Talk:United States support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War

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Oil / Aqaba pipeline[edit]

Placing this text here for the moment. It will fit better in the Oil security section:

"In March 1983, Reagan signed a NSDM with the originally classified title, "U.S. Policy toward the Iran–Iraq War".[1] This placed the highest priority on keeping the Strait of Hormuz open."


  1. ^ Reagan, Ronald (19 March 1982), "National Security Decision Directive 114: U.S. Policy toward the Iran–Iraq War" (PDF), in Battle, Joyce (ed.), Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 82

Wanted images[edit]

  • Ronald Reagan meeting with Tariq Aziz at the White House. [1]
  • Bell 214ST: 48 of these were sold to Iraq by the United States in 1984. [2]

Receipts for chemical weapon precursors sold to Iraq by the US, Germany, etc?[edit]

I've read in various places that there are publicly available copies of receipts for components to chemical weapons that US companies sold Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war. E.g., "You can also find receipts on the Internet from U.S. companies that sold these chemical components to Iraq." [3] Are these reports true? If so, where are these alleged receipts? Links, please? These belong in the article, if reliably sourced. Benefac (talk) 11:59, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

Recent overhaul[edit]

If anyone thinks anything from the old version of the "U.S. reaction" section should be merged into the new version—which corrects and clarifies many of the relevant issues—I am leaving this note so it is possible to compare them side-by-side. (One thing we can clearly see by this comparison is that Brzezinski's memoir hews very closely to the record.) I wrote the fourth and most substantive paragraph in the old version, but I still feel the recent revision covers all of the same material better. (The only thing I debated merging was the Akins footnote—which I decided against, because it is merely a primary source recounting rumors he heard second- and thirdhand.)TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 20:31, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

@TheTimesAreAChanging: I came here via the link in CIA activities in Iraq#Iraq 1979. Good work on both articles! I have maybe one or two minor issues with the material regarding the October 15, 1979 meeting in Tehran between United States Chargé d'affaires to Iran Bruce Laingen and CIA official George Cave with the Iranian Deputy Prime Minister Abbas Amir-Entezam and Foreign Minister Ebrahim Yazdi. Specifically, the sentence that begins "Cave claims he briefed Entezam and Yazdi on Iraqi military preparations..." and "However, 'Cave remains the only source under the impression that an Iraqi attack was likely at any point in 1979.'"
You have cited Christian Emery's book[1] and (in the other article) Malcolm Byrne's chapter in Nigel J. Ashton and Bryan Gibson's book.[2] Emery's material about that meeting also appears in Ashton and Gibson's book.[3] In both places, Emery references Mark Gasiorowski's article.[4] The point of Gasiorowski's article is that the U.S. officials warned Iranian moderates about an imminent Iraqi invasion, but in an ironic twist of fate the actions of the revolutionaries removed those from power who were in a position to stop it. Emery does state in Ashton and Green that "Cave remains the only source under the impression that an Iraqi attack was likely at any point in 1979", which is not true. Cave never stated that an invasion was going to happen in 1979, but he and others did think that an invasion was imminent. Gasiorowski discusses this on page 620. In the footnote on that page, he cites this intelligence document and says David D. Newsom, Laingen, and Cave "were persuaded by it" while Wayne White and Gary Sick did not see the reports and "saw no persuasive evidence of Iraqi invasion preparations". While Emery heavily references Gasiorowski, on this point he cites only White and Sick while failing to mention that there were others who believed as Cave did.
I would strike "claims he" from "Cave claims he briefed Entezam and Yazdi on Iraqi military preparations..." because Gasiorowski documents on page 623, footnote 25 that the three others in the meeting confirmed what was in his brief. I think we should replace "Cave remains the only source under the impression that an Iraqi attack was likely at any point in 1979" with a sentence or two that some people saw reports that made them think an invasion imminent while other did not. Cheers! -Location (talk) 20:56, 2 October 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ Emery, Christian (2013). US Foreign Policy and the Iranian Revolution: The Cold War Dynamics of Engagement and Strategic Alliance. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 126-128. ISBN 9781137329868. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  2. ^ Byrne, Malcolm (2013). "Critical Oral History: A New Approach to Examining the United States' Role in the War". In Ashton, Nigel; Gibson, Bryan (eds.). The Iran-Iraq War: New International Perspectives. Routledge. p. 204-205. ISBN 9781135115364. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  3. ^ Emery, Chris (2013). "Reappraising the Carter Administration's Response". In Ashton, Nigel; Gibson, Bryan (eds.). The Iran-Iraq War: New International Perspectives. Routledge. p. 156-158. ISBN 9781135115364. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  4. ^ Gasiorowski, Mark (Autumn 2012). "US Intelligence Assistance to Iran, May–October 1979" (PDF). The Middle East Journal. The Middle East Institute. 66 (4): 613–627. doi:10.3751/66.4.13. JSTOR 23361620. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I will have to look through your sources in more detail when I have the time, but I agree with much of what you say and have no objection to either of your proposals.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 21:43, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
The summary you wrote in CIA activities in Iraq#Iraq 1979 (i.e. "The veracity of the underlying intelligence supporting Cave's warning, and its implications with regard to allegations that the U.S. gave Saddam a "green-light" to invade Iran, have been debated.") might work. -Location (talk) 00:43, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
I have taken your concerns into consideration and revised the article accordingly. Let me know if you are aware of any other issues that need to be addressed. Thanks,TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 10:19, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Looks good. I understand that there might be some skepticism on what actually Cave said in his brief (although I think that is corroborated by the three others present - good addition there!), but there is no doubt that Cave said that his brief was a warning of Iraqi war preparations. We have Gasiorowski's second hand account of this, but we also have Cave as a primary source on this. For example, last night I found an interview of Cave on AARP's Prime Time Radio (of all places!) in which he briefly discusses the October 15th meeting (from 7:13 to 8:24). I have also listened to the three-part interview of Cave here, but the rough transcript I typed up doesn't indicate that he discussed it. -Location (talk) 15:49, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

Satellite imagery[edit]

For the record, I am aware that the information Twetton provided to Iraq to blunt Iran's 1982 offensive—while based on U.S. satellite imagery—was not the raw (and highly classified) satellite imagery itself. I just wasn't able to source that properly, although I am confident that all of the relevant details can be found in Gibson's Covert Relationship. (Note that the U.S. did supply actual satellite imagery to Iraq later in the war, per Foreign Policy.) Despite posting this note, I offer no gurantee that I will address this problem anytime soon, if at all.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 20:23, 20 October 2017 (UTC)