Iraq cancels billion-dollar arms deal
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki's office has said that it is cancelling a $4.2 billion dollar arms deal with Russia
Click here to add Ali Al Moussawi as an alert
Disable alert for Ali Al Moussawi,
Click here to add Bashar al Assad as an alert
Disable alert for Bashar al Assad,
Click here to add Interfax as an alert
Disable alert for Interfax,
Click here to add Iraqi government as an alert
Disable alert for Iraqi government,
Click here to add Nuri Al Maliki as an alert
Disable alert for Nuri Al Maliki,
Click here to add Rosoboronexport as an alert
Disable alert for Rosoboronexport,
Click here to add Russian Embassy in Iraq as an alert
Disable alert for Russian Embassy in Iraq,
Click here to add Sadoon Al Dulaimi as an alert
Disable alert for Sadoon Al Dulaimi,
Click here to add Washington as an alert
Disable alert for Washington
The Iraqi government said yesterday it had cancelled a $4.2 billion deal to buy military jets, helicopters and missiles from Russia, citing possible corruption in the contract.
In a confusing exchange, the announcement by Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki's office was immediately contradicted by the acting defence minister who denied the corruption charges, claiming the deals were still valid.
US military hardware remains key for Iraq's armed forces, but security analysts said the Russian deal had appeared to open a way for Maliki to resist US political pressure by diversifying his arms suppliers.
The Russian deal was agreed just as Washington warned the Iraqi Shia leader to curb Iranian flights ferrying weapons through Iraqi airspace to aid Syrian President Bashar Al Assad in his fight against a revolt there.
Maliki's media adviser Ali Al Moussawi said the decision to renegotiate the agreements was taken after the prime minister was informed about possible wrongdoing in the contract.
"Our need for weapons still stands so we will renegotiate new contracts," Moussawi said. "This is a precautionary measure because of suspected corruption." But acting Defence Minister Sadoon Al Dulaimi, who negotiated with the Russians, dismissed the corruption charges.
"We have not transferred even one dinar, there was no agent, no contract was signed. These were just technical and financial offers," he said.
Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport declined to comment. Russia's Interfax news agency also said the Russian embassy in Iraq said it had not been informed the deal had been scrapped.
- Al Tayer bucks the US department store trend with Bloomingdale's Kuwait opening
- Gulf Islamic banks set to outperform conventional banks for second year: Moody's
- Jordan secures EU finance for socioeconomic and environmental programs
- Same-day service deliveries in GCC an untapped market: Wing CEO
- Will terror attacks damper Arabs' appetite for European holidays?