Iraq resumes negotiations on purchase of Russian S-300 aerial defense systems
Iraq has resumed its talks with Russia on the purchase of Russian S-300 anti-air systems, RIA Novosti reports, citing Mohammed Ridha, head of Iraq’s parliamentary defense and security committee.
According to the Iraqi MP, negotiations should have been resumed a long time ago, and the systems should have been purchased already. Ridha noted that he does not know exactly which stage the talks are currently at, but they have definitely been approved by the Iraqi government. However, he said that he expects the US to oppose this deal, because it was Washington that caused the previous negotiations to be broken off.
“Several months ago, following attacks on bases belonging to the Shiite militia, the Popular Mobilization Forces, in Baghdad and other provinces, the need for this weapon arose, and the responsible party resumed negotiations on the S-300 contract. We are expecting opposition from the US in this matter,” he said.
Ridha pointed out that Iraq’s aerial defense systems already include several Russian systems, but they are outdated, and the country wishes to acquire more modern systems from Russia. He stressed that the proportion of Russian weaponry in Iraq’s armament should exceed 50%, since it is “more reliable and cheaper than American” weaponry.
In May last year, Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Haidar Mansour Hadi said that Iraq intends to buy Russian S-400 “Triumph” anti-air missile systems, but did not specify a time frame for the deal.