News In Brief

Iran asks several countries to condemn Iraqi attacks

Iran sent messages to several countries Sunday asking their parliaments to condemn the use of chemical weapons by Iraq. The Iranian news agency IRNA did not name the countries concerned.

On Friday, Britain said it was putting four warships on standby in the Mediterranean Sea, as a precautionary measure to protect vital oil-tanker routes in the wake of recent Iraqi attacks on shipping in the Gulf war.

Iraq once again warned all foreign vessels to keep away from the war zone it has declared in an economic blockade of Iran.

About 20 percent of the Western world's oil passes through the 40-mile-wide strait at the southern end of the Gulf. Iran has threatened to block the Strait if Iraq menaces Iranian oil exports through the waterway.

The Reagan administration has vowed to keep the Strait open and Britain has promised it will back Washington's stand.

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