Bonn — Two Iraqi diplomats arrested six weeks ago in West Berlin with a suitcase of explosives are to be deported to Iraq Sept. 17 rather than face trial for terrorism in West Berlin, government sources here say.
The West Germany intent in not prosecuting the pair is to avoid jeopardizing Iraq's incipient post-Afghan shift away from close alliance with the Soviet Union, the sources say.
It is hoped that Iraq's somewhat more tolerant attitude toward the West in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan will include a phasing otu of Iraqi-sponsored terrorism in the West. It is hoped further that Iraq might even moderate its virulent opposition to Egyptian-Israeli accommodation.
Critics chargE, however, that the decision to deport reflects West German yielding to oil blackmail in an effort not to antagonize Arab petroleum suppliers.
The episode began Aug. 1, when First Secretary Khalid Jaber and Iraqi Embassy administrative employee Hay-Ali Mahnoud handed over a suitcase with 500 grams of explosives to the undercover agent in West Berlin. The explosives were allegedly to be used to blow up a congress of Kurdish students in West Berlin. The two diplomats were accredited to East Germany, and it was easy for them to slip over East-West Berlin crossing points heavily guarded by East German officials but unmanned by West Berlin.
The two Iraqis -- who had no diplomatic immunity in West Berlin -- were charged with attempted murder, attempted criminal explosions, and illegal possession of weapons.
When the West German government requested deportation, West Berlin demanded guarantees that the two would not return to Berlin or to East or West German territory and that there would be no more terrorist actions in West Berlin by Iraqis or Iraqi-backed groups.
The Iraqi government apparently has provided only the first assurance: that the two won't be sent back to East or West Germany.