The Illegal Arms Trade: Iraq–Iran War 1980–1988
by Peter Eyre on 03 Oct 2012 5 Comments

In September 1980 Iraq carried out an unprovoked attack on Iran which lasted over 7 years. This war was supported by the US, UK and at least 10 countries with the former actually providing military hardware such as weapons, nuclear components that would allow Iraq to have the ability to build a nuclear bomb and Chemical and Biological technology which clearly gave Iraq WMD's and CBWs.  The west (esp. UK) actually paid for and built the CBW Laboratories for Saddam and provided Iraq with Cyanide, Mustard Gas and the deadly VX Gas which he used against the Kurds and Iran and later used in Iraqi SCUD Missiles to fire into Israel and Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and hit US/UK bases!


The provocation and propaganda currently underway (by the New World Order’s military - NATO) is intended to offend and disrupt the entire Middle East with its focus on Iran. Add to this the massive US led NATO exercise in the Persian Gulf and one can see the only thing missing is a west-devised “False Flag Incident” to spark off yet another major war!! 


The massive publicity of the film, cartoons and posters [on the New York Transit System] in New York is a well formulated INTEL- PYSOPS operation involving the CIA - MI5/6 - Mossad and the German DVD. The world is on the brink of WW3, all at the hands of the New World Order and the Committee of 300 who guide them along this destructive path.


Saddam Hussain hoped to replace Iran as the dominant Gulf State. His war began on 22 September 1980 and was repelled by the Iranians who regained most of the lost territory by June 1982. The war continued until the UN intervened and stopped it on 20 August 1988.


An important aspect of this war was who controlled the Shatt al-Arab waterway (Iranians call it Arvand Rud), a vital oil export channel in the far north of the Persian Gulf. Iraq wanted control of the Shatt al-Arab waterway; acquisition of the three islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs of behalf of the UAE; annexation of Khuzestan; and to prevent the spread of the Islamic Revolution in the region.


The US and UK wanted to elongate the war - war is good business and feeds the military hardware and software industries of both extremely well. President Ronald Reagan said the US “could not afford to allow Iraq to lose the war to Iran”. Reagan issued a National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) to this effect in June 1982. The Security Council passed Resolution 552 condemning attacks on commercial ships in the region, to allow the west to continue its illegal arms trade.


The US role was to attempt to isolate Iran. It attacked Iranian oil platforms in retaliation for an Iranian attack on a US flagged Kuwaiti tanker. Later a USS warship hit an Iranian mine and the US Navy responded with surface attacks on many targets. The USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air 655 with 290 passengers and crew on 3 July 1988; Washington claimed the airliner had been mistaken for an Iranian F-14 Tomcat fighter! As an ex-radar operator, I can say that the size of contact and approaching speed could not have caused such an assumption. It was double standards at work.


In July 1988, Iraqi airplanes dropped chemical cyanide bombs on the Iranian Kurdish village of Zardan (as done four months earlier on their own Kurdish village of Halabja). Hundreds were killed at once; the survivors still suffer a variety of physical and mental disorders. It has since been proven that the agent used on the Kurds and later on Iran was the deadly VX Gas.


Who provided the hardware, the munitions and chemicals in total violation of the Geneva Convention? Prior to and during the Iraq–Iran war, many illegal arms shipments were made along with some very high profile visits. Donald Rumsfeld, US special envoy to the Middle East, met with Saddam in December 1983. He was US Defense Secretary during the 2003 Iraqi war when everything turned 180 degrees and the US wanted Saddam out.


Some startling news that emerged prior to this war was that US Secretary of State Alexander Haig Jr. wrote a secret memo to President Reagan about ex-President Jimmy Carter approving Saddam Hussein’s attack on Iran with assistance from Saudi Arabia. British support for this war was paramount; they allowed Iraq to purchase a British company – TMG Engineering – to bypass the export control. This company, later called Matrix Churchill, had operations in US and UK. The US Company with the same name was also purchased by Iraq. The Chairman of the group, which consisted of TDG, TMG, and Matrix Churchill, was Safa al Habobi; another member of the board was Fadel Jawad Khadhum. 


