3rd party (foreign nationality) forces active in Iran-Iraq war?

3rd party (foreign nationality) forces active in Iran-Iraq war?

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During the 8 year war between both countries many other 3rd party countries were involved too, in both supplying arms and experts, but I'm faced with claims of a major number of foreign soldiers being active in the field from ground troops to pilots and a number of them being captivated as POW.

I couldn't find a source on this and need to know the nationality and number of any major 3rd party troops in that war.

  • I'm not mentioning any side since I'm interested to find out about both side's possible foreign troops.
  • This question is not asking about a small number of foreign involvement (Tech or Intel people), I'm looking for hundreds of soldiers.

I've searched already list of POW's by both sides, and the Wikipedia page of supporters and the sources on the page but couldn't find a mention of any foreigners in a reliable source. The Iranian documentary that got me interested in finding out about the matter claimed POW's from 17 other countries both voluntary and commissioned. The mentioned list was,

Somali, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Morocco, Yemen, Oman

Well the documentary didn't mention a source and just showed some photos, I can guess from the propaganda of Saddam in the time many Arab nations would support him against a none Arab and Shia 1 country, So that some small number of people would voluntarily take part in the war both to get paid and for religious aims. But has that number gone up to hundreds?

Interesting: A friend also told me of French pilots bombing Iran and one of them being taken as POW, take a look at this video.

1 one of two major sects of Islam popular in Iran and the other being Sunni popular in Arab world.

AFAIK no country supplied troops in anything approaching an official capacity.
Of course that doesn't mean they weren't there, but if they were there it would not be something the countries in question would want to be known so it's highly unlikely you're going to find official sources to corroborate any claims.
More likely is that some international mercenary companies signed up with one combatant or the other (or even both) to provide specialty services and staff. That too would not be documented anywhere in public view. Those groups are rather secretive by nature (of course) and so are the parties hiring them.
I seriously doubt that either channel would lead to a large number of foreigners from any one country serving on either side.

3rd party (foreign nationality) forces active in Iran-Iraq war? - History

The US has run into a serious impasse in its negotiations for a nuclear agreement with Iran. The agreement was to serve as the enabling vehicle for our supplying Iran with approximately 6 to 8 large nuclear power plants and the associated enriched uranium fuel, and for possible Iranian investment in the next US gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment plant.

Our basic position for these negotiations was set forth in NSDM 292 (Tab D). 2 Consistent with those guidelines, which were intended to strengthen our nuclear safeguards, we have been seeking the right to approve where the US supplied fuel can be reprocessed and the resulting weapons-usable plutonium retained. Our objective is to preclude reprocessing and storage in wholly national facilities. We have, however, assured the government of Iran that we would permit our fuels to be reprocessed in Iran on a suitable multinational basis.

In the past, Iran also has expressed an interest in contributing up to 20% of the cost of the next, privately built US gaseous diffusion plant. Iran would then be entitled to receive 20% of the output of the plant. We have informed Iran that we would permit it to physically receive such amounts of this material as are necessary for its own reactors and for pass-through fabrication for use in third countries with whom we have agreements. The remainder of Iran’s proposed share of the output, which would be in excess of such needs, would be stored in the US until actually needed in Iran or in a third country acquiring its fuel through Iran.

While our first round of negotiations, which were held in Tehran last April, were positive and hopeful, 3 the Iranian position appears to [Page 474] have hardened significantly in the interim. In April, the only serious issue separating the two sides was Iran’s desire to assure that it could reprocess US plutonium in a national plant if a multinational facility could not be established. However, recently we were advised by the head of the Iranian AEC that several of our proposals have been rejected, and that the Shah is unwilling to accept any safeguards other than those required by virtue of Iran’s obligations as a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty ( NPT ).

(a) strongly criticized our desire to retain a right to veto where supplied materials can be reprocessed

(b) indicated vigorous objections to our proposal which would have limited the amount of Iranian-owned enriched fuel that could actually be transferred for storage in that country and

(c) expressed the desire that any assurances that we might give them as to how we exercise our proposed rights of approval over reprocessing should be incorporated in the text of the basic agreement rather than in a separate note as we had proposed.

This reaction to our proposals has placed us in the position of having to decide whether to stand firm or to modify the “extra” safeguards we have sought. Also, in the background is the prospect of an acrimonious and possibly unsuccessful attempt to obtain the required Congressional approval of an agreement with Iran which does not contain strong safeguards, particularly with regard to reprocessing. Without volunteering any specifics, the Department of State has already informed Congress that the Iranian agreement would include more rigorous controls than found in earlier US agreements.

Two additional complicating factors are the prospect that the FRG and France will be willing to supply nuclear reactors with less rigorous safeguards than proposed by the US, and the crisis we are currently experiencing in our bilateral relations with Iran. Several serious problems, particularly those concerning oil revenues and the escalating cost of US-supplied military equipment, have shaken the Shah’s confidence in Iran’s special relationship with the US, thereby magnifying the importance he will attach to the success or failure of efforts to obtain acceptable terms from the US for a nuclear agreement.

Review of our Alternatives and Recommended Actions

The interagency non-proliferation working group prepared an analysis of our alternatives for further negotiations with Iran (Tab C), 4 [Page 475] and agency views have been obtained (Tab B). 5 The most important conclusion is that found in State’s memorandum. Namely, that prior to the active resumption of negotiations, an approach to the Shah should be undertaken by senior political and scientific officers, with the objective of sharing directly with the Shah the reasons why we attach such importance to the avoidance of the widespread proliferation of national reprocessing capabilities, as well as the technical and economic factors which favor the deferral for some time of reprocessing decisions abroad and the ultimate establishment of multinational or binational centers serving regional needs.

