Despite the close relationship between the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and Iraq from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s, new evidence from documents of the former East German Ministry for State Security (Stasi) and the Iraqi Ba'th Party archives, combined with interviews of senior East German diplomats who served in the Arab world, indicates that the Stasi changed its policy in the second half of the 1970s and persisted with that policy in the 1980s after the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War. This article gives an overview of relations between the Stasi and Iraq following the rise of the Ba'th to power in 1968 under Saddam Hussein (who later became president of Iraq in 1979) and examines Iraq's efforts to obtain assistance from the Stasi. The Iraqi regime's persecution of Communists within Iraq and its targeting of Iraqi Communists in Eastern Europe were important in discouraging the Stasi from establishing close cooperation with Iraq.

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