The British government allowed most of Matrix Churchill’s sales to Iraq. Later, a scandal erupted after the Persian Gulf War about the role of the British government in arming Iraq.


Iraq had strong ties with France and the Soviet Union who were major suppliers of weapons. Singapore also supported Iraq; land mines were assembled there and chemical warfare precursors were shipped from Singapore, possibly by an Iraqi front company.


Italy played an important role in arming Iraq through a US branch of its state-owned largest bank, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, which funneled $5 billion to Iraq from 1985 to 1989. Yugoslavia sold weapons for the entire duration of the conflict, as did Portugal. Spain sold 172 Million Euros of weapons, including 4X4 vehicles, BO-105 helicopters, explosives and ammunitions. An unexploded chemical Iraqi warhead found in Iran was manufactured in Spain.


Turkey supplied civilian help; its export jumped from $200 million in 1981 to $2 billion in 1985 [25% of its exports]. Turkish construction projects in Iraq totaled $2.5 billion between 1974 and 1990. Iraq’s main financial backers were the oil-rich Persian Gulf states, mainly Saudi Arabia ($30.9 billion), Kuwait ($8.2 billion) and the United Arab Emirates ($8 billion).


The US funded Iraqi chemical and nuclear research programme. During the 1980’s Iraq received around $35 billion in loans from the west and between $30-40 billion from the Persian Gulf states.


Over 100,000 Iranians were victims of chemical weapons. Nerve Gas killed about 20,000 Iranian soldiers and many thousands continue to need medical treatment. The UN knew of these breaches of the Geneva Convention and did nothing apart from condemning its usage. US refused to accept the condemnation. Only in 1988 did the UN Security Council pass Resolution 612 condemning the use of chemicals.


Now we see why Iran could never trust the US, UK and other EU countries. Nothing done by the west has anything to do with democracy or peoples suffering. This is Geo-Politics, “Imperialism” at its best, an urge to take control of the world’s resources, markets, and the transit corridors that deliver them.




As for the effects of CBW among US exports to Iraq (Senator Riegle Report):


Bacillus Anthracis: anthrax is a disease producing bacteria identified by the Department of Defense in the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War: Final Report to Congress, as being a major component in the Iraqi biological warfare program. Anthrax is an often-fatal infectious disease due to ingestion of spores. It begins abruptly with high fever, difficulty in breathing, and chest pain. The disease eventually results in septicaemia (blood poisoning), and the mortality is high. Once septicaemia is advanced, antibiotic therapy may prove useless, probably because the exotoxins remain, despite the death of the bacteria.  


Clostridium Botulinum: a bacterial source of botulinum toxin, which causes vomiting, constipation, thirst, general weakness, headache, fever, dizziness, double vision, dilation of the pupils and paralysis of the muscles involving swallowing. It is often fatal.  


Histoplasma Capsulatum: causes a disease superficially resembling tuberculosis that may cause pneumonia, enlargement of the liver and spleen, anemia, an influenza-like illness and an acute inflammatory skin disease marked by tender red nodules, usually on the shins. Reactivated infection usually involves the lungs, the brain, spinal membranes, heart, peritoneum, and the adrenals.  


Brucella Melitensis: a bacteria which can cause chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, profuse sweating when at rest, pain in joints and muscles, insomnia, nausea, and damage to major organs.  


Clostridium Perfringens: highly toxic bacteria, which cause gas gangrene. The bacteria produce toxins that move along muscle bundles in the body killing cells and producing necrotic tissue that is then favourable for further growth of the bacteria itself. Eventually, these toxins and bacteria enter the bloodstream and cause a systemic illness. 


The United States secretly supported Iraq in its eight-year war with Iran, and in February 1982 the US Administration removed Iraq from its list of ‘terrorist states’ in order to do so. Among the various agencies of the Government of Iraq listed in the Riegle Report, one repeated recipient of these deadly materials was the Iraqi nuclear weapons research facility, the Iraq Atomic Energy Commission.


