#1 Iraq Inks Deal to Buy Arms from Iran by Eglman 24.02.2014 17:51


Newser) – Iran has agreed to sell arms and ammunition worth $195 million to Iraq after Washington apparently hesitated to make its own arms deal with Baghdad. According to signed documents found by Reuters, Iran will sell mortar launchers, ammunition for tanks, light and medium arms, and other weapons, as well as night vision goggles and other tech items, to a government that's embroiled in a battle with militants and tribesmen in western Iraq. "We are launching a war against terrorism and we want to win this war," said a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Iraq made the deals after the US dawdled on a recent request by Maliki for an arms deal, according to three Iraqi lawmakers. But some Washington officials are nervous about selling elite US military equipment to a nation that's getting ever closer to Iran (both Middle East governments are Shiite, and Maliki's government is battling Sunni insurgents). A State Department spokeswoman disputed the notion of US dawdling, telling Fox News that Washington has sold Baghdad numerous weapons and ammunitions before. In fact, the deal is just a drop in the bucket for Iraq, which still gets most of its arms from the US. One definite downside for the West: The deal violates sanctions imposed against Iran.


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