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.
Mute 1979 GV and PAN Mirage jets on runway (2 shots)
CU rocket on wingtip, PULL BACK to SV Mirage
CU Tailfin insignia (dog's head), PULL OUT to SV rocket on wingtip, PAN along fuselage to cockpit.
1981 GV EXTERIOR Iranian Embassy in Paris, SV brass plaque on gate (2 shots)
SV Bani-Fatemi and interpreter. Bani-Fatemi speaking in Farsi.
Bani-Fatemi PAN TO interpreter speaking in English
SV Bani-Fatemi speaking
Bani-Fatemi PAN TO interpreter speaking
Interpreter PAN BACK to Bani-Fatemi speaking
Bani-Fatemi Speaking PAN TO interpreter speaking
INTERPRETER: (SEQ 6): "The unexpected news came as a shock to the Embassy and to the Iranian people as well."
BANI-FATEMI: (SEQ 7): SPEAKING IN FARSI
INTERPRETER: (SEQ 8): "The French government speaks for its international obligations. But it is a recognised international tradition that under certain circumstances, international governments may choose to stop or suspend fulfilment of a certain obligation or commitment with regard to the sensitive or critical situation existing in the region. And the French government has done this before."
BANI-FATEMI: (SEQ 9): SPEAKING IN FARSI.
INTERPRETER: (SEQ 10): "We hope that the French government may have a convincing response to the rising expectations and questions on the part of the Iranian people, and our revolution."
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Background: 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.