Iran denies signing arm deal with Iraq

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 25

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Hassan Danaeefar, Iran's ambassador to Iraq denied existence of any arm purchase deal between Iran and Iraq.

Danaeefar during an interview with Mehr News Agency on Feb.25 said Iran hasn't signed any deal to sell arms to Iraq yet, but if Iraq requests such a deal the Iranian side

could fulfill a contract based on Iran's military equipments capabilities.

Reuters published a report on Feb.24, saying that according to documents seen by it, Iran has signed a deal to sell $195 million worth arms to Iraq, - a move that would break a U.N. embargo on weapons sales by Tehran.

According to this report, the agreement was reached at the end of November, the documents showed, just weeks after Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki returned from lobbying the Obama administration in Washington for extra weapons to fight al Qaeda-linked militants.

Danaeefar also announced that Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari's two-day official visit to Tehran scheduled for Feb.25 is aimed at legal negotiation over marginal issues and solving the problems for implementation of bilateral cooperation in the Arvand River (also known as Shatt al-Arab in Iraq) case.

The southern end of the river constitutes the border between Iraq and Iran.

Reuters says a spokesman for the Iraqi prime minister would not confirm or deny the sale, but said such a deal would be understandable given Iraq's current security troubles.

"We are launching a war against terrorism and we want to win this war. Nothing prevents us from buying arms and ammunition from any party and it's only ammunition helping us to fight terrorists," said the Iraqi spokesman, Ali Mussawi.

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