By: Mir M.Hosseini
Saddam Hussein's main supplier was the Soviet Union. He was sent its best equipment : Mig 29 planes, T 72 tanks, artillery, gunboats and Scud missiles. Russians were not the only one!
According to the document # D-53/4/2099 in the archives with the ministry of defense of the toppled Baath regime, the outcome of a visit by the French vice president during a visit to Baghdad was summarized in a report. The French supplied Iraq with high tech fighter and bomber jets, missile technology and hardware, sophisticated landmines and other military equipment that guaranteed a long war with Iran. In the meantime, supplying Iraq with small scale atomic bombs were discussed for Saddam to have a winning card against the patriotic Iranian army. France agreed to provide Iraq with 133 Mirage F1 jet fighters over a 10-year period. It is reckoned that during the 1980s, 40% of France's arms exports went to Iraq.
Indeed many other Western countries - including the United States, Britain, West Germany and Italy - also helped Iraq with equipment and expertise, both civilian and military, and with finance. Iraq's Arab neighbours in the Gulf, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia among them saw revolutionary Iran as a threat and poured money into Baghdad. Americans supplied Iraq with satellite photographs and chemical weapons. Iranians remember their cities being hit by French missiles and planes and Saddam's use of weapons of mass destruction.
However, Iranian industry has still been heavily dependent on French imports, while French oil companies were the first to penetrate the U.S. economic embargo; thus depicting the complexity of today's international politics and global economy.