This report discusses the Iran-Iraq conflict at its present state, which has become a war of attrition with neither side capable of achieving a decisive military victory over the other in the short term. U.S. policy concerns currently are threefold: first, that Iraq, despite moves to sustain its economic and military capacities, ultimately might suffer a destabilizing defeat to the detriment of U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf region; second, that future instability in Iran could open opportunities for Soviet exploitation; and third, that the conflict might expand beyond its present confines to threaten friendly regional states and the availability of their vast petroleum resources.
This report provides background and examines key questions in regards to the shipments of arms to Iran and the subsequent diversion of funds to Nicaraguan guerrillas by the Reagan Administration.
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