Iraq denies it seeks advanced Russian weapons

April 13th, 2009 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, April 13 (DPA) Baghdad is not seeking to buy advanced Russian weapons systems, an Iraqi government spokesman said Monday, denying earlier reports.
“Iraq does not want to buy heavy, advanced weapons from Russia,” spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Baghdad’s al-Iraqia television.

Any reports to the contrary were “absolutely untrue,” al-Dabbagh said, adding that budget cuts and Iraq’s current security requirements precluded the purchase of advanced fighter jets or air defence systems.

“But the Iraqi Ministry of Defence has been given a green light to buy weapons from Russian companies,” al-Dabbagh said.

“A delegation from the Iraqi Ministry of Defence will visit Russian companies to assess what Iraq needs to protect its security and to hear proposals on training and the sale of other weapons,” he said.

“Iraq is not obliged to deal with a single source for weapons or military technology, such as the United States,” al-Dabbagh added. “Iraq is buying from Russia, France, China and Serbia, and is negotiating with Italy on weapons sales.”

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