Sunday, October 13, 2002

?

---
Outrage as Iraq views UK arms
Peace campaigners angered as Saddam's top brass 'rub shoulders' with British firms at weapons bazaar

A British Minister will lead a major sales drive by UK weapons and military technology firms at an exhibition attended by high-ranking Iraqi military officials this week.
The news has sparked outrage among arms control campaigners and groups opposed to military action against Iraq. 'It is absurd that we are gearing up to fight a war against these people and simultaneously rubbing shoulders with them at an arms bazaar,' said Martin Hogbin of the Campaign Against Arms Trade.

Around a dozen British firms will be displaying equipment such as tanks, thermal imaging night sights and state-of-the-art air defence missiles at the exhibition in Amman, Jordan. Machine tools that could be used to produce weapons will also be on show. The government-run Defence Export Services Organisation will also have a stall.

Promotional material for the Sofex military fair boasts that Saddam Hussein is sending an official delegation. Sultan Hashim Ahmad, the Iraqi Defence Minister, attended the last Sofex. Sudan, Syria, Libya and Iran - all listed as sponsors of terrorism by the US State Department - are also expected to attend.

'It's an appalling example of double standards. Where there is a buck to be made, we're there,' said Andrew Bergen, spokesman for the Stop the War Coalition, which campaigns against military action against Iraq.

No comments: