Source Pravda.Ru

Did American Companies Supply Weapons to Saddam? - 28 March, 2003 - News

The USA is still blaming Russia for illegal weapons supplies to Iraq. US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow declared that economic sanctions would be imposed on companies and enterprises supplying weapons to Iraq. However, as a special reporter of GAZETA found out after he read a secret report of the US Department of State, the USA must apply sanctions to its own defense establishments. It was the USA that supplied weapons and special military technique to the countries which George W. Bush’s administration later referred to the “axis of evil”. And these very devices let Iraq deflect bombs and missiles away from military objects, and which causes much harm to the Iraqi civil population. As PRAVDA.Ru earlier reported, it is not ruled out that European and American companies supplied war technologies to Iraq. Now this supposition is confirmed.

If Kornet anti-tank missiles were in Iraq, American troops would have suffered more severe losses during the war

Yesterday US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow declared: “We think that Russian war technologies were actually supplied to Iraq either directly or through some third countries.” The ambassador hopes that some retaliatory sanctions will be applied to Russian enterprises involved in these supplies. He emphasized that “any supplies of war technique and technologies to Iraq are prohibited by international sanctions.” Some days earlier, the US Department of State sent an official note of protest to Moscow to inform that the Russian side allegedly supplied anti-tank complexes, night vision equipment and devices for jamming of satellite control over bombing and flights of US and UK battle planes to Saddam Hussein.

Chief designer of the State Unitary Enterprise Priborostroenie design bureau, one of the companies allegedly connected with supplies of war technologies to Iraq, Arkady Shipunov said in an interview that “the Tula enterprise concluded no contracts with Iraq and other countries under the UN international sanctions and didn’t supply Kornet anti-tank missile complexes and other weapons, what is more, no negotiations were held with Iraq on such issues.”

In his words, the charges against the Russian enterprise and US’s intention to impose economic sanctions have been already voiced some time ago. “The charges are figment and they are voiced to impede activity of the design bureau in weapons supplies; by the way, weapons developed by the Russian design bureau are of better combating performance than US technologies,” Arkady Shipunov says. The only thing that the Russian weapon-maker admitted was that the Kornet anti-tank missile complex can resist any tank and motorized infantry subdivisions. “But if there were some considerable number of the complexes in Iraq, the US land forces would have suffered much serious losses than they suffer now.” At the same time, as it became known, there are proofs that supplies of war technologies were actually performed to Iraq, but they were made not by Russian, but by American companies.

In February 2003, the US Department of State presented its report «FY 2002 END USE MONITORING OF DEFENSE ARTIСLES AND DEFENSE SERVICES COMMERCIAL EXPORTERS» to the Congress. This was a report on results of control established in 2002 over end use of US defense articles and services supplied to clients via private channels (this was done directly by the US defense establishments on the basis of approving expert licenses of the US Department of State). According to this document, over the period under report Americans held 428 checks-up of end use of Washington’s defense supplies to foreign importers. During the checks, 50 instances of different offences were discovered.

As the report says, as a result of deliberate or accidental infractions committed by clients with respect to the US requirements on end use of exported defense technologies , it is not ruled out that these defense articles were further delivered to countries where US military supplies are prohibited.

Nineteen instances from the total number of discovered infractions are supplies of shooting weapons and ammunition to these weapons. 12 instances are supplies of communication facilities and electronics; 9 are supplies of spare parts and equipment for aviation technique, 10 instances are supplies of spare parts to armored and automobile technique, artillery and aviation ammunition, night vision devices (it’s interesting to state that the report doesn’t mention the military equipment of which supplies the USA itself blames Russian enterprises). Majority of infractions, 17, fall on European countries, 13 instances of infractions fall on Mideast countries including Iraq, countries of the Asia-Pacific region and Latin American countries registered 10 infractions each.

Experts say that majority of US defense supplies might be connected with shooting weapons, particularly M-16 rifles and ammunition for the rifles, aviation arms, communication facilities and TOW anti-tank missile complexes.

According to available information, 24 large companies from the USA, including such as Rockwell, Behtel, Sperry, Honeywell, Hewlett Packard, Tetronix, International Computer Systems and TI Coating supplied their equipment and products during the Iraqi blockade; and the Iraqi leadership further used the defense articles for realization of Iraq’s war programs. For thetime being, official Washington doesn’t declare that any sanctions will be imposed on American weapons producers that supplied war technique to the “axis of evil” countries.

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Gazeta

Read the original in Russian: http://www.gzt.ru/headline.gzt?id=31550000000008442

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