The Illegal Arms Trade – Iraq–Iran War 1980 – 1988 (Part 5)
A conclusion was draw up which gave a very accurate assessment as follows:
This paper rests its case on the following principal points:
1. That it is known that a range of pathogenic (disease producing) and toxigenic (poisonous) biological materials were exported to Iraq from the United States between 1985 and 1989, and that, among other warfare-related materials, these included a strain of anthrax utilized and tested over many years as a weapon, including during well documented WW2 and post-WW2 trials, to which the US was a party.
2. That the US Government was fully aware of the dangers vested in the biological materials exported to Iraq by the American Type Culture Collection between 1985 and 1989, and was, at the least, grossly negligent in failing to prohibit these exports to a state which was known by the US Administration at that time to be actively utilizing chemical weapons of mass destruction, and suspected – if not known – to also be developing a biological weapons programme.
3. That with knowledge of the US biological exports, the British Government, being bound to act according to the law, and having stated as much in the UK Parliament in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, has a responsibility to formally report this matter to the UN Security Council for investigation. Furthermore, that failure to do so effectively renders the BTWC meaningless, and, thereby, compromises the very concept of international law.
Beyond the case made in this paper, the following appears to be the disturbing international political reality: The invasion of Iraq by the United States and Britain in 2003 was predicated upon Iraq’s possession of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ – the primary threat presented both to Parliament and the People being anthrax. This anthrax was exported to Iraq from the US, having previously been exported from Britain, where it had been tested as a biological weapon “because its capability to produce infection and death after the inhalation of spores had been demonstrated in the laboratory”. This information is well known to the US, Britain, and Canada, due to a trilateral agreement concerning biological research between the three nations. Meanwhile, more than 20% of Britain’s MP representing approximately 12 million people – have twice called for a UN investigation into the US exports, a call which has been dismissed by the British Government by means of flimsy responses and a refusal to answer questions properly.
The United States with Great Britain blocked all Security Council resolutions condemning Iraq’s use of chemical weapons, and on March 21 the US becomes the only country refusing to sign a Security Council statement condemning Iraq’s use of these weapons
The US Department of Commerce licenses 70 biological exports to Iraq between May of 1985 and 1989, including at least 21 batches of lethal strains of anthrax
May, 1986. US Department of Commerce approves shipment of weapons grade botulin poison to Iraq.
April, 1988. US Department of Commerce approves shipment of chemicals used in manufacture of mustard gas.
September, 1988. US Department of Commerce approves shipment of weapons grade anthrax and botulinum to Iraq.
It should also be noted that the MK-84 bomb that was stockpiled in Saudi Arabia also formed part of the support for Saddam when hundreds of these U.S.-made general-purpose “dumb bombs” were transferred to Iraq.
What was even more surprising was when Saddam’s elite troops received instruction in unconventional warfare at Fort Bragg , North Carolina USA. “The idea was that, in the event of an Iranian victory, the Iraqi soldiers would be able to wage a guerrilla struggle against the occupying Iranian force”
On May 25, 1994, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee released a report in which it was stated that “pathogenic (meaning ‘disease producing’), toxigenic (meaning ‘poisonous’), and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq pursuant to application and licensing by the U:S: Department of Commerce.” It added: “These exported biological materials were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction.”
The report then detailed 70 shipments (including Bacillus Anthracis) from the United States to Iraqi government agencies over three years, concluding “It was later learned that these microorganisms exported by the United States were identical to those the UN inspectors found and recovered from the Iraqi biological warfare program.”
Iraq purchased 8 strains of anthrax from the United States in 1985, according to British biological weapons expert David Kelly. The Iraqi military settled on the American Type Culture Collection strain 14578 as the exclusive strain for use as a biological weapon.
Donald Riegle, Chairman of the Senate Committee that authored the aforementioned Riegle Report. said: “U.N. 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 programs. … The executive branch of our government approved 771 different export licenses for sale of dual-use technology to Iraq. I think that is a devastating record.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control sent Iraq 14 separate agents “with biological warfare significance,” according to Riegle’s investigators.
