A closer look at the Bush record -- from
the war in Iraq to the war on the environment
take the exit ramp off the Bush presidency in November?
Colin Powell's Legend
Colin Powell's sterling reputation in Washington hides his life-long role
as water-carrier for conservative ideologues.
Recounting the controversial presidential campaign
Is the national media a danger to democracy?
The Clinton Scandals
The story behind President Clinton's impeachment
Pinochet & Other Characters
The Dark Side of Rev. Moon
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and American politics
Contra drug stories uncovered
How the American historical record has been tainted by lies and cover-ups
The October Surprise
The 1980 October Surprise scandal exposed
From free trade to the Kosovo crisis
Other Investigative Stories
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Text of Russian 'October
Chairman of the Working
Group of the House Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Congress, Lee
Dear Mr. Lee G. Hamilton:
With excuses for the
lengthy preparation of the response to your appeal, I am sending you the
material in our possession which, as we hope, may help you in your
Secretary of the
Committee, People's Deputy of the RF N. Kuznetsov
On the supply of American
arms to Iran according to available information, the Chairman of the R.
Reagan election campaign, William Casey, in 1980 met three times with
representatives of the Iranian leadership, in particular with the arms
dealers Djamshed and Kurosh Hashemi. The meetings took place in Madrid
and Paris. At the meeting in Paris in October 1980, in addition to
Casey, R. Gates, at that time a staffer of the National Security Council
in the administration for Jimmy Carter and former CIA Director George
Bush also took part.
In Madrid and Paris, the
representatives of Ronald Reagan and the Iranian leadership discussed
the question of possibly delaying the release of 52 hostages from the
staff of the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, taken hostage by Iranian
"students" and members of the "Corps of Defense of the Islamic
Revolution" on 4 November 1979 until after the elections that took place
in November 1980. In exchange for this, the American representatives
promised to supply arms to Iran. This was asserted, in particular, by a
former Israeli intelligence agent, Ari Ben-Menash, a Jew born in Iran
and arrested in 1989 in the U.S. for supplying arms to Iran (arrested in
California on charges of exporting contraband C-130 aircraft from the
U.S. to Iran and who was in prison for 11 months and then freed).
According to his calculation, the total value of the arms illegally
delivered to Iran reached 82 billion dollars.
Data on attempts by the
R. Reagan team to temporarily block the release of American hostages in
Teheran are also contained in official statements of several Iranian
figures, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Gotb-Zade in September
As terms for the release
of the hostages Iran at that time proposed the unblocking of Iranian
accounts in the USA, the return of the funds of the Shah and his family,
the lifting of the economic blockade of Iran and the end of the embargo
on supplies to Iran of spare parts for previously purchased American
On the other hand, there
has also appeared evidence that in 1980 there also took place
negotiations between representatives of the Carter administration and
the Iranian leadership, in the course of which the question of secret
supplies to Iran of American arms and spare parts, the release of the
American hostages and the unblocking of Iranian accounts was
discussed. Thus, in July 1980 in the city of Athens, a delegation of the
Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) including Deputy Defense Minister
Farivara, General Faroh-Zade, Colonel Veisi, Foreign Minister
representative Etminana met with representatives of the Pentagon. An
agreement in principle was reached on the supply of arms and spare parts
for American weapons in Iran's possession.
In July 1980 in Athens,
representatives of Washington and Teheran discussed a possible
step-by-step normalization of Iranian-American relations, the provision
of support for President Carter in the election campaign via the release
of American hostages.
In accord with Athens
agreement, in October 1980 a significant quantity of spare parts for F-4
and F-5 aircraft and also M-60 tanks were sent to Iran via Turkey. The
Democrats, like the Republicans, started from the proposition that Imam
Homeini, having announced a policy of "neither the West nor the
East," and cursing the "American Devil," imperialism and Zionism, was
forced to acquire American weapons, spares and military supplies by any
and all possible means.
Military experts noted
that, immediately after Islamic revolution in Iran, the government was
faced with a sharp deficit of arms, spares, and military supplies with
which to cut down the uprising of Iranian Kurds and carry out the war
with Iraq that began in September 1980. The Iranian army in this period
was based on Western, mostly American and British, arms, and the Air
Force was totally equipped with U.S. planes.
The need for immediate
supplies of arms and military equipment was also explained by the fact
that after the revolution in Iran large orders for weapons deliveries to
Iran of a total value of about 10.5 billion dollars were annulled.
In accord with the
evaluation of sources in military circles, supplies of spare parts and
military supplies from the U.S. through Israel which began in 1980
allowed the Iranian Air Force to carry out combat activities.
After the victory of R.
Reagan in the election, in early 1981 a secret agreement was reached in
London in accord with which Iran released the American hostages, and the
U.S. continued to supply arms, spares and military supplies for the
Iranian army. The organization of the deliveries was undertaken by
Colonel of the General Staff of the IRI Domkan, and "Mossad" Colonel
Yakus Marvidi. The latter played his part as the owner of a private firm
buying arms of American production on the black market.
1981, planes carried from Israel to Iran spares for the F-14 fighter and
other military equipment. Through the Israeli conduit, Iran in 1983
bought surface-to-surface missiles of the "Lance" class plus artillery
of a total value of 135 million dollars.
In July 1983 a group of
specialists from the firm "Lockheed" went to Iran on English passports
to repair the navigation systems and other electronic components on
In 1985, supplies of arms
from the U.S. to Iran via Israel took on a large-scale character. The
arms were sent by planes and ships. 200 "Hawk" anti-aircraft missile
systems and 2,000 "Tow" anti-tank missiles were sold to Iran. According
to subsequent information, the Tow and Hawk missiles allowed the Iranian
army to oppose the numerically superior tank units and air force of
For the latest and most detailed account of the "October Surprise"
Robert Parry's book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from
Watergate to Iraq. For the original Consortiumnews.com story
about this remarkable document, see Consortiumnews.com's "The
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