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Al-Jaafari: Iraq intends to buy Russian missile defence system

Iraqi Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Al-Jaafari
Iraqi Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Al-Jaafari

Iraqi Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, revealed that his country intends to buy a Russian missile defence system as part of its efforts to rebuild its weapons capabilities after a three-year war against the terrorist group Daesh.

This came in Al-Jaafari's statements during a joint press conference he held on Wednesday with Russian Vice President Dmitry Rogozin in the Russian capital Moscow, according to a report by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.

The Iraqi minister said: "We intend to buy a missile defence system. We are studying all the problems and their surrounding difficulties, and working to overcome them. The state will take the final decision in this regard, and we will announce that at the right time."

He pointed out that "Iraq has the right to look for the best opportunities to strengthen its defence after it paid a high price in fighting against terrorism and the resultant destruction that affected its sources and people."

Read: Iraq receives 36 out of 73 Russian T-90 battle tanks

In a press statement, on 8 February, Russian ambassador to Baghdad, Maxim Maximov, said that his country is ready to discuss the possibility of supplying Iraq with the anti-aircraft system S-400.

At the time, Maximov expressed his hope that Baghdad would send a demand regarding this matter.

The Russian ambassador's statements came after reports revealed that Iraq intends to buy the Russian missile system.

However, last week, Washington warned Baghdad and other countries of the consequences of Russian weapons deals, in accordance with the law of "confronting the US enemies through sanctions."

Read: Russian oil giant expands into Iraq's Kurdish region

In response to a question about the possibility of Iraq acquiring the S-400 Russian system, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert asserted that "the United States is holding discussions with many countries, including Iraq, to ​​explain the significance of the aforementioned law and the possible consequences of these countries having defence deals with Russia."

Nauert insisted that she did not know whether the signing of the deal between Iraq and Russia regarding the S-400 systems had already been made.

Iraq has recently announced that it has received a new batch of modern Russian tanks following a deal which was signed two years ago to buy 73 tanks of T-90 type.

Baghdad had heavily relied on Russian weapons before resorting to US weapons after the fall of the former regime, following the US invasion of the country in 2003.

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