International legal protocol surrounding the shipment of
lethal weapons requires that the shipper have a certificate
of "end use" in which the buyer declares that the weapons
are for its use only, and will not be transshipped.
The end-user certificate in this example covered shipments
of weapons from Austria in the 1980s to the Royal Jordanian
Army. Actually, the Austrian weapons -- ranging from mortars
to advanced long-range artillery and ammunition -- were
transshipped through Jordan to Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
the deception? Iraq was at war with Iran, and that war was the
subject of a U.N. embargo. So for a fee, reportedly at least
10 percent of the purchase price, Jordan's King Hussein provided
the end-user certificate. He also provided the route for the
weapons to get to Saddam from Jordan's Red Sea port and then
overland by truck to Baghdad.
The Jordanian link and paperwork was critical to Saddam's survival
during the 1980s. The Iran-Iraq war would become the bloodiest
conflict of the last half-century, with millions of casualties.
Despite the embargo the sides received billions in weapons and
ammunition mostly from European and South American countries,
all of whom obtained "end-user certificates" to give them deniability.