The UK supplied Biological and Chemical agents to Iraq; documentation on this is well hidden but evidence does exist that the UK certainly did supply such agents.


Back in the 1970’s Iraq approached the USSR to buy a plant to manufacture chemical weapons, but was refused. Saddam then began courting the West, and received a favourable response. An American company, Pfaulder Corporation of Rochester, New York, supplied Iraq with a blueprint in 1975, enabling it to construct a chemical warfare plant. It was purchased in sections from Italy, West Germany and East Germany and assembled in Iraq at Akhashat; the cost was around $50 million for the plant and $30 million for the safety equipment.


In the late 1970′s, the German firm ‘Karl Kobe’ sold Iraq the ingredients for its first chemical weapons (mustard gas, Sarin, Tabun, and various tear gasses including CS and CN). The chemical weapons program was operational by late 1983/early 1984. Iraq then bought botulin toxin and mycotoxin from 5 other German firms to begin a germ/biological weapons program.

The United States CDC (Center for Disease Control) provided Iraq with biological samples up until 1989 for “Medical research and other purposes”. The US supplied anthrax, West Nile virus, botulism, and Brucella melitensis to Iraq for little or no charge.

The United Kingdom paid, in full, for the Iraqi chlorine plant where mustard gas was manufactured. Brazil provided around 100 tons of mustard gas in the early 80′s before the British funded plant was up and running. Singapore and India provided the ingredients for VX nerve agent and yet more Tabun. Egypt and Spain both provided the majority of Iraq’s munitions designed to carry and disperse the chemical weapons.




Scottish Company Allivane was at the heart of Iraq’s arms purchases for six years, as part of a joint US-UK effort. In 1976, George Bush Sr, then Nixon’s Envoy in China, met James Guerin, founder of International Signal and Control (ISC), a US Defense Contractor. They decided that they could do business together. At this time, many investigations by the US Congress regarding covert arms shipments and the CIA led to a clean-up of the CIA plus a complete shutdown of covert arms routes involving many countries.


But by this time George Bush Sr himself was running the CIA and realised that with the help of James Guerin they could re-establish this covert business with ally Britain as the staging post. Britain was on an economical low and so Prime Minister James Callaghan jumped at the idea. Callaghan later became advisor to the Bank of Credit and Commerce International which would soon have a track record of drugs and illegal arms running (one could add many more major banks to this list).


Thus, Bush-Guerin-Callaghan revived Allivane for one of the biggest cover weapons supply operations in the world. This scam involved the British Labour Party and later the Conservative Party.


Meanwhile, in the US (1974) advanced radar-controlled anti-aircraft systems were shipped to South Africa. South Africa, together with ISC, also developed sophisticated ground-to-air missiles - all restricted US technology requiring export licenses, which were not obtained. James Guerin set up a front company (Gamma Systems Associates) with the South African authorities, as part of a US covert op in 1974. This involved shipping advanced electronic sensors, optics and related equipment to South Africa without licenses to set up listening posts to track Soviet submarines off the Cape of Good Hope. The operation ceased in 1977.


From 1984 to 1988, ISC sent South Africa over $30 million in military-related equipment, including telemetry tracking antennae to collect data from missiles in flight, gyroscopes for guidance systems, and photo-imaging film readers, all of which would form the “backbone” of a medium-range missile system. Some of this technology was transferred to Iraq. Another link to Iraq was the supply of specifications for the MK-20 Rockeye cluster bomb through Chilean company Carlos Cardoen, which was able to build an almost identical weapon subsequently used against coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War of January-February 1991. These activities allegedly happened with the knowledge and assistance of US intelligence agencies (including CIA) and in violation of US and UN sanctions.