In such an approach, we would be able (1) to ascertain directly the Shah’s views on the development of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, (2) to gauge whether and to what degree the Shah personally holds the view that Iran would find controls beyond those of the NPT unacceptable, and (3) to elicit his views on possible alternate approaches to international reprocessing. The approach would be on a broad philosophical level, pointing out to him the hazards to worldwide stability, in which Iran has such a major stake, if nuclear weapons or the capability to produce them continue to spread. (In this regard, the Shah undoubedly is apprehensive about India’s demonstrated nuclear explosive capacity and Pakistan’s well-advanced efforts to obtain a reprocessing plant but he would be most concerned about the future nuclear capabilities of his Arab neighbors.) We would suggest that our agreement can constitute an act of joint world leadership in dealing with the issue of proliferation in an age of burgeoning nuclear power, and could explore the Iranian idea of an ultimate strengthening of the safeguards provisions of the NPT . We would attempt, in general, to enlist Iran’s positive support rather than cause it to feel that we seek to impose our will on them. It is, of course, hoped that these discussions would serve to moderate or overcome any such views which the Shah may hold, and thus to create the most favorable possible climate for the resumption of negotiations.

This proposal makes a great deal of sense since we really are uncertain as to the Shah’s basic views and his flexibility. We have, most recently, not been negotiating with Iran but with ourselves.

The interagency study and the agency comments proposed a number of possible fallbacks for the US position on reprocessing, including imposition of US safeguards procedures in Iran in addition to [Page 476] those of the IAEA, plutonium buy-back, uranium exchange for plutonium, and guaranteed external reprocessing services. However, we are not at all sure if these fallbacks address the Shah’s main concern. Also, the fallbacks are not agreed among the agencies, and to resolve that problem now would require a detailed, controversial decision by you on a US position that might not be acceptable to the Shah.

It seems much more sensible to sanction the proposed talks, allow some flexibility in the exploratory discussions, and thereby ascertain with more accuracy the alternate approaches to the reprocessing question that may be necessary to reach agreement with Iran. We would then be in a position to judge the acceptability of these alternatives in relation to our own non-proliferation objectives, and to make some soundings on the Hill . We would, after these steps, seek your decision on a definite proposal which would be expected to be acceptable to Iran and to have a fighting chance in Congress. The agencies are now agreeable to this approach, and I recommend it to you.

All agencies also agree that:

—We should allow Iran to receive and store all enriched uranium to which it might be entitled by reason of an investment in US private enrichment firms ( UEA or prospective centrifuge enrichment companies), as long as any retransfer is to countries with which the US has an appropriate agreement for cooperation. (This step should improve the outlook for Iran’s investment in private US ventures, which will increase the chances that they can get off the ground and make private enrichment a reality.)

—We should determine that Iran still has a serious interest in acquiring US nuclear equipment and material, and that our negotiation is not just an exercise.

The above decisions are embodied in a memorandum (Tab A) 6 which has been coordinated with the agencies.

In reviewing this memorandum, Jim Cannon expressed concern that US efforts to deter proliferation by advancing the concept of multinational reprocessing might constrain our policies with respect to the development of our domestic reprocessing industry. Jim Cannon and I have agreed that our efforts on the multinational concept will in no way restrict the development of our domestic policy with respect to reprocessing, restrict our choices as to the respective roles of industry and government in that industry, or commit us to the involvement of other nations in financing and ownership of our US centers. The decision memorandum at Tab A reflects this separation of our international and domestic efforts vis-à-vis reprocessing.

3rd party (foreign nationality) forces active in Iran-Iraq war? - History

This is the eighth in a series of articles on the history of Iraq and its relationship with the US. The previous installments were posted on March 12, 13, 16, 17, 19, 24 and 26. This article examines the end of the Iran-Iraq war and the consequences of the war for Iraqi society. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes are from declassified national security documents made available by the National Security Archive at

American military intervention in the Iran-Iraq war

As we have detailed in previous articles, the United States drew steadily closer to Iraq throughout the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. Washington restored full diplomatic relations, US intelligence actively aided the Iraqi war effort, and, through ready credit guarantees and financial aid, the US insured that Iraq had the ability to continue the wa r despite the heavy cost. These close ties developed in spite of the increasingly brutal character of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship and Iraq’s repeated use of chemical weapons.

During the final years of the war, 1987 and 1988, US involvement on the side of Iraq took on a direct military aspect. After a brief flirtation with the idea of improving relations with Iran through the illegal sale of arms to the country (details of which emerged in the Iran-Contra scandal which broke in late 1986), the Reagan administration shifted decisively behind Iraq.

This shift took place shortly after an incident which, under other circumstances, would have had the exact opposite effect: the Iraqi attack on the American ship USS Stark, which was stationed in the Persian Gulf. In May 1987, an Iraqi plane fired two missiles at the Stark, killing 37 American sailors. Saddam Hussein apologized and called it an accident. The Reagan administration accepted the apology and Iraq’s explanation. Except for some lingering disputes over how much the Iraqi government should pay to compensate the families of the American forces killed, the event did not harm US-Iraq relations.

Iran alleged that the incident was not accidental at all, but a deliberate attempt by Iraq to escalate tensions in the Gulf. The purpose, Iran claimed, was to force Washington to take a more active role in guaranteeing oil shipments from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Indeed, the attack did have this effect. President Reagan issued a statement declaring the commitment of the US to press Iran for a cease-fire and reiterating the American intention of securing an arms embargo against Iran. Only two weeks after the incident, Richard Armitage, the assistant secretary of defense, stated, “We can’t stand to see Iraq defeated.”1

An important aspect of US involvement was its decision in mid-1987 to agree to Kuwait’s leasing of American oil tankers (a practice known as re-flagging), which were then provided with a US naval escort. In effect, the US military was guaranteeing the security of Kuwaiti oil shipments that were coming under attack from Iran. Historian Dilip Hiro notes, “After three years of striving, Iraq had finally succeeded, through its ally Kuwait, in internationalizing the conflict, with one superpower poised firmly against Iran.”2

Throughout 1987 and 1988, US involvement increased steadily. In September 1987, the US Navy attacked an Iranian ship that was allegedly laying mines, killing three sailors. In October, the US targeted two offshore Iranian oil rigs in retaliation for an Iranian attack on a Kuwaiti tanker. That tanker had not been re-flagged, thus signaling a new stage in US efforts to secure oil shipments.

