The National Interest!

Richard Norton-Taylor and Tracy McVeigh in The Observer, ‘The execution of the Observer journalist Farzad Bazoft on 15 March 1990, ordered by Saddam Hussein, provoked outrage around the world. Yet later that same day Margaret Thatcher and her government decided not to take any action, against what ministers admitted was a “ruthless” regime, for fear of jeopardising lucrative exports to Iraq . . . Trade or credit restrictions on Iraq would be “ineffective in influencing the attitude of the Iraqi government” and would inflict “disproportionate damage on UK industry”, Norman Lamont, a future chancellor but at that time the chief secretary to the Treasury, noted in a memo to foreign secretary Douglas Hurd, the files disclose . . . Five days after Bazoft was hanged, Hurd warned: “In the atmosphere brought about by our present difficulties, Iraq would see any action against credit as a further political response to Bazoft and would hit back hard. That would be bad for our wider commercial interests where our competitors would happily step in to take up our share of the market.”   click here.