Created: 8/20/1983

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

IRAQ-IRAN: Possible Spread of War

Iraq, coping with an Increasingly oesperale economic situation, Jj mora seriously considering attacks on oil tankers swing Iran

group of retired senior Iraqi militaryare aovisTng Krwioeni Saddam Husayn to attack tankers


transporting Iranian oil from Khark island. They recommend using the five French-supplied Super Elendard aircraft armed with Exocetmissiles that could be available by late fall. The Iraqis repotediy hope that such attacks would prompt the US and USSR to become involved and ultimately leadease-fire and recpenlng of the Persian Gulf to Iraqi oil exports/-

Comment: Iraq has been reluctant to broaden the war, but it win be more willing to do so as other actions fail to alleviate its severe financial difficulties. Iraq willurrent account deficit this year totaling anillion. The additional aid the Arab states may provide In response to the Iraqi threats probably will not be enough to meet Baghdad's needsj

With Tehran certain to continue preventing oil exports from Iraq's Persian Gulf terminals, Baghdad's only hope ot Increasing Its oil revenues substantiallyecision by Syria to reopen the pipeline from Iraq to the Mediterranean Damascus, however, has so far Ignored Saudi and even Soviet requests that the pipeline be reopened. Iraqi leaders thus are likely to conclude that they have no choice but to attack oil tankera.f-

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