There were many other issues behind these covert arms shipments and Donald Rumsfeld was in the middle of it all with Dick Cheney sitting on the sidelines. As he said: 


“While a Staff Member to the National Security Council, I was responsible for the Middle East and for Political-Military Affairs. During my five year tenure on the National Security Council, I had regular contact with both CIA Director William Casey and Deputy Director Robert Gates… CIA Director Casey personally spearheaded the effort to ensure that Iraq had sufficient military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to avoid losing the Iran-Iraq war. Pursuant to the secret NSDD (National Security Decision Directive), the United States actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits, by providing US military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis, and by closely monitoring third country arms sales to Iraq to make sure that Iraq had the military weaponry required. The United States also provided strategic operational advice to the Iraqis to better use their assets in combat.


“For example, in 1986, President Reagan sent a secret message to Saddam Hussein telling him that Iraq should step up its air war and bombing of Iran. This message was delivered by Vice President Bush who communicated it to Egyptian President Mubarak, who in turn passed the message to Saddam Hussein. Similar strategic operational military advice was passed to Saddam Hussein through various meetings with European and Middle Eastern heads of state. I authored Bush’s talking points for the 1986 meeting with Mubarak and personally attended numerous meetings with European and Middle East heads of state where the strategic operational advice was communicated.”




The British origin of anthrax strain 14578 – “Vollum” strain


Anthrax strain 14578 may be found listed in past American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) catalogues, in which the company’s ordering procedures explain that any request for it (and other pathogenic agents) “should be made on the institution’s official stationery (purchase order) and signed by the director of the institution, the chairman of the department concerned, or the scientist in charge of the project”.


So, presumably, ATCC files will hold copies of Iraq’s original purchase orders. Such back-up documents do not appear to have been supplied to Senator Riegle in 1994, but should now be produced during a proper investigation under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council.


Who are the people through whose hands this anthrax apparently passed en-route to the ATCC and thence to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, from where it became the principal element in the widely trumpeted ‘forty-five minute threat’ which provided the pretext for the invasion of Iraq in 2003?




The invasion of Iraq by the United States and Britain in 2003 was predicated upon Iraq’s possession of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ – the primary threat being anthrax exported to Iraq from the US, where it was previously exported from Britain, where it had been tested as a biological weapon “because its capability to produce infection and death after the inhalation of spores had been demonstrated in the laboratory”. This was known to the US, Britain, and Canada due to a trilateral agreement on biological research between them.


Meanwhile, more than 20% of Britain’s MP representing approx. 12 million people – have twice called for a UN investigation into the US exports, a call dismissed by the British Government by flimsy responses and a refusal to answer questions properly. 


The United States with Great Britain blocked all Security Council resolutions condemning Iraq’s use of chemical weapons; on March 21, the US became the only country to refuse to sign a Security Council statement condemning Iraq’s use of these weapons.


The US Department of Commerce licensed 70 biological exports to Iraq between May 1985 and 1989, including at least 21 batches of lethal strains of anthrax.

May 1986: US Department of Commerce approves shipment of weapons grade botulin poison to Iraq.

April 1988: US Department of Commerce approves shipment of chemicals used in manufacture of mustard gas.

September 1988: US Department of Commerce approves shipment of weapons grade anthrax and botulinum to Iraq.


It should be noted that the MK-84 bomb stockpiled in Saudi Arabia also formed part of the support for Saddam when hundreds of these US-made general-purpose “dumb bombs” were transferred to Iraq.


Even more surprising, when Saddam’s elite troops received instruction in unconventional warfare at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, USA, “The idea was that, in the event of an Iranian victory, the Iraqi soldiers would be able to wage a guerrilla struggle against the occupying Iranian force”.


On May 25, 1994, the US Senate Banking Committee released a report in which it was stated that “pathogenic (meaning ‘disease producing’), toxigenic (meaning ‘poisonous’), and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq pursuant to application and licensing by the US Department of Commerce.” It added: “These exported biological materials were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction.”


The report detailed 70 shipments (including Bacillus Anthracis) from the United States to Iraqi government agencies over three years, concluding “It was later learned that these microorganisms exported by the United States were identical to those the UN inspectors found and recovered from the Iraqi biological warfare program.”


Iraq purchased 8 strains of anthrax from the United States in 1985, according to British biological weapons expert David Kelly. The Iraqi military settled on the American Type Culture Collection strain 14578 as the exclusive strain for use as a biological weapon.


