US OKs sale of engines for four Iraqi ships

Despite strong congressional objections, the State Department Thursday announced approval of the sale of jet engines for four warships that are being built for Iraq. The license involves eight jet-engine cores, built by General Electric, in a contract amounting to $11.2 million.

The specific military mission of the Iraqi frigates would be to patrol the Persian Gulf and counter Iranian naval strength, based mainly on ships that were purchased by the late Shah of Iran from the United States.

The sale could be revoked if a section of the International Security Assistance bill, now before Congress, is passed. But administration officials do not expect that to happen.

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