171. 6/12/1984

The Reagan Administration wanted to help Iraq build an oil pipeline to the port of Aqaba in Jordan to get around Iran's blockade of Iraq's Persian Gulf ports. However, the U.S. agency, Export-Import Bank, refused to cover the loan because of Iraq's shaky credit. "As a result, the Reagan administration had to lobby to get the bank to overlook its own guidelines. On June 12, 1984, Charles Hill, executive secretary to Secretary of State George Shultz, sent a confidential memo to Vice President [George H.W.] Bush, suggesting Bush call William Draper, chairman of the Export-Import Bank, and pressure him to provide the okay for the loan. Bush was the logical choice for this task…Draper and he were old friends…Draper reversed the previous position of the Export-Import Bank and agreed to provide the financing. Bush's lobbying of the bank marked the point at which he began to take an active role in the covert policy to support Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

 – House of Bush, House of Saud, Craig Unger, 6/12/1984

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