|Iran denies signing deal to sell arms to Iraq||
TEHRAN – The Iranian ambassador to Baghdad denies media reports that Iran has signed a deal to sell arms to Iraq.
In an interview with the Mehr News Agency published on Tuesday, Ambassador Hassan Danaeifar said, “Such an arms deal has not been signed between Iran and Iraq. Of course if the Iraqis need military (equipment) and make a request, we, in view of our capabilities, will examine their request.”
Reuters on Monday reported that it had seen documents showing that Iran had signed a deal to sell Iraq arms and ammunition worth $195 million.
The report claimed that the agreement had been reached at the end of November just weeks after Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki returned from Washington, where he lobbied the Obama administration for extra weapons to fight al Qaeda-linked militants.
The alleged documents showed that six of eight contracts were signed with Iran’s Defense Industries Organization to supply Iraq with light and medium arms, mortar launchers, ammunition for tanks as well as artillery and mortars.
A final two contracts were agreed to with the state-owned Iran Electronic Industries for night vision goggles, communications equipment and mortar guiding devices.
According to Reuters, One U.S. official said such a deal could further complicate Washington’s approach to negotiating with Iran on easing international sanctions over its nuclear program.
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