Sunday Herald 9/8/2002]

Also, Escherichia Coli (E.Coli); genetic materials; human and bacterial DNA. [Yellow Times 8/20/2002]

VX nerve gas. [Sunday Herald 9/8/2002]

Pralidoxine, an antidote to nerve gas which can also be reverse engineered to create actual nerve gas. This was sold to Iraq in March 1992, after the end of the Gulf War. [Sunday Herald 9/8/2002]

Other exports -

Chemical warfare-agent production facility plans and technical drawings. [Newsday 12/13/02]

Chemical warfare filling equipment. [Newsday 12/13/02]

Missile fabrication equipment. [Newsday 12/13/02]

Missile system guidance equipment. [Newsday 12/13/02]

Graphics terminals to design and analyze rockets. [Washington Post,3/11/1991]

Machine tools and lasers to extend ballistic missile range. [Committee on Government Operations, House, Strengthening the Export Licensing System, 2 July 1991, section National Security vs. Export Promotion: Sales to Iraq, para. 16. cited in Hurd and Rangwala 12/12/2002]

Computers to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. [Sub-committee on Commerce, Consumer and Monetary Affairs of the House Committee on Government Operations, Strengthening the Export Licensing System, 2 July 1991cited in Hurd and Rangwala 12/12/2002]

$1 million in computers, flight simulators and other technology products that went to Saad 16 research center in Iraq (see November 1986). [Washington Post,3/11/1991]

People and organizations involved: Donald Riegle, US Congress  Additional Info 
          

November 26, 1984

       The United States Government re-establishes full diplomatic ties with Baghdad even though it is fully aware that Iraq has been using chemical weapons in its war against Iran. [Gwertzman 11-27-1984; National Security Archive, 2/25/2003]
          

1985-1986

       Several current and former top US officials—including Attorney General Edwin Meese; National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane; former Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Defense, and Director of the CIA James Schlesinger; and former Secretary of Interior; national security advisor, and deputy secretary of state Judge William B. Clark—attempt to make arrangements that will provide security and insurance for the proposed Iraq-Jordan Aqaba pipeline in order to obtain Iraqi approval for the project. They go to extraordinary lengths to satisfy the preconditions Iraq has set for the piepline, including bribing Israeli Labor officials in exchange for assurances that Israel would not attack the pipeline and pushing the US government-backed Overseas Private Investment Fund and Citibank to provide a political-risk insurance fund with up to $400 million in coverage. Iraq and Jordan ultimately refuse the deal explaining that the plan “does not meet specific requirements of the Project and does not satisfy our objectives.” [Institute for Policy Studies, 3/24/03]
People and organizations involved: Edwin Meese, James R. Schlesinger, William B. Clark, Export-Import Bank, Robert C. McFarlane
          

1985-1989

       Christopher Drogoul of the Atlanta branch of the Italian Banca Nazionale del Lavoro begins embezzling funds to Iraq. The funds consist of government backed loans meant for agricultural purposes as well as unreported loans that have been made in secret. While roughly half the funds will be used by Saddam Hussein's government to purchase agricultural goods, the remainder will be used to “supply Iraqi missile, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs with industrial goods such as computer controlled machine tools, computers, scientific instruments, special alloy steel and aluminum, chemicals, and other industrial goods.” Additionally, the money spent on agriculture will allow Saddam's regime to divert a significant portion of its own funds to the task of weapons development. [Columbia Journalism Review, March/April 1993; US Congress, 4/28/92 H2694] Between 1985 and 1989 roughly $5 billion makes its way to Iraq from the US. Internal government memos reveal that both the Federal Reserve and Department of Agriculture suspect that Iraq is using these funds inappropriately. Iraq eventually defaults on the government-backed loans, leaving US taxpayers with $2 billion dollars in unpaid debts. [Mother Jones 2/1993; Columbia Journalism Review, March/April 1993]
People and organizations involved: Christopher Drogoul, Italian Banca Nazionale del Lavoro
          

1985

       US Secretary of State George Shultz successfully convinces Rep. Howard Berman to drop a House bill that would have put Iraq back on the State Department's list of states that sponsor terrorism. Shultz's argument is that the United States is actively engaged in “diplomatic dialogue on this and other sensitive issues.” He asserts that “Iraq has effectively distanced itself from international terrorism” and insists that if the US discovers any evidence implicating Iraq in the support of terrorist groups, the US government “would promptly return Iraq to the list.” [Jentleson 1994, p. 54]
People and organizations involved: George Shultz, Howard Berman
          