Donald Riegle, Chairman of the Senate Committee that authored the Riegle Report, said: “UN inspectors had identified many United States manufactured items that had been exported from the United States to Iraq under licenses issued by the Department of Commerce, and [established] that these items were used to further Iraq’s chemical and nuclear weapons development and its missile delivery system development programs. … The executive branch of our government approved 771 different export licenses for sale of dual-use technology to Iraq. I think that is a devastating record.”


The US Centers for Disease Control sent Iraq 14 separate agents “with biological warfare significance,” according to Riegle’s investigators.


A vast network of companies based in the US and elsewhere fed Iraq’s warring capabilities up until August 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait.


On the military hardware front, 60 MD-500 Defender helicopters were acquired by Iraq directly from the United States in 1983. Additional helicopter sales prompted congressional opposition, forcing the Reagan administration to explore alternative ways of assisting Saddam.


Alan Friedman wrote that Sarkis Soghanalian, a notorious arms dealer during the Cold War, procured Eastern Bloc and French origin weaponry and brokered vast deals with Iraq, with the tacit approval of the Central Intelligence Agency. Sarkis Soghanalian was a Miami-based former CIA contractor who brokered billions of dollars’ worth of military hardware for Iraq during the 1980s. He was close to the Iraqi leadership and to persons in the Reagan administration and served as a go between for the CIA and other US government operations. He helped the Iraqis obtain TOW Anti Tank Missile, for which he was later prosecuted by the US Department of Justice.




I have decided to print an entire speech given by Gerald James, former Chairman of Astra, on his experiences with the British Government, the Secret Service, key political figures and notorious illegal arms dealers. Note that there was to have been another inquiry known as the Matrix Churchill Inquiry regarding the “Super Gun” and transfer of high technology such as WMDs and CBWs to Iraq as well as the current Chilcot Inquiry (Iraq Inquiry), both of which have turned out to be another gross cover-up.


Gerald James knew all the wheelings and dealings of the DTI, MoD, MI5/6, CIA and eventually fell victim to the fact that he knew too much which resulted in the demise of his company. He was witness to the inner workings of the illegal arms trade, extortionate salaries and overpriced contracts. He held one vital document - page 6 of his companies spread sheet - which revealed how the money was distributed around the inner circle and the involvement of the DTI, MI5/6, CIA and the British Government who eventually placed one of their own operatives to take control of Astra - Stepahnus Adolphus Kock.


His speech may appear complex, but if one studies it carefully one can see just how involved the British Government, the US and many other countries were in promoting war and in supplying Iraq with extremely illegal weapons.


The speech was made at a Conference in the Environmental Law Centre:


My experiences, the Scott Inquiry, the British Legal System

By Gerald Reaveley James


I am reminded of the very appropriate quote from Edmund Burke (1729-97) “It is necessary only for the good man to do nothing for evil to triumph.” I am most grateful to Dr Badsha for inviting me and honoured to make this address at this Conference of the Environmental Law Centre.


The Astra case and my case reflect much that has been to the fore in recent years in not only scandals around arms companies like Astra, Matrix Churchill, Ordtec, Forgemasters, Walter Somers, Ferranti and other companies like Polly Peck, BCCI and Maxwell, but also in the Scott Inquiry, the BSE Inquiry and the Lloyds of London affair and other scandals.


The underlying problem is secret unaccountable government which bypasses Parliament and how the law is administered in the UK, gives aid and succour to such a state of affairs. The most common device is the concealment of evidence and manipulation of cases. There is a tendency when challenged for those in authority to talk of conspiracy theories. My experience is that those who do so are usually part of the conspiracy.


My company Astra gave rise to much of the circumstances which created the Scott Inquiry, the Supergun revelations (we reported it first), the Aitken affair, the murder of Gerald Bull in Brussels in March 1990 and much else.