These actions continued despite the most serious incidence of Iraqi chemical weapons use up to that point. On March 16, 1988, Iraq used cyanide and nerve gas against the largely Kurdish citizens of the northern city of Halabja. More than 4,000 people were killed, mostly civilians.

Internal State Department documents reiterated the position of the US on chemical weapons use: that it should be opposed in general, but that Iraq’s use of the weapons should not be cause for damaging relations between Iraq and the US. In late 1988, the Reagan administration opposed attempts by members of Congress to pass a resolution imposing economic sanctions on Iraq for its use of chemical weapons.

By mid-1988, Iraq was winning back much of the territory that it had lost to Iran in previous years. A victory of Iraq on the Fao Peninsula took place simultaneously with a series of US attacks on Iranian ships in the Southern Gulf.

A memo dated April 18, 1988, from the American embassy in Baghdad to the US Department of State notes the sensitivity of the Saddam Hussein regime to charges of working with the United States. “Only one of four principal [Iraqi] dailies picked up on US-Iranian altercations [in the Southern Gulf], a subject it relegated to its back pages. Iraq is obviously sensitive to allegations it colluded with the US, and so is downplaying coverage, but there is no doubt that Iraqi officials are delighted at the bloody nose we have given the Iranians.”

The event that led to the end of the war did not involve Iraq at all. On July 3, 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian passenger plane, killing 290 people. While the US made the dubious claim that the plane had been mistaken for a warplane, Iran interpreted the act as a sign of a new stage in American support for Iraq. This eventually led to Iran’s acceptance of a UN Security Council Resolution ending the conflict.

Iran faced a situation in which both superpowers supported Iraq. In spite of a brief shift toward Iran, the USSR continued to supply Iraq with weapons and opposed an expansion of Iran’s influence. Hiro notes that “in the wake of the Iranian airbus disaster, Tehran had two stark choices: either to escalate confrontation with America in the Gulf and/or elsewhere, or to accept unconditionally Security Council Resolution 598. It chose the latter.”3

Consequences of the war for Iraqi society and politics

The war exacted a heavy price on the economy and society of both participants. An estimated 250,000 Iraqis had been killed and many more wounded over the course of the eight years. Iranian casualties were even higher.

Iraq, which entered the war with over $30 billion in foreign currency reserves, ended it with a debt burden of $80 billion, owed largely to the Gulf monarchies and Western powers. The oil industry had been crippled from Iranian attacks and oil revenue had declined substantially, in spite of the construction of new pipelines through Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

The debt burden and growing dependence on the West for capital and imports encouraged a rightward trajectory by the Iraqi ruling elite on both domestic and foreign policy issues.

A State Department information memorandum from March 1988 made an evaluation of these tendencies as they related to US interests. The memo was entitled “Iraq’s Foreign Policy: Deeper into the Mainstream,” and was written by Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research Morton Abramowitz.

Abramowitz noted with approval the “moderation” of Iraqi policy over the previous decade, by which he meant its growing confluence with US interests. He traced the shift back to the 1970s, citing the Algiers Accord of 1975 and the repression of the Iraqi Communist Party in the late 1970s.

“Iraq’s alignment on Palestinian issues with the ‘moderate’ Arab states,” he wrote, “contrasts with Baghdad’s former leading role in opposition to Israel. Iraq’s peaceful ties with most other area states differ from its support in the early 1970s for left-wing and subversive elements within their countries.”

The war forced Iraq to move closer to the US and its allies in the Middle East. “Iraq increasingly turned to the West (initially France) an about face on Egypt followed. Iraq also became more dependent on [NATO member] Turkey, as its only oil outlet for a time. Expanded pipelines through Saudi Arabia and Turkey now give new permanence to Iraq’s vital economic links with its pro-Western neighbors. Baghdad’s relations with the Soviet union have not returned to the old cordiality.”

On the domestic front, the Baath Party had progressively abandoned any pretext of implementing socialist policies. In the course of the war, it had been forced to scale back development programs. Some were continued, largely because there were so many elements within the Baath Party bureaucracy with a vested interest in these expenditures. To the extent that it could no longer appeal to the social grievances of the Iraqi masses, the government emphasized the importance of religion as a cohesive force. It abandoned its previous advocacy of pan-Arabism for an Iraqi nationalism centered on the interests of the Sunni elite of the north.

The prolonged war meant that an even greater role was given to the military hierarchy, and the domestic police apparatus was strengthened as an integral part of the dictatorship. During the 1980s, political criticism of the Baath Party with the intent of provoking unrest was made punishable by death. The personality cult around Saddam Hussein was promoted as the limited social base of the Baath Party withered away. Hussein’s power derived from the fact that he headed the state apparatus and spoke in the interests of an increasingly rapacious and isolated bureaucracy.

To meet the needs of the Iraqi war machine and the servicing of government debt, the Baath Party stepped up attacks on the working class. The huge proportion of Iraqi males serving in the army led to a drive to increase productivity from those who remained in the labor force.

A decree in February 1987 abolished protections previously granted to state workers, prohibiting them from joining trade unions. All workers were forced to work longer hours.

Hussein himself noted, “The purpose [of these measures] is plain: it is to increase production. For example, we want 12 hours of work every day. We’ll say everybody works 12 hours per day, and there would not be people who work eight hours.” He ordered officials to “pay as much attention to economic affairs as to political ideology.” That is, they should not allow any pretense of socialist principles to get in the way of the exploitation of the working class.4

“The immediate impact of the official measures,” writes Hiro, “was to reassure the numerous foreign creditors, who were pleasantly surprised to hear the finance minister say that Iraq had balanced its current trade account for the first half of 1987.”5

These measures continued after the war. The Iraqi state began to privatize state-run industries, and some price caps on consumer goods were removed. A CIA briefing from April 1990 noted that the debt burden was “the major constraint to Iraq’s postwar economic recovery. Iraq’s extensive use of foreign loans since 1982 has transformed it from one of the Third World’s richest countries and net creditors into one of its problem debtors.” The memo continued: “Iraq will probably continue to secure debt relief—including limited new credits—from most of its creditors, who have little other choice if they hope to receive any repayment or compete in the potentially lucrative postwar Iraqi market.”

