Iraqi MPs Demand Investigation Into Canceled Arms Deal

Fifty Iraqi MPs have demanded an investigation into the recently canceled arms deal with Russia, Omar Sattar reports.

al-monitor An Iraqi man salvages parts, for domestic use, from a rusting Russian-made army tank at a scrapyard in a Baghdad suburb, Dec. 29, 2003. Photo by REUTERS/Stringer.

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russia, iraqi parliament

Nov 20, 2012

The Iraqi parliament's Security and Defense Committee collected the names of more than 50 MPs demanding the formation of a committee to investigate the canceled Russian arms deal. The committee has confirmed its intention to interrogate all the officials whose names were linked to this case.

Iraq had struck a deal with Russia to purchase $4 billion in arms, but announced two weeks ago that that the deal was canceled due to "suspected corruption in contracts."

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement that "the National Security Council has decided to renegotiate with Russia for the purchase of arms." Iskandar Watout, a member of the Security and Defense Committee, told Al-Hayat that the committee has been following up on the arms deal with Russia, stressing that "signatures of more than 50 MPs were collected in order to form an investigation commission to reveal the names of officials involved in the case."

Watout expected the committee to be formed soon, "since the presidency of the parliament is bound to respond to a demand filed by 10 MPs or more."

He added that "when formed, the committee will interrogate some governmental officials and MPs, whose names are linked to the case. Interrogation sessions could be held in parliament."

For his part, Jaafar al-Mousawi, a member of the Integrity Commission, said yesterday [Nov. 19] that the head of the commission Bahaa al-Araji "has been pressured by a prominent official," who is suspected to be involved in the corrupt arms deal. Mousawi refused to reveal the name of the said official.

On the other hand, spokesman for the Iraqiya List Haidar Mulla demanded that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki reveal the names of those involved in the arms deal, stressing that "corruption in Iraq is no less dangerous than terrorism."

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