Both Washington and Baghdad continued to scramble on Tuesday in the wake of a Reuters expose documenting a $195 million security deal, spread across eight different contracts, which would see Iraq purchasing weapons from Iran. The move would be violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibiting trading arms with the Islamic Republic. The Obama administration, which has been criticized for allowing Iraq to slip into Iran’s orbit even as the U.S. continued supplying Baghdad with Hellfire missiles and small arms, assured journalists that American officials were pressing for answers at the highest levels. The Iraqis for their part admitted that Iranian companies bid on ammunition contracts, but denied that any such deals had been signed with Iran.
“Based on the need of our armed forces for some ammunition for light weapons and night vision equipment to fill the shortage of some of our military units, offers were submitted from several international firms,” the defense ministry said in a statement. “In addition to the Iranian Defense Industries Organization, which submitted their bids and delivery schedules, preference was given to other companies and no contract was signed with the Iranian company.”
A full list of the contracts – detailing dollar amounts and the types of weapons to be delivered – is here. The documents seen by Reuters reportedly described the agreements as having been inked last November.
[Photo: Rudaw Kurdish / YouTube]