That is, Iraq would be able to manage its debt if it made concessions to foreign corporations that were competing to secure oil and reconstruction contracts.

In June 1989, Saddam Hussein met with a delegation of powerful US corporations—including the presidents of Kellogg, Brown and Root, the construction company later bought up by Halliburton, and Westinghouse—to reassure them that Iraq was committed to stable relations with the US. “The road is open to us,” said Hussein, “and we want to cooperate.”

A State Department transcription of the meeting states: “Saddam added that no matter what may occur. he has personally made a decision to ‘cooperate with you’ and this decision ‘will not be shaken.’” In return, he asked the corporations and the American government to continue placing pressure on Iran.

Ultimately, these moves to accommodate American and European imperialism floundered on the determination of the American ruling class to pursue its interests more forcefully than Hussein was prepared to allow, a determination that received a giant impulse with the decline of the Soviet Union. The shift in American policy after the end of the Iran-Iraq War will be analyzed in the next and last article in this series.

1. Quoted from Dilip Hiro, The Longest War, Routledge, New York, 1991. p. 186
2. Ibid., p. 187
3. Ibid., p. 240
4. Ibid., p 196
5. Ibid., p 196

U.S. Secretly Gave Aid to Iraq Early in Its War Against Iran

The Reagan Administration secretly decided to provide highly classified intelligence to Iraq in the spring of 1982 -- more than two years earlier than previously disclosed -- while also permitting the sale of American-made arms to Baghdad in a successful effort to help President Saddam Hussein avert imminent defeat in the war with Iran, former intelligence and State Department officials say.

The American decision to lend crucial help to Baghdad so early in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war came after American intelligence agencies warned that Iraq was on the verge of being overrun by Iran, whose army was bolstered the year before by covert shipments of American-made weapons.

The New York Times and others reported last year that the Reagan Administration secretly decided shortly after taking office in January 1981 to allow Israel to ship several billion dollars' worth of American arms and spare parts to Iran. That intervention and the decision to aid Iraq directly in 1982 provide evidence that Washington played a much greater role than was previously known in affecting the course of the long and costly Iran-Iraq war. U.S. Asserted Neutrality

The interventions also raise questions about the White House's often-stated insistence in the early 1980's that it was remaining neutral in the Iran-Iraq war, since the United States was arming both sides in its desire to see neither side dominate the vital oil region.

In the end, officials acknowledged, American arms, technology and intelligence helped Iraq avert defeat and eventually grow, with much help from the Soviet Union later, into the regional power that invaded Kuwait in August 1990, sparking the Persian Gulf war last year.

The covert Reagan Administration decision to supply intelligence to Iraq was initially reported by The Washington Post in December 1986 the newspaper said collaboration began in late 1984. There have been numerous other reports on elements of the program since then.

But interviews over the past two months with several dozen present and former State Department, White House and intelligence officials who were directly involved in the policy confirm that the decision came much earlier, while the Administration also ignored the illegal transfer of American-made arms by Iraq's Arab allies and eventually replaced the weapons that had been shipped to Iraq.

In the interviews, it also emerged that:

*The Administration did not inform the Senate and House Intelligence Committees that the C.I.A. was passing intelligence to Iraq. Administration officials asserted that the program was nothing more than routine liaison between two intelligence agencies -- a generic and unscrutinized category of C.I.A. activity. Some committee aides, suspecting that the C.I.A. was shielding covert operations, tried without success in 1983 to gain jurisdiction over all liaison agreements.

*The C.I.A. also did not inform the committees that it had permitted American-made arms to be sold to Iraq. Starting in 1983, the agency also did not interfere as private American arms dealers began selling Iraq sophisticated Soviet arms purchased in Eastern Europe. One of the major arms brokers was Sarkis Soghanalian, a Lebanese-born Miami-based arms dealer who has been repeatedly linked in the last two decades to gun-running for the C.I.A. Mr. Soghanalian was convicted in Miami last fall of illegal arms trafficking to Iraq and is now awaiting sentencing.

*William J. Casey, then the Director of Central Intelligence, is believed by many American Middle East specialists to have traveled to Baghdad in the early 1980's for secret meetings with his Iraqi counterpart, Saddam Hussein's half-brother Barzan. A former C.I.A. official said that Robert M. Gates, now the Director of Central Intelligence, who was then a senior aide to Mr. Casey, was in charge of preparing the intelligence data for the Iraqis. The C.I.A. did not return a call asking for comment. Secret Is Kept At Gates Hearings

During Senate Intelligence Committee hearings last October on Mr. Gates's nomination as C.I.A. chief, neither Mr. Gates nor any of the other C.I.A. witnesses let on that the U.S.-Iraq intelligence-sharing thought to have begun in December 1984 had actually begun more than two years earlier. Nor did any witness reveal that the Reagan Administration had permitted Iraq's allies in the Middle East to ship American-made arms to Baghdad.

At one point during Mr. Gates's testimony, Senator Bill Bradley, the New Jersey Democrat, asked whether the intelligence-sharing with Iraq had amounted to a "covert action" that under law should have been made known to the intelligence committees.

"I believed at the time," Mr. Gates responded, "that the activities were fully consistent with the understanding" of the law then in effect, "as it related to liaison relationships."

The 1975 law, an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, forbids the use of C.I.A. money for covert activities "unless and until the President finds that each such operation . . . is important to the national security of the U.S. and reports in a timely fashion" to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees.

One Reagan Administration official who spent dozens of hours testifying before the intelligence committees said he believed that the Iraqi program should have been presented to the committees, but was not because of a concern that the members of the committees who supported Israel would object. Approval for Policy ɺt Highest Levels'

The decision to help Iraq was "not a C.I.A. rogue initiative," a former senior State Department official explained. The policy was researched at the State Department and "approved at the highest levels," he said. The idea, he added, was not to "hitch our wagon to Hussein."

