BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:00 P.M.)- The head of the Security and Defense Committee in the Iraqi parliament, Mohammad Reza, confirmed on Thursday the ongoing negotiations between the Iraqi and Russian sides to purchase the S-300 system.
Reza said in a special statement to Sputnik Arabic: “This issue was supposed to take place a long time after Hashd Al-Shaabi was targeted in Baghdad and other provinces several months ago, when this weapon was needed, and the responsible authorities have moved to revive negotiations with the concerning S-300 contract.”
When asked where Russia and Iraq are in the negotiations, the Iraqi MP said, “I do not frankly know the stage the negotiations have reached because I am not involved in them, but I know that there is approval from the high leadership to start these negotiations.”
Reza also expressed his belief that Russian armaments and training are more flexible and less expensive than American armaments and handling.
In this regard, Reza pointed out that “Iraq must move to raise the level of armaments of the Iraqi Army with Russia to more than fifty percent in order to equal the other side with regard to the sources of armament, and we are sure that the Russian armament and Russian training are more flexible and less expensive than the armaments and the American dealings “.
Regarding whether Washington would oppose this deal, Reza stressed, “Yes, we expect American opposition, and in fact this issue was suspended due to the opposition of the American side, but Iraq must move in this direction, especially since the relationship in the field of armament with Russia is old and appropriate for Iraq,” pointing to “The Iraqi air defense systems of the American type that currently exist in Iraq are rudimentary, and we have a more developed and more extensive Russian system that now works for the Iraqi air defense and is distributed in important places, even in sovereign places, but we aspire to purchase the S-300 system” .
Earlier, Igor Kurushchenko, a member of the General Council of the Russian Ministry of Defense, announced that Iraq could improve its air defense system with the help of the Russian S-400 missile system .
Korushchenko confirmed that the killing of the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani at the hands of the U.S. Armed Forces during an air raid on Iraq indicates that Baghdad needs to improve their air defense systems.
Kurtchenko told Sputnik: “Iraq is Russia’s partner in technical military cooperation, and Russia can send the necessary means to ensure the country’s sovereignty and reliable protection of the airspace, including the supply of S-400 missiles and other parts of the air defense system, such as Buk-M3. Tor-M2 and others.
In recent years, Russia has supplied Iraq with the heavy-duty flamethrower TOS-1A Solentbek, Mi-35 and Mi-28NA attack helicopters, Su-25 aircraft, T-90 tanks, and the Panzer-S1 artillery missile defense system.