Baghdad leadership denies Iran-Iraq arms deal under U.S. pressure
Iraq denied that it signed a deal with Iran for weapons and ammunition on Wednesday, according to Agence France Presse.
Media worldwide reported earlier this week that Baghdad sought out and signed an agreement with Tehran in November 2013 that would facilitate an arms transaction to the Iraqi military worth an estimated $195 million.
However, Iraq's defense ministry Wednesday released a statement saying that "no contract was signed with the Iranian company [suggested in the report]."
Washington has been in an uproar since the report's release earlier this week, saying that the deal would represent an "apparent violation of international sanctions."
According to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, "Any transfer of arms from Iran to a third country is in direct violation [of United Nations Sanctions on the Islamic Republic]. We are seeking clarification on this matter from the government of Iraq and to ensure that Iraqi officials understand the limits that international law places on arms trade with Iran."
Washington has been one of Baghdad's major military suppliers, providing more than $15 billion worth of equipment to the Iraqi military, and even speeding up delivery shipments in response to militants' growing power in Anbar province. Washington has thus placed an enormous amount of pressure on Iraqi leadership since the report's release earlier this week.
However, Baghdad's dealings are not solely confined to U.S. agreements. Both Russia and China have discussed arm sales with Iraqi leadership during their recent visits to Baghdad.