Washington (Feb. 2)
– The State Department said today that it is looking into reports that Saudi Arabia and Jordan are delivering American-made military equipment to Iraq, presumably for use in the Iraqi-Iranian war. There were no indications when the Department would comment.
The reports came as the French government acknowledged that it has sent four Mirage warplanes to Iraq. On that matter, the State Department said the decision was for France to make and it would not comment. The Department pointed out, however, that the U.S. has “stayed completely out” of the Iraqi-Iranian war and has “encouraged others to do the same.”
It was recalled here that the Carter Administration came close to accusing Israel of violating its agreement on the acquisition of U.S. weapons by using them in retaliatory attacks on Palestinian terrorists in Lebanon. Israel contended that it used the weapons in self-defense. The U.S. never claimed that Israel was violating the weapons agreement.
More recently, the State Department characterized as not “helpful” Israel’s retaliatory air raids on terrorists targets in Lebanon last month but made no reference to the possible use of American-supplied weapons.