US embassy cable - 88STATE64278

IRAQI MISSILE ATTACKS ON TEHRAN

Identifier: 88STATE64278
Wikileaks: View 88STATE64278 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Secretary of State
Created: 1988-03-02 00:58:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: IZ IR MOPS MCAP
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 020058Z MAR 88
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO USDEL SECRETARY IMMEDIATE
S E C R E T  STATE 064278 
 
FROM INR/DAS:DACLARK 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR 
TAGS:       IZ, IR, MOPS, MCAP 
SUBJECT:    IRAQI MISSILE ATTACKS ON TEHRAN 
 
1.  SECRET - ENTIRE TEXT 
 
2.  FOLLOWING IS A SPOT INTELLIGENCE REPORT ISSUED BY INR 
WITH INFORMATION AS OF 0900 EDT 1 MARCH 1988: 
 
3.  IRAQ HAS ANNOUNCED A TOTAL OF 13 MISSILE STRIKES 
AGAINST TEHRAN SINCE THE AFTERNOON OF FEBRUARY 29. 
SPECIAL INTELLIGENCE CONFIRMS AT LEAST TEN OF THE 
FIRINGS, AT LEAST THREE WERE TRACKED TO TEHRAN.  INITIAL 
PRESS REPORTS INDICATE SUBSTANTIAL CASUALTIES. 
 
4.  THESE ATTACKS WERE PROMPTED BY IRANIAN FIRING OF 
THREE SCUD MISSILES AT BAGHDAD THE NIGHT OF FEBRUARY 
28-29, WHICH IN TURN WAS RETALIATION FOR AN IRAQI AIR 
STRIKE ON THE REY OIL REFINERY IN TEHRAN'S SUBURBS 
FEBRUARY 27. 
 
5.  OUR BEST GUESS, BASED ON EARLIER REPORTS OF IRAQI 
EXPERIMENTATION, IS THAT IRAQ IS FIRING REDUCED-PAYLOAD 
SCUD MISSILES.  THE ORDINARY SCUD CAN ONLY REACH HALFWAY 
TO TEHRAN, BUT THE IRAQIS WERE CLAIMING TO HAVE DOUBLED 
THE MISSILE'S RANGE TO OVER 600 KM., WHICH WOULD JUST 
MAKE IT TO TEHRAN FROM THE KNOWN LAUNCHING AREA NEAR 
AL-AMARA.  IRAQ IS CREDITED WITH OVER 140 SOVIET-ORIGIN 
SCUD SURFACE-TO-SURFACE MISSILES. 
 
6.  BOTH SIDES APPEAR TO HAVE DECIDED THAT US EFFORTS TO 
OBTAIN A RESOLUTION TO ENFORCE UNSC RES. 598 AGAINST IRAN 
HAVE STALLED.  THUS, THE RESTRAINT SHOWN BY IRAN AND IRAQ 
UNTIL RECENTLY WILL INCREASLINGLY FRAY.  IRAN IS LIKELY 
TO RESPOND WITH FURTHER SCUD ATTACKS AGAINST BAGHDAD AND 
ARTILLERY SHELLING OF IRAQI BORDER CITIES.  THE IRANIANS 
ARE ALSO LIKELY TO LAUNCH ONE OR MORE MAJOR GROUND 
ATTACKS IN THE NEAR FUTURE. 
 
 
WHITEHEAD 

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