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Arming Iran from the heart of Westminster? The Iranian military procurement offices, rumours and intelligence, 1981–1987

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1042-1058
Number of pages17
JournalIntelligence and National Security
Volume35
Issue number7
DOIs
Accepted/In press2 Jun 2020
Published9 Nov 2020

King's Authors

Abstract

During the Iran-Iraq war there were extensive rumours in the press regarding Iran’s use of Iranian Military Procurement Offices (IMPOs) in London to purchase arms. This article seeks to interrogate the facts behind these rumours: what was going on inside the IMPOs? How much intelligence did the British government have about this? Not a huge amount – largely a result of the IMPOs being a challenging target and Britain’s intelligence priorities in London lying elsewhere. More broadly the paper seeks to provide insights into the challenges of gathering intelligence from – and responding to the activities of – foreign government targets on home turf, as well as providing insights into an under-considered area of intelligence – that surrounding embargoes and sanctions.

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