INTRODUCTION: The French Foreign Ministry confirmed on Sunday (1 February) that it was honouring a 1977 agreement to supply four Mirage F-1 fighter-bombers to Iraq.
INTRODUCTION: The French Foreign Ministry confirmed on Sunday (1 February) that it was honouring a 1977 agreement to supply four Mirage F-1 fighter-bombers to Iraq. Although France's official position on the Gulf War remains strictly neutral, the Ministry statement said the government had made it clear its obligations under a 1977 key arms accord with Baghdad would be carried out. The agreement called for 36 F-1's to be delivered, and during the last of three recent visits to Paris by Iraqi Prime Minister Tareq Aziz, Iraq's previous main arms supplier, Moscow, had cut off deliveries. Iraq had good relations with France and supplied around one quarter of its oil before the war with Iran began last September.
SYNOPSIS: The French government had at first denied the unmarked Mirages flown by Jordanian pilots to Cyprus were destined for Iraq. And Ministry officials declined to comment on reports that another six would be arriving in Cyprus shortly. But they did not deny that a first shipment of Mirages in separate parts had been delivered to Iraq at the end of December. The announcement of Saturday's (31 January) delivery provoked strong protest from the Iranian Embassy in Paris, which said the Iranian people would never forget such an act.
Iranian Charge D'Affaires, Bani Fatemi Ali spoke to newsmen through an interpreter.