Iran admits losing millions in a deal to buy weapons

Iran admitted it had lost $56 million in an arms swindle in Europe while trying to get badly needed supplies for its war against Iraq. Asked at a press conference about local rumors that 560 million rials ($7.5 million) sent to France to buy arms had been stolen by Iranian representatives, chief government spokesman Behzad Nabavi said: "It is not 56 million tomans but $56 million." This was Iran's first officially reported bid to obtain arms outside government channels in the seven-month-old war.

In a separate announcement, Iran said 10 lawyers had been appointed to the Iranian-US claims tribunal set up to settle the fate of billions of dollars of Iranian assets held in the US.

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