Baghdad, Iraq (4E) – Iraq is to renegotiate a $4.2 billion arms deal with Russia to eliminate possible corruption in the contract.
Iraq’s Defense Minister Saadun al-Dulaimi told reporters in Baghdad Saturday that the deal will push through but new negotiations will be conducted as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki instructed.
On Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister’s Spokesman Ali al-Moussavi also said the arms deal will be renegotiated as a precaution because Maliki suspected corruption in the contract.
Earlier reports also said that Iraqi authorities cancelled the contract under pressure from the U.S., the biggest arms supplier to Iraq. The reports also said the Iraqi parliament demanded the termination of the contract and the formation of a new commission that will examine the contracts.
The deal involved several contracts signed in April, July and August. The Russian government announced the deal before Maliki’s visit to Moscow last month.
The deal involves the purchase of surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery systems, MiG-29M/M2 aircraft, armored vehicles and attack helicopters.