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Controversy surrounds alleged Iraq-Iran arms deal

An Iraqi diplomat has been reported as claiming that Baghdad will sign an arms deal with Iran, but other officials from both sides refute his alleged assertions.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif (L) and Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari attend a joint news conference in Baghdad January 14, 2014. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX17DOX
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In a Feb. 4 interview with the semi-official Iranian Tasnim News Agency, Mohammed Majid al-Sheikh, Iraq’s ambassador to Iran, was reported to have revealed his country’s intention to strike a deal to buy weapons from Iran. The agency quoted Sheikh as saying, “Some well-informed sources said that the Iranian-Iraqi talks came in light of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense’s vision of the need to supply the Iraqi army with Iranian-made military equipment, given their efficiency and importance.”

This style of statement is inconsistent with the ambassador’s official role, which is to present the official position of the Iraqi government, from official Iraqi sources, not from “well-informed sources.” This calls into question the validity of this supposed news, especially since it has not been confirmed by Iranian authorities or the Iraqi officials typically involved in such deals.

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