Part of the reason some nations might be reluctant to press for a criminal investigation of Saddam is that a wide-ranging probe could uncover embarrassing details of close cooperation of certain countries - including the US, Russia, and France - at the same time Iraq was using chemical weapons, developing long-range missiles with chemical warheads, and researching and producing biological weapons.
For example, during the Reagan administration the US provided extensive satellite-generated military intelligence reflecting Iranian troop movements during a critical phase of the Iran-Iraq war in 1987 and 1988. Iraq reportedly used that information to help direct its chemical weapons attacks, actions Washington chose to largely ignore at the time. Washington's big concern in the late 1980s was that Iran might defeat Iraq and the entire oil-rich Gulf would suddenly face a looming Islamic threat from Tehran.
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