"We wanted to avoid victory by both sides," he said.

The officials say that satellite imagery, communications intercepts and Central Intelligence Agency assessments were forwarded to Iraqi commanders to show them "where the Iranian weaknesses were," in the words of one American official. The United States continued to supply top-secret intelligence until the Iran-Iraq war ended in 1988.

Washington also "looked the other way," as a former American Ambassador in the region put it, as American-made arms began to flow into Baghdad from Iraq's allies in the Middle East, starting in 1982.

Jordan and Saudi Arabia sent Iraq small arms and mortars, among other weapons, and Kuwait sold the Iraqis thousands of TOW anti-tank missiles. A former C.I.A. official who worked closely with Mr. Casey recalled that "the Kuwaitis sent lots of money and lots of arms to Iraq, and it was all done with our knowledge." He also acknowledged that by 1982 the Jordanian military was routinely diverting American-made Huey helicopters to Iraq.

American officials made no effort to stop these sales, known to many in the Administration, even though American export law forbids the third-party transfer of American-made arms without Washington's permission.

The Reagan Administration had secretly changed policy toward Iran shortly after taking office in 1981, allowing the Israelis, bitter foes of Mr. Hussein, to ship American arms worth several billion dollars to Teheran. Those arms, former Administration officials now acknowledge, helped Iran defy initial predictions of a quick Iraqi victory and achieve important successes early in the war, which began with an Iraqi attack in September 1980.

Iraq's standing became precarious largely because the Soviet Union, Baghdad's longtime ally, had refused in the first two years of the war to provide it with military goods in the vain hope of gaining influence with Iran.

By late March 1982, American intelligence was reporting that Iraq was on the verge of collapse, creating fears in Washington and the region that Iran's Islamic fundamentalist Government would dominate the Persian Gulf and its huge oil reserves.

A new policy was quickly agreed upon, one senior Administration official recalled: "We don't want Iraq to lose the war." Iraq had to be aided, as Iran had been.

Nicholas A. Veliotes, then the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, headed the working group that was in charge of the policy. Another key player was Morris Draper, a ranking State Department expert who was President Reagan's special envoy to the Middle East then.

In interviews, some members of this group said they had authorized only the provision of intelligence to Baghdad they insisted that they had not known that Iraq's allies would sell Baghdad American-made arms. But these officials acknowledged that even the act of supplying intelligence to Saddam Hussein was a major change in foreign policy, one that had to remain secret.

"It was agreed that the public policy of the Administration, to remain even-handed, was not in the national interest," said one official. Still, he added, "We decided that it was not in the national interest to publicly announce a change in the policy." A Plea for Action From Jordan's King

One former senior American policymaker said King Hussein of Jordan had persuaded the Reagan Administration to help Iraq. During the same period when the King was urging his own subjects to volunteer for service with the Iraqi Army, Thomas A. Twetten, who was the C.I.A. station chief in Amman, brought the King's entreaty to Washington.

"The King's view," recalled one American official, "was: 'Look, here's Iraq. It's got the second-largest oil deposits in the world, a highly educated population and it's the most industrialized nation in the Middle East, with a huge army. And here's this exceptional figure, Saddam Hussein, running it. And you're not giving him the time of day. Hussein can be a disaster or he can be co-opted. I believe he can be co-opted, and I'll help.' "

With President Reagan's explicit approval, the official added, high-level intelligence began flowing to Mr. Twetten for relay to Iraq through the Jordanians. Within a few months, the official added, the C.I.A. stationed its own man in Baghdad "whose sole reason for being was to handle the intelligence."

Since last spring, at least two Congressional subcommittees have been investigating American policy toward the arming of Iraq. They are asking why both the Reagan and Bush Administrations continued military support for Iraq even after the war with Iran. One of them, a House Agriculture subcommittee, is investigating the use of Agriculture Department commodity credits to underwrite the sale of American high-tech goods to Iraq. In a hearing last August, the panel's chairman, Representative Charles Rose, Democrat of North Carolina, asked whether Mr. Hussein "may have misjudged how far he could go with George Bush because of this country's arms sales to Iraq."

Sam Gejdenson, a Connecticut Democrat whose House Foreign Affairs subcommittee is investigating the export of sensitive United States technology to Iraq, has argued that the Commerce Department's export control system "did not break down."

"Saddam Hussein got the equipment that the State Department wanted him to have," he said.

3rd party (foreign nationality) forces active in Iran-Iraq war? - History

As a member of a potential German federal coalition government with the Social Democrats and Greens, the Left Party would fully support the continuation of Germany’s foreign military operations and the rearmament of the armed forces. Anyone who doubts this should read the paper “Left-wing security policy” by Matthias Höhn. Between 2012 and 2017, Höhn was the Left Party’s head of federal affairs and serves today as the Left Party parliamentary group’s spokesperson on security policy.

The paper, released January 19, is virtually indistinguishable from the strategy papers advocating rearmament produced by foreign policy think tanks and the Defence Ministry. On all essential points, it supports the Christian Democrat/Social Democrat (SPD) grand coalition government’s militarist agenda. Höhn defends NATO, demands a massive rearmament programme for Germany’s armed forces, and calls for the establishment of a European army and the conducting of more “humanitarian” interventions under German leadership.

Höhn’s paper begins with the statement that the world is sorting itself “geopolitically anew” and that, as a consequence, the Left Party must be even more aggressive in its advocacy of German imperialism. Höhn writes that the Left Party can no longer afford “to react with knee-jerk reflexes or simply adopt the narratives of other states.” He continues, “The United States, Russia or China: Ultimately all sides are focused on geopolitical influence and economic interests, and all are ultimately prepared to break international regulations for their own benefit.” This is “never acceptable for a left-wing policy.”

Höhn’s line of argument corresponds with the official line of German foreign policy. This is that under conditions of mounting conflicts among the major powers, which have been intensified by the coronavirus pandemic, Germany and Europe must develop an independent imperialist foreign policy to enforce its geopolitical and economic interests more firmly against Russia and China—but above all against the United States. “The EU [European Union] must understand that it is a political actor with independent interests, goals and values, and act as such. This can and will repeatedly result in conflicts of interest, including with the United States,” he writes.

