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The World

June 30, 1989

West German police raided the offices of a Duesseldorf company suspected of planning to help deliver to Iran chemicals for making poison gas, and officials said they have evidence that the firm had illegally failed to seek an export permit required for the deal. A week after Secretary of State James A. Baker III told West German officials of U.S. suspicions about the firm, West German prosecutors said they have launched an investigation of the company, Rheineisen Chemical Products. The company denied any wrongdoing but acknowledged that it helped arrange a shipment planned for next month from India via Dubai to Iran of 257 tons of thionyl chloride, used in making mustard gas. Lawyers for Rheineisen said the firm has canceled the deal.

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