1986

       The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sends samples of botulinum toxin and botulinum toxiod “directly to the Iraqi chemical and biological weapons complex at al-Muthanna.” [Associated Press 12/21/02]
          

1986

       The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sends “samples of a strain of West Nile virus to a microbiologist at a university in Basra.” [Associated Press 12/21/02]
          

Early 1986

       Iraq uses poison gas in an unsuccessful attempt to recapture the Fao Peninsula from Iran. A UN team examines the bodies of 700 Iranian casualties which indicate that mustard and nerve gases were used. [The Nation, 8/26/2002]
          

1986

       The Central Intelligence Agency authors a classified report acknowledging that Iraq is still using chemical weapons as an “integral part” of its military strategy and that it is a “regular and recurring tactic.” [New York Times, 2/13/03]
          

1986

       US President Ronald Reagan sends a secret message to Saddam Hussein recommending that he order his military to intensify its air attacks against Iran. The message is delivered by Vice President Bush who conveys the message to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who in turn passes it on to Saddam Hussein. The talking points for Bush's meeting with Mubarak are authored by national security aide Howard Teicher. [NBC News 8/18/02 Sources: Teicher Affidavit]
People and organizations involved: Ronald Reagan, Howard Teicher, Hosni Mubarak, Saddam Hussein, George Herbert Walker Bush
          

May 2, 1986

       Two batches each of bacillus anthracis and bacterium clostridium botulinum are shipped from the US to the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education. [Sunday Herald, 9/8/2002]
          

August 1986

       The CIA establishes “a direct, top-secret Washington-Baghdad link to provide the Iraqis with better and more timely satellite information.” As a result, “The Iraqis receive the information from satellite photos ‘several hours’ after .... bombing raid[s]... ” The US-provided intelligence information is considered “vital” to Iraqi military strategy. [Washington Post,12/15/1986 Sources: Unnamed source with first-hand knowledge]
          

October 1986

       CIA Director William J. Casey meets with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz and Iraq's ambassador to the United States, Nizar Hamdoon, to make sure the new Washington-Baghdad intelligence link (see August 1986) is helping the Iraqis and to encourage more attacks on Iranian economic targets. [Washington Post,12/15/1986 Sources: Unnamed sources with first hand knowledge]
People and organizations involved: Kizam Hamdoon, Tariq Aziz, William Casey
          

November 1986

       US intelligence learns that Iraq's “Saad 16” research center is attempting to develop ballistic missiles. This information is relayed by the Defense Department's Undersecretary for Trade Security Policy, Stephen Bryen, to the Commerce Department's (CD) Assistant Secretary for Trade Administration. In spite of this, the Commerce Department will subsequently approve more than $1 million in computer sales to the Iraqi research center over the next four years. In 1991, the House Committee on Government Operations will report that 40 percent of the equipment at the “Saad 16” research center had come from the US. [Washington Post,3/11/1991; Committee on Government Operations, House, Strengthening the Export Licensing System, 2 July 1991, para.10. cited in Hurd and Rangwala 12/12/02]
People and organizations involved: Stephen Bryen
          

November 13, 1986

       US President Ronald Reagan says in a speech with regard to the Iran-Iraq war: “The slaughter on both sides has been enormous, and the adverse economic and political consequences for that vital region of the world have been growing. We sought to establish communications with both sides in that senseless struggle, so that we could assist in bringing about a cease-fire and, eventually, a settlement. We have sought to be evenhanded by working with both sides ... We have consistently condemned the violence on both sides.” [Washington Post,12/15/1986]
People and organizations involved: Ronald Reagan
          

Late November 1986

       Shortly after the Iran-Contra scandal is first revealed in the press, CIA Director William J. Casey meets with Iraq's ambassador to the United States, Nizar Hamdoon, a second time (see October 1986) and assures him that the new Washington-Baghdad intelligence link (see August 1986) will remain open. [Washington Post,12/15/1986 Sources: Unnamed sources with first hand knowledge]
People and organizations involved: Kizam Hamdoon, William Casey
          

March 1987-April 1987

       The United Nations dispatches experts to the conflict zone on a mission that documents Iraq's use of chemical weapons against Iran. [Jentleson 1994, p. 76]
          

