Baghdad is considering the purchase of S-400 advanced Russian missile systems amid fears that the US may stop supporting Iraq, the Wall Street Journal quoted Karim Elaiwi, a member of the Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee as saying.
“We are talking to Russia about the S-400 missiles but no contracts have been signed yet. We need to get these missiles, especially after Americans have disappointed us many times by not helping us in getting proper weapons,” Elaiwi underscored.
The Iraqi Defense Ministry as well as the Pentagon and US State Department have yet to comment on the matter.
Another Iraqi parliament defense committee member, Abdul Khaleq al-Azzawi, confirmed Baghdad’s move to negotiate the purchase of the air defense systems from Moscow.
“We authorized the [Iraqi] Prime Minister to get air defense weapons from any country he wants and we authorized him to spend the money for it, from any country. From Russia or anyone,” al-Azzawi pointed out.
The statement was preceded by the head of the Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee Mohammad Reza stating earlier this week that Baghdad had resumed talks with Russia on buying S-300 air defense systems. He declined to elaborate.
In September 2019, Iraqi media outlets reported that the country’s authorities were seeking to buy Russian S-300 air defense systems. According to the reports, the idea was triggered by US reluctance to provide Iraq with modern air defense armaments.