It is now known that a vast network of companies, based in the U.S. and elsewhere, fed Iraq’s warring capabilities right up until August 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait.
On the military hardware front, MD 500 Defender helicopters were also part of the deal with the US when Iraq acquired 60 multi-role military helicopters directly from the United States in 1983. Additional helicopter sales prompted congressional opposition, forcing the Reagan administration to explore alternative ways of assisting Saddam.
Alan Friedman wrote that Sarkis Soghanalian, one of the most notorious arms dealers during the Cold War, procured Eastern Bloc and French origin weaponry, and brokered vast deals with Iraq, with the tacit approval of the Central Intelligence Agency.
This most prominent arms merchant, Sarkis Soghanalian, was a Miami-based former CIA contractor who brokered tens of billions of dollars’ worth of military hardware for Iraq during the 1980s, reporting many of his transactions to officials in Washington. Soghanalian was close to the Iraqi leadership and to intelligence officers and others in the Reagan administration. He played a vital role serving as a go between for the CIA and other US government operations.
In an interview with William Kistner, Soghanalian stated that he was “working closely with the U.S. government”. Soghanalian also helped the Iraqis obtain TOW Anti Tank Missile , for which he was later prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice.
What is so upsetting was the fact that almost 150 foreign companies supported Saddam Hussein’s WMD program. Twenty-four U.S. firms were involved in exporting materials to Baghdad. Add to this an even longer list of American companies, UK, many EU countries, South Africa, South East Asian countries, including Singapore and Japan.
On a personal note – I would like to share a story about the madness of war. Just prior to the Falklands War I went to stay at a friends house in Portsmouth, England who’s son served in the Royal Navy onboard HMS Sheffield. The father took me down to visit the ship and his wonderful son took me around on a tour. The ship eventually sailed for the Falklands and was hit by a French made Exocet missile which killed my friend’s son. The purpose of this story is to show that when your allies sell weapons to your enemy they can be used against you….such was the case here.
As they say what goes around comes around and its only a matter of time before you fall victim to your own greed, as was the case when Iraq fired Scud Missiles that contained Chemical and Biological ingredients at US bases and also Israel during the following Gulf War. Many soldiers were exposed to these CBW during this conflict which basically meant that they died at the hand of their own country. It is Ironic that the media in the UK were not given information about these attacks and the British Government who knew what was going on remained tight lipped.
Victims of Iraq chemical attack
The whole episode is rather sickening when one believes that one day those responsible would be put before the International Court System. Every inquiry to reveal this broad based corruption and illegal arms trading has failed…..The Matrix Churchill Inquiry, The Scott Inquiry and now the Chilcott Inquiry (Iraq Inquiry) all totally rigged.
Basically “business as usual prevails” whilst the unscrupulous offenders, Heads of State, Senior Politicians, Government Departments and Company Executives get away with murder. If one adds to this the massive fraud that exists we find ourselves living amongst a den of thieves……but do not worry our governments know how to rob the poor to feed the rich!
We certainly live in a highly corrupt society with those that lead us leading the way!!
Maybe now you can better understand as to why people like David Kelly were assasinated and even possibly politicians such as Sir John Biggs Davison and Robin Cook.
Maybe you have never questioned as to why leaders of countries that have fallen victim to the greed of the west have never been tried in the Hague for war crimes etc………the answer is simple……the likes of Saddam, Mubarek and Ghadaffi all knew too much and if they were presented to the Hague they could well spill the beans of exactly what the US, UK and other EU countries gave them……….you will see that Mubarek will end up the same way and no doubt the President of Yemen will follow……..such is the “Axis of Evil” that exists here in the west.
Part 6 will prove beyond a shadow of doubt just how involved the US and UK were in all of these unecessary wars
Peter Eyre – Middle East Consultant – 15/1/2012