ROME — Prime Minister Bettino Craxi on Wednesday denied accusations of an Italian connection to secret American shipments of arms to Iran, and he ordered a detailed investigation of the charges.
Three left-wing parties, including the Communists and Radicals, charged that arms destined for Iran were loaded aboard Danish ships at the Italian port of Talamone as part of a secret U.S. arms deal with Iran aimed in part at securing the release of American hostages in Lebanon.
Craxi's office denied that Italy had any agreement with Washington, "tacit or otherwise," to assist in such an arms deal and pointed out that, on the contrary, Italy had been urged repeatedly by Washington to halt supplies of arms to Iran and Iraq.
No License Granted
Since June, 1984, when Italy agreed to the arms embargo urged by Washington, "no export license has been granted for any type of armament to the two warring countries," Craxi said in a statement issued by his office.