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.

 

GCC states vow united stand against IS mosque bombings

Egypt government adopts anti-terror law

21 killed in clashes, strikes in Yemen's Aden

Ankara has no plans for imminent intervention in Syria

Iraq Christians train for jihad against IS

Islamists form alliance in battle for Aleppo

Top Tunisian jihadist reportedly killed by US strike in Libya

Emir attends joint Shiite, Sunni prayers in Kuwait

Hamas denies involvement in Sinai attacks

Palestinians arrest 100 Hamas members in West Bank

4 Qaeda suspects killed in US drone attack in Yemen

'Series of errors' behind Air Algerie crash in Mali

Palestinians protest one year after teenager burned alive

Egypt vows to wipe out 'dens of terror'

Tunisia arrests eight in connection with beach massacre

Youth in Tunisia 'ripe for radicalisation'

UN sends mission to 'assess' South Sudan atrocities

Syria urges citizens to enlist

AQAP step up campaign to eradicate qat

British FM: 'No breakthrough yet' in Iran nuclear talks

UN imposes first sanctions on six South Sudan generals

Libya rival governments will not return to peace talks

Fighting rages in Yemen’s Aden

Kurds warn Turkey against any ‘aggression’ in Syria

Kuwait makes DNA tests mandatory after suicide bombing

Kuwait parliament approves deficit budget on oil slide

Pro-Erdogan candidate becomes new speaker of Turkey parliament

‘War’ in Sinai Peninsula as clashes with ISIS fighters rage on

All 38 victims of Tunisia beach massacre identified

36 killed in wave of IS attack on Egyptian soldiers

Iran vs. Israel gets cartoon treatment

IAEA chief to fly to Iran for nuclear talks

Saudi prince pledges fortune to charity

Syria Kurds regain full control of Tal Abyad

Palestinian PM to make 'temporary' cabinet reshuffle

20 civilians killed in rebel fire on Yemen's Aden

Iran nuclear talks go into extra time

Gulf states urged to follow Kuwait on maid rights

Yemen rebels free 1,200 prisoners

Negotiators extend deadline for Iran nuclear talks

‘Islamic State’ re-enters Syria border town of Tal Abyad

Defiant tourists stay in Tunisia

Deadly clashes rage on in eastern Libya

Only mobile phone company in Gaza closed by Hamas

Zarif keeps cards close to chest as he meets Kerry