Arms sales to Iraq 1973–1990

Arms sales to Iraq 1973–1990

=Imports of conventional arms by Iraq 1973-1990, by source=

Values are shown in millions of US dollars at constant (1990) estimated values. "Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact" includes Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. The majority of these transfers came from the Soviet Union, followed by Czechoslovakia.

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

SIPRI makes the following comment of the methodology of this table: "The SIPRI data on arms transfers refer to actual deliveries of major conventional weapons. To permit comparison between the data on such deliveries of different weapons and identification of general trends, SIPRI uses a trend-indicator value. The SIPRI values are therefore only an indicator of the volume of international arms transfers and not of the actual financial values of such transfers."

As a comment on these statistics, SIPRI's data are founded on open sources (newspapers, journals, declassified documents etc) "The type of open information used by SIPRI cannot provide a comprehensive picture of world arms transfers. Published reports often provide only partial information, and substantial disagreement among reports is common. Order and delivery dates, exact numbers, types of weapon and the identity of suppliers or recipients may not always be clear." [cite web
title= Sources used in compiling the database
publisher= Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
accessdate= 2008-03-22

Arms suppliers to Iraq

The table shows the majority of conventional (non-WMD) arms imported by Iraq during the 1970s, when the regime was building up the armies which were to attack Iran in 1980, were supplied by the Soviet Union and its satellites, principally Czechoslovakia. The only substantial western arms supplier to Iraq was France, which continued to be a major supplier until 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait and all legal arms transfers to Iraq ended.

The United States did not supply any arms to Iraq until 1982, when Iran's growing military success alarmed American policymakers. It then did so every year until 1988. Although most other countries never hesitated to sell military hardware directly to Saddam Hussein's regime, the United States, equally keen to protect its interests in the region, adopted a more subtle approach. Howard Teicher served on the National Security Council as director of Political-Military Affairs. According to his 1995 affidavit and other interviews with former Regan and Bush administration officials, the Central Intelligence Agency secretly directed armaments and high-tech components to Iraq through false fronts and friendly third parties such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait, and they quietly encouraged rogue arms dealers and other Private military companies to do the same:

:"The CIA, including both CIA Director Casey and Deputy Director Gates, knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to Iraq. My notes, memoranda and other documents in my NSC files show or tend to show that the CIA knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin military weapons, munitions and vehicles to Iraq."

The full extent of these covert transfers is not yet known. Teicher's files on the subject are held securely at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and many other Reagan era documents that could help shine new light on the subject remain classified.

In 1996 the Scott Report in the UK investigated arms sales to Iraq in the 1980s by Matrix Churchill in what became known as the Arms-to-Iraq scandal.

Table of major conventional arms sales to Iraq by country

[ [ SIPRI] ]

Political implications

The Soviet Union and her satellites were the main suppliers of arms to Iraq following the 1972 signing of the Soviet-Iraqi Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. France was another important supplier of weapons to Iraq during the 1970s. The United States, the world's leading arms exporter, did not have normal relations with Iraq from 1967 (due to the Six-Day War) until 1984.

Soviet-Iraqi relations suffered strains in the late 1970s. When Iraq invaded Iran in 1980, the Soviet Union cut off weapons sales to Iraq and did not resume them until 1982. During the war, the People's Republic of China became a major new source of weapons for Iraq, with increasing sales from France, the United Kingdom, and Egypt. At this point the United States also began assisting Iraq through its CIA maintained Bear Spares military aid program, which arranged for Soviet-made spare parts and ammunition to be sent to Baghdad. "If the Bear Spares were manufactured outside the United States, then the United States could arrange for the provision of these weapons to a third country without direct involvement," Howard Teacher recalled.

After the fall of the Soviet Union and of the communist regimes in its former satellites, and with the alienation of many western and Arab countries from Iraq following the invasion of Kuwait, Iraq became increasingly isolated internationally during the early 1990s. As years of inspection regimes and the aggressive enforcement of established no fly zones wore on, Iraq began to rely on the diplomatic support of France, Russia, and China.

During the controversy over the April 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, the issue of US arms exports to Iraq became important politically; opponents of military action frequently mentioned US support for Iraq during the Iraq-Iran War (despite its official neutrality) as an argument that US motivations for invading Iraq were not humanitarian, whereas supporters were quick to recall French, Soviet (and by extension, Russian), Chinese, as well as German sales of conventional and unconventional weapons to the regime.

ources and References

*Kenneth R. Timmerman, "The Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq". New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991.
*Friedman Alan, "Spider's Web: The Secret History of how the White House Illegally Armed Iraq". New York, Bantam Books, 1993.
*Jentleson Bruce, "With friends like these: Reagan, Bush, and Saddam, 1982-1990". New York, W. W. Norton, 1994.
*Phythian Mark, "Arming Iraq: How the U.S. and Britain Secretly Built Saddam's War Machine". Boston, Northeastern University Press, 1997.

ee also

*Arms trade
*British Arms-to-Iraq affair
*The Riegle Report
*U.S. support for Iraq and Iran during the Iran-Iraq war
*Iraq-gate (Gulf War)

External links

* [*/ Arms transfers to Iraq, 1970-2004] from SIPRI (via
* [ Soviet Union] country guide
*A [ timeline] of U.S. support for Saddam against Iran.
* [ Statement by former NSC official Howard Teicher] dated 1/31/95, to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida. [ Plain text version]
* [ Statement of Henry B. Gonzalez, Chairman, House Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs on Iraq-gate]
* [ U.S. Senate Riegle Report] - details U.S. shipments of bioweapons material to Iraq
* [ University of Sussex report]
* [ A Global Policy Forum Report]
*A [ full list] of those companies and their involvements in Iraq [] [] .
* [ Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984] from the "National Security Archive".

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