WASHINGTON, March 21, (Reuter): Iran’s leader, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, personally directed an elaborate scheme to trick the United States into selling arms to Tehran to fight its war against Iraq, A US: magazine reported today.

The U.S. news and World report story, based on what it said were sources in the Middle East, disputes the Reagan administration’s version of the arms scandal, which erupted last November. “It was not the United States that made overtures to Iran, but the reverse.” the magazine said. “And the Iranians had no real interest in strategic relations with America”.

“Their goal was simple: they wanted weapons to prosecute their war with Iraq”, it said. Iran and Iraq have waged a bloody war since 1980 and much of Tehran’s weaponry is U.S. made, supplied to prerevolutionary Iran.

The White House said no immediate comment.

The magazine said the operation duped not only the Americans but the Israel’s, who sent the initial shipments of U.S. arms in late 1985, and Irapian, Saudi Arabian and other arms dealers who acted as middlemen.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 27, 1987