(CNN) -- The U.S. diplomatic courtship with Iraq in the 1980s continued despite Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons. Click on the links to read once-classified documents from the Reagan administration.
Once-classified documents show the U.S. continued its courtship with Iraq despite use of chemical weapons.
Date: December 5, 1986
Subject: U.S.-Iraqi Relations: Picking Up the Pieces
Summary: After disclosures that the United States was secretly providing weapons to Iraq's enemy, Iran, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Murphy recommends strengthening commercial ties with Saddam Hussein because "U.S.-Iraqi relations are in crisis." Read the document (pdf)
Date: March 3, 1988
Subject: Iraq's Foreign Policy: Deeper into the Mainstream
Summary: Anticipating an end to the Iran-Iraq war, a State Department official is optimistic that continued ties between the United States and Iraq will lead Saddam Hussein "deeper into the mainstream." The author concludes that "fears of Iraq's aggression seem exaggerated." Two weeks later, Iraqi forces attack Kurdish civilians in Halabja with poisonous gas. Read the document (pdf)
Date: December 29, 1988
Subject: Export-Import Financing for Iraq
Summary: In the closing days of the Reagan administration, the State Department's top human rights official argues that continued financial aid to Iraq "can simply not be squared with our worldwide human rights policy." However, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Murphy counters that U.S. financial ties with Iraq have "far greater use with Baghdad as a carrot than as a stick." A year and a half later, Iraq invades Kuwait. Read the document (pdf)
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