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The chemical weapons issue stayed on the back burner while the Reagan administration initiated its assistance for Iraq. November of 1983 brought the restoration of formal relations between the United States and Iraq although the US, contrary to the declaration of neutrality, was already providing Iraq with intelligence and military support. The picture below shows Reagan hosting Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz at the White House during the ceremonial ‘resumption of ties’ between the United States and Iraq.

The State Department and National Security Council (NSC) were well aware that Iraq had been using chemical weapons against Iranian troops since 1982, with increased use in 1983. By 1983, Iranian reports of Iraqi use of chemical weapons had increased so dramatically that, by November, Iran had requested that the United Nations investigate its claims. On November 1, 1983, the State Department issued a memorandum (4) titled Iraq’s Use of Chemical Weapons that confirmed of Iraq’s use of chemical weapons.

While the CCC program guaranteed agricultural goods, the Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) guaranteed 22 America and the New American Century the shipment of other goods (take a guess at what those goods might have been). The Eximbank had insured hundreds of millions of dollars worth of shipments to Iraq from 1987 to 1990. Companies that exported goods to Iraq under the Eximbank guarantees include John Deere, Snap On Tools, Bristol Myers, and DOW Chemical. The Atlanta-BNL financed 51 transactions worth just shy of $50 million through Eximbank loan guarantees.

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