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Iran says it will sue German companies for arming Iraq

April 7, 1997

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ Iran said Monday that it would sue German companies and officials for allegedly exporting chemical weapons to Iraq that were used to kill and maim Iranians during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.

Iran has been threatening such a lawsuit since last year. Mohammad Reza Abbassi Fard, spokesman for the Iranian judiciary, made the announcement Monday on state-run television.

``We have over 1,000 complaints against German firms at the Iranian judiciary from relatives of toxic gas victims,″ the television quoted Fard as saying.

The broadcast did not name any of the officials or the 24 companies it said were alleged to have sold chemical weapons, or say when a trial would begin.

Relations between Iran and Germany have deteriorated since last fall, when German prosecutors accused Iranian leaders of ordering the 1992 assassination of a Kurdish dissident and three of his aides in Berlin. A verdict is expected soon in the Berlin trial of an Iranian and four Lebanese.

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