Background note:

My name is Gerald Reaveley James. Until March 1990 and between 1980 and 1990 I was chairman of Astra Holdings PLC (“Astra”) which became a leading ammunition and weapons manufacturer. By the late 1980’s Astra had factories in the United States (9), Canada (2), Belgium (5), United Kingdom (5) and administrative headquarters in Washington DC, Brussels and London, and employed 4,000 personnel. The story of Astra is too long to recount here but a summary is contained in my book, “In the Public Interest” published by Little Brown UK hardback 1995, Warner paperback 1996, London. Astra became involved in covert weapons and ammunitions operations organised by MI5 and MI6 and the CIA, the MOD, DOD, FCO and the State Department and the DTI. To such an extent was Astra involved with its principal subsidiaries, Walters, Accudyne, Kilgore USA PRB Belgium, BMARC UK in the covert trade manipulations of Foreign Policy.


In 1989/90, following a reappraisal of Foreign Policy in the light of the demise of the Cold War and changing circumstances in the Middle East, where it became apparent the US, UK and EEC had transferred Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical weapons technology as well as conventional weapons to countries like Iran and Iraq, and the discovery Pakistan had the atomic bomb, the whole covert network was reorganised. This involved the collapsing of companies like Astra, Ferranti/ISC, Polly Peck, BCCI, Maxwell Group etc and the prosecution of lesser fry Companies and their directors – companies like Matrix Churchill, BNJ, Ordtec, Euromac, SRC, Forgemasters, Walter Somers are examples.


The directors of Astra were to a large extent ignorant of the full range of covert activities carried out in their name, but aware of some of these activities and the likely destination of their goods. As however all operations were sanctioned by the DTI, MOD, FCO, and in the US by the DOD and the State Department and in Belgium by the Belgian Government, not too many questions were raised initially.


However, in late 1988 and 1989, it became clear to me as Chairmen that the clandestine operations far exceeded anything remotely sanctioned by the full Board and I set out to investigate in depth. I became aware that certain plants were used to secretly store and ship goods; that monies were being transferred to other operations without book records or board approval in secret commission payments; that our paper work and parallel bank accounts were being used to process arms shipments from major UK defence companies like British Aerospace, Royal Ordnance, GEC Marconi, Thorn EMI etc. A leading British Defence journalist wrote a report which was largely kept secret which indicated £100m was stolen from the Export Credit Guarantee Department (“ECGD”) in a fictitious subcontract for propellant which BMARC, an Astra subsidiary, had secretly obtained in 1998 from Royal Ordnance.


I also became concerned about payments to and business with MI6/CIA front company Allivane which had occurred between 1983 and 1988 via Astra. It also became clear that all our main operations were involved in covert operations in the USA, Belgium and the UK, and that Astra, when it acquired these companies, had inherited a hard core of MI6, MI5, DIA agents who operated behind the back of the original directors and who treated them as “useful idiots”. All our main companies were involved with Space Research Corporation (“SRC”) and the late Dr Gerald Bull who was behind the Supergun and other secret projects which Astra companies were also involved in. In 1989, I realised we had a hugely dangerous individual on our main Board and the BMARC Board who was an MI6 agent.


This individual, Stephanus Adolphus Kock, had high level political connections to Thatcher, Heseltine, Younger, Hanley, etc as well as MI5 and MI6 connections. It is now clear to me that he was involved in the murder of Dr Gerald Bull in Brussels on 22nd March 1990 and Jonathan Moyle in Santiago, Chile on 31st March 1990. BMARC was the only company outside the Atomic Weapons research establishment and government arms depots with the capability to store nuclear bombs like Redbeard and WE177.


By early 1990, my probing had become a major problem and a plot was hatched to remove me as Chairman shortly before the Supergun and other revelations and Bull’s murder. A new dummy board led in reality by Kock with two MI6/MI5 stooges ran the company into the ground over the next two years. In order to explain away the destruction of the company with a £350m order book and a market capitalisation of £120m, desperate attempts were made to find evidence of malpractice by the original directors.


