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October 16, 1987 - Image 33

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-10-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


The Great

Made Public

Washington (JTA) — Israeli
Defense Minister Yitzhak
Rabin and Mossad, the Israeli
intelligence service, were op-
posed to the Reagan Ad-
ministration's efforts to sell
arms to Iran for the release of
American hostages, according
to a report released Monday
by the Senate and House
select committees on the Iran
Contra affair.
The report was a copy of the
deposition given the commit-
tees by Michael Ledeen, a
former consultant to the Na-
tional Security Council, who
was questioned by the com-
mittees Sept. 10. Ledeen said
the Iranian initiative was
supported by Shimon Peres,
who was premier at the time,
and the Foreign Ministry,
then headed by Yitzhak
Ledeen said the opposition
was based "in large part" by
the participation of
Manucher Ghorbanifar, an
Iranian-born businessman, as
the go-between the talks in
the United States and Israel
had with Iran.
The doubts by Rabin and
Mossad about Ghorbanifar
would make it unlikely that
he was a Mossad agent as was
suggested by Lt. Col. Oliver
North, a former NSC aide,
and others, according to
Ledeen's testimony is im-
portant since he had been on
the beginning of the U.S. in-
itiative. Critics had charged
that his hearing was held in
private to prevent exposing
Israel's full role in the in-
itiative. But the testimony
released Monday did not
reveal any damaging
testimony against Israel that
was not already public.

Saudi Sale
Approval Likely

Washington (JTA) —The
Reagan Administration's pro-
posed $1 billion arms sale to
Saudi Arabia, which only
recently seemed almost cer-
tain to be rejected by Con-
gress, last week was expected
to go through without much
The turn around came
when the White House
reached an agreement with
several key Senators which
eliminated Maverick anti-
tank missiles from the
package. The package does
contain 12 F-15C and F-15D
jet fighters, which would be
delivered to the Saudis when
their present F-15s wear out
or crash, maintaining the

Saudi F-15 fleet at 60.It also
will include electronic up-
grading equipment for the
F-15 and M-60 tanks the
Saudis already have, and 93
artillery ammunition
The compromise was an-
nounced after 68 Senators
and half of the House had an-
nounced their opposition to
the sale. It had been worked
out by President Reagan's na-
tional security advisor, Frank
Carlucci, in meetings with
Senate opponents of the sale.
Both Senate Majority Leader
Robert Byrd (D. WVa.), who
had opposed the sale, and
Senate Minority Leader
Robert Dole (R.Kan.) ex-
pressed support for the pro-
posal."I think it's probably go-
ing to be approved," Dole said
after the White House
meeting in which the com-
promise was approved.
More importantly, the com-
promise was approved by Sen.
Bob Packwood (R.Ore.), who
along with Sen. Alan Crans-
ton (D.Calif.) had initiated
two letters to Reagan in
September urging against
any arms sales to Saudi
Arabia. The last letter on
Sept. 25 had 68 signatures.
In addition, the compromise
was also supported by two
Jews in the Senate, Sens.
Howard Metzenbaum
(D.Ohio) and Rudy Boschwitz
(R.Minn.). The American
Israel Public Affairs Commit-
tee (AIPAC) is not expected to
lobby against the sale.

Dispute Over
PLO Closure

Washington (JTA.) — The
State Department indicated
last week that it could not
legally close the Palestine
Liberation Organization's
observer office at the United
Nations in New York, even if
ordered to do so by Congress.
"Closing that mission
would not be consistent with
our international legal
obligations under the UN
headquarters agreement,"
Department spokesman
Charles Redman said.
Redman was commenting
on the action of the Senate,
which in approving the $3.6
billion State Department
authorization bill, adopted by
voice vote an amendment by
Sen. Charles Grassley
(R.Iowa) to close the PLO's
UN mission, as well as its in-
formation office in Washing-
The State Department on
Sept. 15 gave the PLO infor-
mation office 30 days to close.
The information office was
ordered closed on the grounds
that it was a foreign mission.




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