August 31, 1987

       One batch each of salmonella and E coli is sent to the Iraqi State Company for Drug Industries with the approval of the US Department of Commerce. [Sunday Herald 9/8/2002]
          

Early 1988

       Iraq uses chemical weapons to retake the Fao Peninsula. After the attacks, Lt. Col. Rick Francona, a defense intelligence officer, is dispatched to the battlefield where he meets with Iraqi officers. “He reported that Iraq had used chemical weapons to cinch its victory..... [He] saw zones marked off for chemical contamination, and containers for the drug atropine scattered around, indicating that Iraqi soldiers had taken injections to protect themselves from the effects of gas that might blow back over their positions.” [New York Times, 8/18/2002 Sources: Unnamed former Defense Intelligence Agency official interviewed by the New York Times in late 2002]
          

January 1988-February 1988

       The US Commerce Department allows the export of equipment to Iraq for its SCUD missile program, allowing the Iraqis to increase the range of its SCUD missiles. [Committee on Government Operations, House, Strengthening the Export Licensing System, 2 July 1991, para. 25 cited in Hurd and Rangwala, 12/12/02]
          

1988

       The US increases the amount of military intelligence it provides Iraq, a significant portion of which is channeled to the Iraqis through the CIA's Baghdad office. [Francona 1999 cited in Washington Post,12/30/02]
          

1988

       The US provides Baghdad with $500 million in credits to buy American farm products. [Wall Street Journal 7/10/2002]
          

March-April 1988

       The United Nations sends experts to the Iraq-Iran war conflict zone to document Iraq's use of chemical weapons. [Jentleson 1994, p. 76]
          

March 1988

       According to several accounts, Iraq uses US-supplied Bell helicopters to deploy chemical weapons during its campaign to recapture lost territories in its war with Iran. One of the towns that is within the conflict zone is the Kurdish village of Halabja, with a population of about 70,000. Between 3,200 and 5,000 Halabja civilians are reportedly killed by poison gas. Other accounts, however, suggest that Iranian gas is responsible for the attack on Halabja, a version that is promoted by the Reagan administration in order to divert the blame away from Iraq. Some believe the US version of the Halabja massacre is “cooked up in the Pentagon.” A declassified State Department document “demonstrate[s] that US diplomats received instructions to press this line with US allies, and to decline to discuss the details.” [New York Times, 1/31/03; Johnson and Pelletiere, 12/10/1990; International Herald Tribune 1/17/03; Weinstein and Rempel, 2/13/1991 cited in Hurd and Rangwala, 12/21/2001; Washington Post, 3/11/1991]
          

May 1988

       During a symposium hosted by the US-Iraq Business Forum, Assistant Secretary of State Peter Burleigh encourages US companies to do business in Iraq. The business forum reportedly has strong ties to Baghdad. [Jentleson 1994, p. 84-85]
People and organizations involved: Peter Burleigh
          

Mid-1988-late 1988

       A US delegation travels to Turkey at the request of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and confirms that Iraq is “using chemical weapons on its Kurdish population.” [Committee on Foreign Relations, US Senate, Chemical Weapons Use in Kurdistan: Iraq's Final Offensive, October 1988 Hurd and Rangwala 12/12/2001]
          

mid-August 1988

       The United Nations sends a delegation of experts to the Iraq-Iran War conflict zone to investigate Iraq's use of chemical weapons. [Jentleson 1994, p. 76] However, Baghdad refuses to cooperate and the US makes no serious attempt to press Baghdad to comply with the UN Security Council's decision. US Secretary of State George Shultz downplays the charges against Iraq, arguing that interviews with Kurdish refugees in Turkey and “other sources” did not conclusively support the allegations being made against Saddam's government. [The Nation 8/26/2002]
People and organizations involved: George Shultz
          

July 1988

       The United Nations dispatches two delegations of experts to the conflict zone on a mission that documents Iraq's use of chemical weapons against Iran. [Jentleson 1994, p. 76]
          

August 1988

       Iraq reportedly uses chemical weapons against northern Iraqi Kurds. [Jentleson 1994, p. 38]
          

September 1988-December 1988

       “65 licenses ... [are] granted for dual-use technology exports. This averages out as an annual rate of 260 licenses, more than double the rate for January through August 1988.” [Jentleson, 1994, p. 38]
          