Gumbley, my Managing Director, who had been with Bull until an hour before he was shot, had discussed with Bull suing UK Government and senior civil servants using Bull’s extensive knowledge of high level corruption and illegal operations. It had been agreed I would return with Gumbley to agree with lawyers how to proceed a week later. I had discussed such matters with Bull some six months previous but no further action had been taken. Gumbley was immediately framed for corrupting an MOD official and jailed for 9 months and after desperately trying to find something on me and failing, Kock and MI6/MI5 decided to institute through Peter Lilley and the DTI, a DTI Inquiry. Lilley was Secretary of state at the DTI at the time.


The DTI Inquiry lasted three years and cost £2.5m plus (as much as the Scott Inquiry). The announcement of the Inquiry and the misleading press statements issued by the DTI and Government ensured the downfall of Astra. Crooks and MI5, MI6 agents or informers were put in charge of Astra – Kock, Roy Barber FCA and Tony McCann. Barber and McCann whose managerial and industrial competence and experience were negligible paid themselves £330,000 and £280,000 pa respectively. Barber took £100,000 in the first month. Barber’s annual payment was more than I received in salary and expenses as Chairman over ten years while I built the company.


PRB was sold off immediately for £3m to avoid embarrassing revelations. MI5, MI6 and MOD police and Customs launched 17 raids on Astra premises in order to steal any sales and other documentation incriminating Government. No new orders were obtained in spite of the Gulf War and the company ran on the £350m order book we had left for two years before it was put into receivership on 2nd February 1992 on the eve of me giving evidence to the House of Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee re Supergun, Project Babylon and arms to Iraq (and Iran etc).


Press coverage was hue and adverse. This facilitated, as clearly city interests like Banks and Astra’s main shareholders, Prudential and Clerical and medical cooperated with Government for their own interest and purposes against the interests of smaller shareholders (a parallel with Lloyds techniques). Kock had a cover as a consultant in Midland Bank’s secret arms department, Midland and Industrial Trade Services (“MITS”). This was staffed by ex service officers, MI5, MI6, agents and intelligence affiliated bankers. Midland with the Bank of Boston were Astra’s main bankers and dominated by MI6 CIA agents.


Kock was also said to be head of Group 13, the Government’s assassination and dirty tricks squad according to Richard John Rainey Unwin, a close associate of Knock himself who was a contract MI6 agent and Consultant to Astra. Kock and Unwin, with Martin Laing Construction, negotiated the £2bn Malaysian defence deal before George Younger, the Defence Secretary even knew of it.


The MOD police arrested several of my colleagues, framed Gumbley. I was subjected to harassment, burglaries; I was arrested by Customs, investigated by the Inland Revenue, subjected to surveillance, threats, bugging, telephone tapping (all documented), a DTI Inquiry which lasted 3 years and a DTI prosecution which lasted 4 years. In addition I had to give copious evidence to the Scott Inquiry over 4 years, 2 DTI Select Committees, Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Defence Select Committee, Public Accounts Select Committee, Public Services Select committee, Police (SOI), a huge law suit in the United States (Dooley case). My family suffered considerably, my two eldest sons army careers suffered, my youngest son’s education because of adverse publicity, my brother was killed in an accident never satisfactorily explained, which could have been intended for me.




Senior figures in London in the illegal arms trade and in particular the Iraqi Supergun scandal deliberately referred the case to the wrong police department to avoid further embarrassment for Government. The DTI handed over a dossier on Astra to the Serious Fraud Office when it should have been referred to the Metropolitan Police fraud squad.


The deliberate mistake was made so that Gerald James did not get his day in court to make accusations about Supergun and to reveal Page 6 of company (Astra) spread sheets that would have revealed the massive fraud associated with this case and those involved. The Serious Frauds Office would not say why it chose not to investigate Astra, and the DTI categorically denied the charges.


The west thrives on wars and conflict as it is very good for business, especially in arms sales and in hiking the price of oil. There is no terrorist threat to the UK or US; this is propaganda created to allow the west to create its own “Geo Political Plan” to take over the worlds natural resources, to control the markets for those resources, and to control the transit routes, sea lanes and pipeline routes …


Peter Eyre, a former British Naval officer, worked at NATO headquarters, and is now a Middle East consultant; his website is

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