Höhn then appeals for the Left Party to set itself up explicitly as a militarist party. Its pacifist phrases must be replaced by a genuine agenda for rearmament and war. “The task arising out of this for the Left Party is to seriously agree on the goals and methods for a European security policy,” he states. “Isolated appeals for peace and disarmament come nowhere near to making the EU an active player in security policy. The people expect more.”

After three decades of US-led wars, the outbreak of a third world war, which would be fought with nuclear weapons, is an imminent and concrete danger.

Höhn’s concrete proposals of course do not correspond to the views of the people who oppose militarism and war following the two catastrophic world wars during the 20th century. Rather, they align with the demands of the most aggressive sections of German and European capital.

Here is a summary of Höhn’s most important demands:

Like leading representatives of the SPD and Greens, Höhn appeals for the transformation of the EU into a military union with its own army. “The almost exclusive national sovereignty in military and arms affairs to date cannot be a permanent left-wing answer,” writes Höhn. “The call for the EU’s greater strategic independence from the United States makes a deeper agreement within the EU on aspects of security policy unavoidable.” This includes “in the final analysis the abandonment of independent national sovereignty over the military and the replacement of at least relevant parts of the national armies with a unified European armed forces.”

The Left Party paper fully embraces the official propaganda about a depleted and totally run-down armed forces so as to justify the largest programme of rearmament since the end of World War II. Höhn writes, “The policy of defence spending austerity in the 1990s bled the armed forces dry materially, and it is said that many systems are completely outdated. Everyone has been talking for years about the poor combat-readiness of many core weapons systems. Nothing moves, nothing flies. This cannot be entirely dismissed. The reality is that many of these systems are reaching their third or fourth decades.”

Höhn cynically calls for the conducting of an “equipping debate” rather than a “rearmament debate.” This would mean that his party would have to more openly support the armed forces’ comprehensive armament procurements. “As long as the Left Party doesn’t demand the short-term dissolution of the armed forces, but instead correctly orients towards a new definition of its tasks … it must be capable of defining the means they wish to use to accomplish these,” according to Höhn. During previous legislative periods, “the Left party parliamentary group voted for almost no procurement for the armed forces, from the equipping of its personnel to the purchase of fighter jets.” This “blanket opposition” is “not a security policy doctrine.”

In the section “Invest 2 percent in security,” Höhn gives his backing to NATO’s 2 percent target for defence spending, which the German government first committed to at the NATO summit in Wales in 2014. This would mean an increase of the defence budget to more than €90 billion per year. Höhn argues that there are “good grounds to demand that societies collectively invest a minimum contribution in international security.”

The Left Party politician merely proposes shuffling the spending around a bit. “Those who conceive of security comprehensively and do not see military force as the only guarantor of stability” must “find other ways to fulfil such a target.” While the “current armed forces plan” assumes “that the 2 percent goal can be reached in personnel, equipment and financially by around 2030, this budgetary volume should instead be set aside for an equally balanced allocation for international cooperation and structures on the one hand, and the defence budget on the other, which would mean a 1-plus-1 percent goal.”

This proposal has nothing to do with pacifism, but on the contrary is aimed at strengthening and expanding Germany’s foreign interventions. In the final section of the paper, titled “Enforce the United Nations’ monopoly of force,” Höhn complains that the United Nations has been “significantly weakened over recent years as an actor in conflict prevention, and, when necessary, in conflict management.” he shares the call for “a stronger German engagement in UN peacekeeping missions” and “the appeal to Germany, under conditions of the suspension of payments by the US, to bear the cost of ensuring a greater financial independence for these missions.”

This is unambiguous. A federal government involving the Left Party would not mean fewer foreign interventions by Germany’s military, but more. Germany’s first military intervention since World War II in Kosovo was sold by the SPD/Green government at the time as a “peacekeeping mission.” The same applies to the current military mission in Mali and the army’s operations in the Middle East and Central Asia. “Conflict prevention” and “conflict management” are also well-known euphemisms for the military and civilian intervention into and occupation of geostrategically important and resource-rich countries.

The fact that the Left Party’s security policy spokesman has presented such a warmongering paper just weeks ahead of the party’s congress at the end of February does not come as a surprise. The Left Party has supported the return of German militarism from the outset and was involved, in the person of its former foreign policy spokesman, Stefan Liebich, in the drafting of the notorious think tank paper “New power—new responsibilities” in 2013. The document served as a blueprint for the imperialist speeches of then German President Joachim Gauck and his successor, the Social Democrat Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at the Munich Security Conference in 2014.

Since then, the Left Party has ever more openly endorsed the German government’s aggressive foreign policy agenda, including the far-right coup in Ukraine, and the imperialist interventions in Syria and Iraq. Over recent months, parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch and current foreign policy spokesman Gregor Gysi have repeatedly declared their support for NATO and the German armed forces’ foreign interventions.

With its latest paper, the Left Party is serving as an out-and-out mouthpiece for German militarism. In the appendix to his remarks, Höhn acknowledges for the record that his proposals were not only “motivated by discussions with many of our party’s comrades,” but also “with members of the armed forces.”

3rd party (foreign nationality) forces active in Iran-Iraq war? - History

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233 Responses to Welcome to Mr Allsop History . com

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You need two arguments on each side to secure up to 9 marks – add a fully supported conclusion to that if you are aiming for the full 10. So you are really aiming for 4 main body paragraphs plus a fifth which is the conclusion.

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Early life

Saddam, the son of peasants, was born in a village near the city of Tikrīt in northern Iraq. The area was one of the poorest in the country, and Saddam himself grew up in poverty. His father died before he was born, and he went at an early age to live with an uncle in Baghdad.

