International aid to combatants in the Iran–Iraq War

International Aid To Combatants In The Iran–Iraq War

International aid to combatants in the Iran–Iraq War

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During the Iran–Iraq War, both Iran and Iraq received large quantities of weapons and other material useful to the development of armaments and weapons of mass destruction.


Iran's foreign supporters gradually came to include Syria and Libya, through which it obtained Scud missiles. It purchased weaponry from North Korea and the People's Republic of China, notably the Silkworm anti-ship missile. It also received very limited assistance from the United States.

United States Involvement

During the early years of the war, Iran's arsenal was almost entirely American-made, left over from the Imperial Armed Forces of the dethroned Shah.

Iran-Contra affair

Iran acquired weapons and parts for its Shah-era U.S. systems through covert arms transactions from officials in the Reagan Administration, first indirectly through Israel and then directly. It was hoped Iran would, in exchange, persuade several radical groups to release Western hostages, though this did not result; proceeds from the sales were diverted to the Nicaraguan Contras in what became known as the Iran-Contra Affair.


Prior to the 1979 revolution, the US had been providing intelligence to Iran prior to the war. In mid-October 1979, at the request of the United States Department of State, a CIA officer went to Tehran and warned the government, mid-October 1979, of Iraq's plan to invade. US cooperation of this type stopped when the U.S. embassy was seized.<ref...
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