- Iraq PM Confirms $4 Bln Arms Deal with Russia
- Iraqi PM Floats Defense-tech Deal with Russia
- Iraq: $4.2 Bln Russian Arms Deal ‘Canceled’
- Iraq Denies Cancellation of $4.2 Bln Arms Deal with Russia
MOSCOW, November 13 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti) – Iraq denied on Tuesday that its decision to suspend a $4.2-billion arms deal with Russia had been taken after consultations with the United States.
“We are a sovereign state and we would not give into pressure,” a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told RIA Novosti by telephone from Baghdad. "What's more, there was no pressure from Washington," added the spokesman, Ali Musawi.
The landmark deal for Russia to supply attack helicopters and mobile air-defense systems to the Middle East country was announced after Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki met his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, in Moscow in early October.
The widely reported deal was hailed by Russian media as the largest involving Moscow since 2006, and would have made Russia the biggest arms supplier to Iraq after the United States, which has sold Baghdad billions of dollars in weapons since the 2003 invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.
But the agreement was thrown into confusion on Saturday, when Maliki's office said the deal had been scrapped over concerns about corruption.
A highly-placed Russian Defense Ministry source told RIA Novosti after the Iraqi statement that the United States was “behind” Baghdad’s decision. Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport has declined to comment on the deal.
“It’s only natural to expect that the Americans wouldn’t be happy about the deal,” said Saleh A. Jabar, head of the Beirut-based Iraq Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank. “They have strategic interests there and were looking forward to selling weapons to Iraq and training Iraqi soldiers.”
The announcement of the deal in early October came as the United States warned Maliki to halt Iranian flights carrying weapons through Iraqi airspace to beleaguered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Maliki is a member of Islam’s minority faith, Shia, the state religion in Iran.
And the deal was shrouded in yet more uncertainty on Monday when Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said that the country’s security council had formed a new committee to renegotiate the deal, a statement confirmed by the Defense Ministry on Tuesday.
“We are continuing with the deal with a new committee as the old one was compromised by allegations of corruption,” Defense Ministry spokesman Musawi told RIA on Tuesday. “We really need these weapons.”
Iraq expert Jabar suggested that the deal could have been frozen over a disagreement among "corrupt" Iraqi officials over “who would get the commission” for the deal.
Russian media said the purported deal involved 30 Mi-28 attack helicopters and 42 Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile systems. Discussions were also believed to be taking place for Iraq to acquire a large batch of MiG-29 fighters.
Follow Marc Bennetts on Twitter
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
- mrgenieFunny07:17, 15/11/2012If it's about strategy, why did the US honor Russia's oil contracts and interests in Iraq for the full 100% after the invasion? :P You don't hear any Russian commenting on that.
Why did the US not destroy all soviet weaponry they found in Iraq, to make sure they had to buy new systems which would be incompatible with Russian systems? So why did the US respect Russia's interests also in this case? You don't hear any comments from Russian officials about this "tiny" fact.
Why did the US allow the largest new oil contracts on Iraqi strategic reserves be signed with Russian state companies? You don't hear anything about this from Russian state officials.
But when the Iraqi's claim there has been corruption with their Russian counterparts and the Iraqi negotiators, although everyone knows Russia is the top world nr1 corrupt state, then Russian officials keep their mouth shut, don't mention corruption, and simply point at someone "the USA" knowing that all stupid and dumb Russians, will believe it. So, now it's only waiting for those people in Russia to show what they believe and point out if they are dumb or smart enough to see through these false allegations.
Same came when Russian rockets fell from heaven. All morons in Russia believed state officials claiming the US is targetting Russian missiles. Even here online the majority was commenting how dumb they are to believe this crap as if the US has the technology to shoot down missiles in low orbit above Kazakhstan. ROFL, how dumb one must be to fall for that. The USA are no gods! LOL later, when came out those rockets fall from the sky because of corruption inside the Russian industry, all newspapers on command by V. V. Putin kept silent about it and didn't mention it. But the bloggers mentioned it and they know it. Unfortunately, the majority of the morons still don't get it: "not the USA, but Russian officials are the biggest enemy to the Russian people"
- SchulerFthe moron is the person writing above - mrgenie04:39, 18/11/2012One would have to be a gullible and generally ignorant person like mrgenei to assume that newspapers are controlled by Putin! Clearly the genie does not know how to read Russian and has no Russian TV - which one can get in USA easily. Nobody was hiding any information about failed missile launches. I can tell you, however, that in USA we hardly ever hear about any failed US launches, failed AMB tests, unlike in Russia, where they are discussed a lot. It is American and European media that hide dirty secrets about what we have done and who we are allied with in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and even in Ukraine with the scum like the fascists of W. Ukraine.
As for mrgenie being gullible and simply asserting that USA has not, once again, used its pressure over and links with weak and corrupt Iraqis, he probably still thinks there were WMD in Iraq, that al-Qaeda were never American allies, that Putin controls the media, that NATO expansion helps democracy (instead of forcing states to increase defense spending), that ABM installations for the Czech were popular and upheld by a democratic vote, that Russia attacked S. Ossetia (as the loyal US media reported 3 days after S.Ossetia was being bombarded).
That Russia was able to get oil contracts in Iraq says something about Russian influence, not whether USA was for or against. In the arms industry, it is much more cut-throat, and the American military-industrial complex has always used the government which it has hijacked like a parasite that it is, has always used dirty and illegal tricks to sell weapons even to terrorists in the Middle East. As for corruption, Russia does not rank as the most corrupt, Ukraine and a host of middle eastern states are ahead in that category. But what does it matter where each ranks? Its not like WMD and a bunch of other mad-up pretexts were ever registered in the corruption index, or the missile defense in Europe to protect everybody form N. Korea and Iran! The USA military junta has made it their goal to waste the money of its people and neglect infrastructure to instead finance terrorists, destabilize other countries, and accumulate the blood of thousands on its hands in Serbia, Afghanistan,Iraq, Chechnya, Syria, S.Ossetia, and Libya. It wants Russia to be as weak and without will as Ukraine. But Russia has always resisted insatiable hegemons - Napoleaon, Kaiser, Hitler, and now USA.
Islamic terrorism is gaining momentum, and is all about ideological opposition to European Christian values. This is an aggressive young radical ideology that attracts followers across the world. And it will only grow stronger on the world political stage.