He joined the Baʿath Party in 1957. In 1959 he participated in an unsuccessful attempt by Baʿathists to assassinate the Iraqi prime minister, ʿAbd al-Karīm Qāsim Saddam was wounded in the attempt and escaped first to Syria and then to Egypt. He attended Cairo Law School (1962–63) and continued his studies at Baghdad Law College after the Baʿathists took power in Iraq in 1963. The Baʿathists were overthrown that same year, however, and Saddam spent several years in prison in Iraq. He escaped, becoming a leader of the Baʿath Party, and was instrumental in the coup that brought the party back to power in 1968. Saddam effectively held power in Iraq along with the head of state, Pres. Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr, and in 1972 he directed the nationalization of Iraq’s oil industry.

3rd party (foreign nationality) forces active in Iran-Iraq war? - History

Despite the physical distance between the United States and the Middle East, U.S. influence has been felt in every country within the region. Throughout the 20th century, strategic interests, including a longstanding competition with the Soviet Union, have provoked a variety of U.S. interventions ranging from diplomatic overtures of friendship to full-blown war.

American economic interests -- particularly in assuring access to Middle Eastern oil -- have long motivated presidents and lawmakers to intervene in the region. In addition, strong cultural ties bind American Jews, Arab Americans, Iranian Americans, and Turkish Americans, among others, to the area, and these interest groups seek to make their voices heard in the U.S. foreign policy arena.

For most of the 20th century and now into the 21st, the U.S. has had global interests and a global reach to match. In the Middle East, the U.S. has made itself a key player by using its diplomatic, economic, and military power in support of its national interests.

In 1919, in an effort led by President Woodrow Wilson, the League of Nations (a precursor to the current United Nations) was formed. The League soon handed down a series of mandates laying out the colonial boundaries of the Middle East in the territories of the now-defunct Ottoman Empire. These boundaries continue to shape many of the region's political realities.

The U.S. enjoyed a generally positive reputation in the region at the end of World War I. Nationalists cited President Wilson's Fourteen Points Proposal for ending the war, which enshrined the principle of self-determination, in justifying their demands for self-representation. After the war, the U.S. sent a commission to the region to ask local populations what political arrangement they would prefer. All wanted complete independence, but if that was impossible, they hoped for supervision by the U.S. rather than by the British and French mandatory powers that were actually installed as a result of the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916.

The U.S. began to involve itself more deeply in regional politics in the late 1940s. It acted to support what it saw as its national interests, the most important being fighting the Communists during the Cold War, ensuring a steady supply of oil, and making sure that no single power dominated the region. More recently, it added fighting terrorism. The U.S. has supported leaders and governments it considered to be stable allies, like the Saudi royal family, Israel, and Egyptian governments since Anwar Sadat.

The United States was distrustful of the regime of Gamal Abd al-Nasser after the Egyptian Revolution deposed King Faruq. The U.S. under President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles expressed distaste for the government of Nasser and his policies of non-alignment and Arab socialism. After Washington turned down his request for assistance to build the Aswan High Dam, Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956 to pay for the dam construction. Nasser's nationalization of the Suez Canal was met by a joint attack on the Canal and Sinai peninsula by Britain, France, and Israel, but they were forced to withdraw by the United Nations, with U.S. and Soviet support.

Egypt turned toward the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc to build the Aswan High Dam, buy arms, and import wheat. U.S.-Egyptian relations suffered until President Anwar Sadat ousted the Soviet advisors and began orienting his economic and foreign policies toward the West. After the historic Camp David Accords resulted in a treaty between Egypt and its neighbor Israel, the U.S. rewarded President Sadat's peace initiative with a substantial, long-term aid package.

Terror and Tehran Video Excerpt (6:11) Watch

Concerned about growing Soviet influence in Iran during the Cold War, the U.S. toppled the regime of Iran's elected prime minister Mohammed Mossadeq, who intended to nationalize the Iranian oil industry. The U.S.-backed coup against Mossadeq in 1953 reinforced the power of the young Mohammed Reza, Shah of Iran.

The pro-Western Shah was viewed by many in Iran as increasingly autocratic and oppressive. He tried to institute many Western social reforms by decree, and his secret police, SAVAK, viciously silenced opposition voices. A 1979 Islamist revolution against the Shah's regime swept a new kind of Islamic state into power, the Islamic Republic of Iran, governed by Islamic jurists and scholars. The popular hatred of the Shah also tarred his American supporters, and the revolution's anti-American passion led to the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, where 53 hostages were held for more than a year.

The U.S. supported Iraq's Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), when Iran's new post-revolutionary Islamic regime appeared to be the region's biggest threat.

Hussein, however, has since become a significant focus of American anger because of his invasion of Kuwait in 1990 -- which led to the Gulf War -- in an effort to control more of the region's oil. His known desire to develop weapons of mass destruction is also a concern. The U.S. began bombing Iraqi targets during the Gulf War and continues to enforce a no-fly zone.

The U.S.-led economic embargo of Iraq, intended to force Hussein from power and keep Iraq from rearming and further developing weapons of mass destruction, has had a devastating impact on the health and living conditions of the Iraqi people, and sympathetic Arabs hold this grievance against the United States.

Palestine - A Unifying Symbol? (4:27) Watch

The product of an energetic Zionist effort that began before the turn of the century, Israel was intended to be a national home for Jews and a place for them to return to their roots, both spiritually and physically. Many, including nearly 75,000 European Jews escaping persecution from Nazi Germany, found refuge there. But its creation came at a price. In addition to the many Jews who died struggling to create the new state, many Arabs were killed -- and hundreds of thousands of Arabs were either displaced by Jewish settlers from areas where they had been living or became unwilling citizens of Israel.

Death Tolls of the Iran-Iraq War

By Charles Kurzman
October 31, 2013

The Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988 scarred both countries deeply, with horrific fighting at the battlefront and long-range missile attacks on cities.

But postwar censuses in Iran and Iraq suggest that the war’s death toll may not be nearly as high as is commonly thought.

The war is often said to have caused half a million or more deaths. The Battle Deaths Dataset, developed by a team of political scientists, estimates fatalities at more than 600,000. The Correlates of War Project, another major scholarly dataset, estimates 500,000 Iraqi dead and 750,000 Iranian dead.

