JERUSALEM (Jun. 17)
Israeli officials denied today any knowledge of a reported meeting in Paris between representatives of Israel and Iran. The meeting took place at the Swiss Embassy in Paris, according to the unconfirmed foreign news reports.
Cabinet Secretary Michael Nir said the report apparently referred to a meeting three years ago which was followed by Israeli arms sales to Iran. Official sources here said there have been no arms deals between Israel and Iran for at least two-and-a-half years.
Defense Minister Moshe Arens denied that Israel was selling weapons to Iran when he was in Washington late last month. The issue arose after former Defense Minister Ariel Sharon claimed, during an, earlier visit to Washington, that Israel and Iran had concluded some deals involving military hardware for strategic reasons. But Sharon later confirmed that there had been no such deals between the countries since 1982.
Iran has been at war with Iraq for the past four years. The Army Radio said today that a contract had been signed between Israelis and an Iranian company for the repair by the Israelis of the engines of Iranian civilian aircraft. But that arrangement was made while the Shah still ruled Iran.
After the Shah was deposed by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979, the Army Radio said, the Iranian company asked the Swiss authorities who represent Iranian interests in Israel, to arronge a meeting for the implementation of the earlier contract. That meeting took place three years ago and apparently was the meeting to which the latest reports referred.