C.I.A. Documents: U.S. Had Knowledge of 1980s Chemical Attacks in Iran

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Saddam Hussein, 1988. (Iraqi News Agency/Baghdad Observer/Wikimedia Commons)

A new report from Foreign Policy says that the U.S. knew Saddam Hussein was planning to launch a chemical weapons attack in the Iran-Iraq war, and still provided him with support.

The report reveals recently declassified documents from the C.I.A. According to Foreign Policy, the U.S. provided information to the Iraqi government on Iranian troop positions, despite knowing that they were likely going to use chemical weapons. The documents show the depth of knowledge U.S. officials had of how and when Iraq planned to employ deadly agents.

Rick Francona is retired Airforce Lt. Col. and a liaison officer in Baghdad during the 1980's.

"The Iraqis never told us that they intended to use nerve gas. They didn't have to. We already knew," he told Foreign Policy.

Francona joins The Takeaway to discuss his experience on the ground in Baghdad and why the U.S. would accept the use of chemical weapons.


Ret. Lt. Col. Rick Francona

Produced by:

Tyler Adams


T.J. Raphael

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