Israel Provides Written Information Sought by Iran/contra Committee

Israel has provided information regarding its role in the sale of arms to Iran to the joint congressional committee investigating the Iran/Contra affair, announced Sen. Daniel Inouye (D. Hawaii), co-chairman of the joint committee, Thursday morning.

Asher Naim, the Israel Embassy’s Minister of Information, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Israel submitted responses to questions posed by the committee.

When Premier Yitzhak Shamir met with members of the investigating committee while visiting here last February, he agreed to provide the written information in lieu of the committee questioning the individual Israelis involved in the sale of arms to Iran.

Israel has contended that these individuals were working for the Israeli government and so should not be required to testify individually.

“It’s proven to be good for both sides. The committee has more information and Israel has not infringed the rights of people who were involved,” said Naim.

The Israeli information, which has been examined by Senate and House officials on the Iran/Contra committee, will be made public, Inouye said. But some information will not be released because it would pose a threat to Israel’s national security.

Inouye called the agreement with Israel “unique cooperation” and added that “without these facts, our investigation would not be complete.”

Naim said when the information is released “Israel will look as a country that wanted to be helpful as an ally. We were only doing as we were asked.” He would not comment further on the details of the information.

Naim said the responses took so long to complete because of the need to provide exact information.

There was still no indication whether David Kimche, former Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry who played a key role in the sale of arms to Iran, would be forced to testify. Kimche, along with two Israeli arms dealers, has been subpoenaed by independent counsel Lawrence Walsh.

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