September 8, 1988

       In a memo regarding the issue of Iraq's use of chemical weapons, Assistant Secretary of State Richard W. Murphy writes, “The US-Iraqi relationship is . . . important to our long term political and economic objectives. We believe that economic sanctions will be useless or counterproductive to influence the Iraqis.” [Washington Post,12/30/02]
People and organizations involved: Richard W. Murphy
          

September 8, 1988

       The US Senate unanimously passes the “Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988” which makes Iraq ineligible to receive US loans, military and non-military assistance, credits, credit guarantees and items subject to export controls. It also makes it illegal for the US to import Iraqi oil. [US Senate, “Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988,” 100th Congress, 2nd session, 8 September 1988 cited in Hurd and Rangwala, 12/12/2001; Jentleson 1994, p. 78] Immediately after the bill is passed by the Senate, the Reagan administration launches a campaign to prevents its passage in the House. With the help of its allies in the House, the administration succeeds in killing the bill on the last day of the legislative session. [New York Times, 2/13/03; Jentleson 1994, p. 78]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

October 1988

       The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirms reports that between 1984 and 1988 “Iraq repeatedly and effectively used poison gas on Iran.” [Committee on Foreign Relations, US Senate, Chemical Weapons Use in Kurdistan: Iraq's Final Offensive, October 1988 in Hurd and Rangwala, 12/12/2001]
People and organizations involved: US Congress
          

December 1988

       Dow Chemical sells $1.5 million of pesticides to Iraq. An Export-Import Bank official says in a memorandum that he can find “no reason” to prevent the sale. [Washington Post,12/30/02]
          

1989

       Rep. Henry Gonzalez (D-Tex) states that in spite of the CIA and the Bush administration's knowledge that Iraq's Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization (MIMI) was “involved in Iraq's clandestine nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs and missile programs ... the Bush administration [approved] dozens of export licenses that [allowed] United States and foreign firms to ship sophisticated US dual-use equipment to MIMI-controlled weapons factories.” [Statement by Rep. Henry Gonzalez (D-Tex), “Details on Iraq's Procurement Network,” 102nd Congress, 2nd session, 10 August 1992 cited in Hurd and Rangwala, 12/12/2001]
People and organizations involved: Henry Gonzalez
          

1989

       The US learns that the Iraqi research center, “Saad 16,” is involved in the development of chemical and nuclear weapons. Three years earlier it had been discovered that the facility was developing ballistic missiles (see November 1986). The Commerce Department will continue to ship advanced technology products to the center. [Committee on Government Operations, House, “Strengthening the Export Licensing System” cited in Hurd and Rangwala 12/12/2001]
          

March 1989

       CIA director William Webster acknowledges to Congress that Iraq is the largest producer of chemical weapons in the world. [US Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, “Chemical and Biological Weapons Threat: The Urgent Need for Remedies,” Hearings, 101st Congress, 1st Session, 1 March 1989, pp. 27-45 cited in Jentleson 1994, p. 106]
People and organizations involved: William H. Webster, US Congress
          

March 24, 1989

       Secretary of State James Baker receives a memo from the State Department informing him that Iraq is aggressively developing chemical and biological weapons, as well as new missiles. In spite of this disturbing intelligence, the memo also instructs Baker to express the administration's “interest in broadening US-Iraqi ties” to Iraqi Undersecretary Kizam Hamdoon. [State Department memorandum, “Meeting with Iraqi Under Secretary Hamdoon,” 24 March 1989, cited in Jentleson 1994, p. 107]
People and organizations involved: James Baker, Kizam Hamdoon
          

August 1989

       Christopher Drogoul, the manager of the Italian Banca Nazionale del Lavoro's branch in Atlanta, is charged with making unauthorized, clandestine and illegal loans to Iraq. The loans were used by Iraq to develop its weapons programs (see 1985-1989). [Columbia Journalism Review, March/April 1993]
People and organizations involved: Christopher Drogoul, Italian Banca Nazionale del Lavoro
          

October 2, 1989

       By this date, all international banks have cut off loans to Iraq. Notwithstanding, President Bush signs National Security Directive 26 establishing closer ties to the Baghdad regime and providing $1 billion in agricultural loan guarantees to that government. These funds allow Iraq to continue its development of weapons of mass destruction. [US President 10/2/1989; Wall Street Journal 7/10/2002; Frantz and Waas 2/23/1992 cited in Hurd and Rangwala, 12/21/2001]
People and organizations involved: George Herbert Walker Bush
          
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