Murphy's Law: March 20, 2003


SIPRI, a veteran Swedish disarmament group, compiles data on arms sales. Despite information published during the 1980s about where Iraq was getting its weapons from, the myth that Iraq was armed by the United States continues to survive. In fact, the major arms supplier for Iraq was the Soviet Union. And Iraq still owes the Russians over five billion dollars for arms delivered and not paid for. France and China are owed lesser amounts. Below are best estimates of the dollar amount of weapons sold to Iraq between 1973 and 1990.

Soviet Union- Over 25 billion dollars
France and China at least five billion dollars each.
Czechoslovakia and Poland about two billion dollars each
Brazil, Egypt and Romania between $500 million and one billion dollars each.
Denmark- Over $200 million.
Libya and the United States, less than a quarter of a million dollars each

Since 1990, there has been an arms embargo on Iraq. But weapons, and spare parts, are still smuggled in. Many of these appear to have come from Eastern Europe, and France.


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