First Published: 2012-11-12

 

Iraq to renegotiate massive Russia weapons deal

 

Government spokesman says Baghdad will renegotiate with Moscow to put end to suspicions of corruption in arms deal.

 

Middle East Online

A large batch of MiG-29 fighters is being discussed

BAGHDAD - Iraq will renegotiate a massive weapons deal with Russia, a spokesman said on Monday, after Baghdad cancelled a $4.2 billion agreement that would have made Moscow Iraq's biggest supplier after the US.

The cancellation on account of graft concerns of the initial deal, announced last month while Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was visiting Moscow, was a setback for Russia's attempts to firm up its slipping foothold in the Middle East and also threw into doubt efforts by Iraq to equip its armed forces.

"The Iraqi government has not signed any deal to buy weapons from Russia so far, but the process is ongoing to purchase weapons from Russia because of Iraq's needs," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement.

He said Iraq's National Security Council had decided on Sunday to "fully renegotiate" with Moscow, and had formed a new committee to do so.

"It will renegotiate with Russia to put an end to suspicions of corruption in the weapons deal," Dabbagh said.

Maliki's spokesman said on Saturday that the deal valued at more than $4.2 billion (3.3 billion euros) had been cancelled because of suspicions of corruption.

Had the announced deal been finalised and implemented, it would have made Russia Baghdad's biggest arms supplier after the United States.

Russian media said the deliveries covered 30 Mi-28 attack helicopters and 42 Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile systems.

Discussions were also said to be underway for Iraq's eventual acquisition of a large batch of MiG-29 fighters and helicopters, along with heavy weaponry.

The statement announcing the deals said they were secretly discussed as early as April and revisited again in July and August during visits to Russia by Iraqi delegations that included acting Defence Minister Saadun al-Dulaimi.

 

Push on IS capital Raqqa gathers momentum

Israel to deny Human Rights Watch visas for being ‘biased’

Iraq forces look to build floating bridge in Mosul

Boosting presidental powers will 'stabilise' Turkey, says PM

Bethlehem fetes Arab Idol singing hero

Shia leadership struggle ahead after Khamenei and Sistani

Morocco to withdraw from Western Sahara tension zone

The huge risks of Trump’s call to ‘take’ Iraqi oil

Trump set to zero in on Hezbollah in bid to curb Iran

Time bomb of unemployment among Arab youth

Woman journalist says targeted by hardliners in Sudan

Iran's Ahmadinejad writes open letter to Trump

Iran's Rouhani to run for re-election

Kurdish reporter killed while covering Mosul battle

Libya govt secures ceasefire after Tripoli clashes

Saudi Foreign Minister in landmark visit to Iraq

Iraqi forces push deeper into west Mosul

Suicide attacks kill 42 in Syria's Homs

Top US commander in secret Syria trip

UN considers Syria sanctions over chemical attacks

Saudi Comic-Con slammed as ‘sin’ in online backlash

Jordanians protest government price hikes

Baghdad coordinated anti-IS airstrikes with Damascus says source

New Hamas Gaza leader makes first public appearance

Palestinian protestors clash with Israeli soldiers in West Bank

Jordanian F-16 crashes in Saudi, pilot survives

Suicide bomb attack on rebels kills 51 near Al-Bab

Iraqi PM says air force strikes IS targets in Syria

Iraqi forces enter IS-held west Mosul

UN slams light sentence for Israeli soldier

Saudi king seeks investment on rare Asia tour

UN Syria peace talks begin in Geneva

Saudi minister discusses hajj with Iran

136 Turkish diplomats, soldiers seek German asylum since coup

New Hamas ‘strongman’ could spell fresh Israeli conflict

Suicide car bomb kills eight outside Yemen army base

Fired Turkish academics protest ‘unjust’ dismissals

Iraqi forces jovial after Mosul airport entry

Syrian rebels announce capture of flashpoint town from IS

Iraqi forces enter IS-held Mosul airport

Swedish citizen jailed for IS Facebook post

Somalia names new prime minister

Netanyahu backs pardon for Israel soldier who shot Palestinian

UN envoy meets Syrian rivals, hopes of breakthrough slim

Yemeni government forces pin back rebels on coast