Iranian and Iraqi government officials offer lower — though still terrible — casualty figures. One of Saddam Husayn’s generals, Ra’ad al-Hamdani, recently estimated that 250,000 Iraqis were “martyred” in the war with Iran, including 53,000 killed in the battle for Shatt al-Arab. The Iranian Basij [copy of material on dead link] paramilitary organization counted 155,081 “martyrs” of direct engagement with Iraqi forces, plus 16,154 Iranians killed in the “war of the cities.” A reformist Iranian newspaper reported 172,056 fatalities at the front and 15,959 fatalities from air raids and rockets. [Update, December 24, 2013: A scholarly article based on the records of the Veteran and Martyrs Affairs Foundation, a government agency, recently counted 183,623 Iranian deaths as a result of the war.]

Even these official tallies may be overestimating the death toll of the war, if we believe birth-cohort data from the Iranian census of 1996 and Iraqi census of 1997, the first national population counts after the war ended in 1988.

The bulk of casualties on both sides was concentrated upon young men of military service age — 18 and above in Iraq and 15 and above in Iran. (Almost a third of Iranian fatalities were age 15-19 at their death, according to the Basij’s count. About 3 percent of fatalities were age 14 and younger.)

If either side suffered hundreds of thousands of war deaths, we would expect the censuses to display a large dip in the cohorts of young males who served at the front, as compared with females of the same cohorts and with males in preceding and succeeding cohorts. Neither census registers declines consistent with this scale of death.

On the Iraqi side, five-year birth cohorts from the 1997 census (see chart at right) were reported in the 2005 edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. (Tables from Iraq’s 1997 census were also reported in earlier editions of the Statistical Abstract, but they included an abnormally large number of males with unspecified ages and a correspondingly low number of males born in 1953-1957.) The number of males was consistently at or below the number of females for each cohort born before the late 1970s. Among Iraqis born in 1958-1962, the number of men and women is unusually low, and the gap is twice as large as for the preceding and following cohorts — about 10,000 fewer males than females per year instead of 5,000 fewer.

If 500,000 Iraqis died in the war, or even 250,000, we would expect to see larger declines in the age cohorts that served at the front — males born between 1958 (age 22 at the outbreak of the war) and 1970 (age 18 at the end of the war). On average, excess deaths among Iraqi men of that generation would total tens of thousands per year, and we would expect to see excess deaths among males throughout the period, not just in the 1958-1962 cohort. Males actually outnumber females born in 1965-1971, according to annual birth-year data derived from a sample of the 1997 census archived at the University of Minnesota. (This sample — and possibly the census totals as well — excludes three governorates in the Kurdish region that were in effect autonomous from the Iraqi central government after the 1991 Gulf War.)

On the Iranian side, the census of 1996 (see chart at left) shows the number of males equal or greater to the number of females for almost the entire birth cohort that was most likely to have served in the military, from 1960 (age 20 at the outbreak of the war) through 1973 (age 15 at the end of the war). A similar pattern emerges from the Iranian Population Survey of 1991 and the Iranian census of 2006.

Unlike Iraq, Iranian males outnumber females in the cohorts prior to the war cohorts, so the nearly equal male-female ratio in the cohorts of 1965-1973 may signify excess mortality on the part of Iranian men. But the scale of this difference is less than expected. In the birth cohorts of the 1950s, Iranian women are under-represented by about 7,500 per year. In the birth cohorts of the Iran-Iraq war, Iranian women are under-represented by about 6,700 per year. The difference between these two figures accounts for only a small proportion of the estimated Iranian battle deaths.

If 750,000 Iranians died in the war, or even 150,000, we would expect to see considerably fewer males than females in the birth cohorts of the 1960s and early 1970s. Instead, the only cohorts with fewer males than females are from the 1940s, too old to have served in the war in large numbers, and the mid-1970s, too young to have served in large numbers, even at the end of the war.

Now it is possible that the Iranian and Iraqi censuses were inaccurate. It is also possible that they were politically manipulated. And perhaps international migration mitigated the death toll, though it seems unlikely that migrants would have fit neatly into the birth cohorts of the Iran-Iraq war.

But if we believe the census figures, the death toll from the Iran-Iraq war was far less than the scholarly estimates of 600,000 or 1,250,000. It may even have been lower than the government figures of 250,000 Iraqi fatalities and 155,000 Iranian fatalities.

The Iran-Iraq war was, by any measure, a terribly bloody cataclysm. But it may not have been so bloody as we imagined.

Responding Effectively to the Threat

The Chinese government is engaged in a broad, diverse campaign of theft and malign influence, and it can execute that campaign with authoritarian efficiency. They’re calculating. They’re persistent. They’re patient. And they’re not subject to the righteous constraints of an open, democratic society or the rule of law.

China, as led by the Chinese Communist Party, is going to continue to try to misappropriate our ideas, influence our policymakers, manipulate our public opinion, and steal our data. They will use an all-tools and all-sectors approach—and that demands our own all-tools and all-sectors approach in response.

Our folks at the FBI are working their tails off every day to protect our nation’s companies, our universities, our computer networks, and our ideas and innovation. To do that, we’re using a broad set of techniques—from our traditional law enforcement authorities to our intelligence capabilities.

And I will briefly note that we’re having real success. With the help of our many foreign partners, we’ve arrested targets all over the globe. Our investigations and the resulting prosecutions have exposed the tradecraft and techniques the Chinese use, raising awareness of the threat and our industries’ defenses. They also show our resolve and our ability to attribute these crimes to those responsible. It’s one thing to make assertions—but in our justice system, when a person, or a corporation, is investigated and then charged with a crime, we have to prove the truth of the allegation beyond a reasonable doubt. The truth matters—and so, these criminal indictments matter. And we’ve seen how our criminal indictments have rallied other nations to our cause—which is crucial to persuading the Chinese government to change its behavior.

Watch the video: Foreign Manipulation in the Middle East: The Iran-Iraq War (July 2022).


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