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Rafsanjani Blasts Italy for Failing to Comply with Undertakings during Iran-Iraq War.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council (EC) Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani lambasted the Italian government for providing financial and logistical backup for Iraq's deposed dictator Saddam Hussein during 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

"Italy ignored to fulfill its pledges during the war between Iran and Iraq during 1980s," Rafsanjani said in a meeting with an Italian parliamentary delegation comprising Head of Italy-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group Ettore Rosato and his companions Vincenzo Amendola and Gregorio Chieti. Rafsanjani, however, noted that the Italian government had good cooperation with Iran in the field of industry and steel mill construction in the post-war and reconstruction era. Italy provided substantial supplies to Iraq during the IranaACAoIraq War. Its greatest impact, however, was financial, with the US branch of the state-owned, largest bank, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) in Italy providing several billion dollars in funding for Iraqi military procurement. Italy also was a primary supplier to the Iraqi nuclear program, although that was not of direct effect on the IranaACAoIraq War. With respect to conventional military supplies, Italy provided land and sea mines to Iraq. Iraq had ordered naval vessels and helicopters from Italy, although the ships were seized under the embargo. Iraq, operating with an Italian-owned bank in the United States, obtained billions in credit from the state-owned BNL, the largest in Italy, funneled USD 5 billion to Iraq from 1985 to 1989. The US branch of BNL made considerable use of US loan guarantees. On 4 August 1989, the FBI raided the Atlanta office of BNL, the Italian Government-owned bank agency in Atlanta, were transactions relating to Matrix Churchill and its takeover by Iraq, as well as several other firms, including TDG, TEG, and Euromac, that the CIA linked to Iraq's clandestine military procurement network. The branch manager, Christopher Drogoul, was charged with making unauthorized, clandestine, and illegal loans to Iraq -- some of which, according to his indictment, were used to purchase arms and weapons technology. He was subsequently sentenced to 37 months in prison. Ee Ee Ee Ee

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:May 6, 2014
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