Iraq is reportedly studying the possibilities for purchasing the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense systems in order to diversify its arms imports, amid growing efforts of the country to tackle terrorism.
"The issue is being studied in every detail," Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari was quoted as saying by TASS on Tuesday following meeting of the Russian-Iraqi Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation. "All necessary decisions aimed at strengthening Iraq will be made after that," he said.
"Unfortunately, Iraq sustained substantial losses in the fight against terrorism," the minister went on to say. "Today we are ready to take any steps that will ensure our security”.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Haidar Mansour Hadi told reporters that the issue was not discussed during the meeting of the Russian-Iraqi intergovernmental commission held in Moscow. "There is no delegation in Moscow now to purchase S-400," he said.
"When the Iraqi government decides to buy S-400, of course, this will be announced, and the issue will be discussed by the two countries," the diplomat added.
In an exclusive interview with Sputnik, Director of the Iraqi Security and Strategy Center, Muataz Mahi Abdel Hamid, stressed that Baghdad is need of buying more Russian-made weapons, which were widely in use before the 2003 US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.
“The Iraqi leaders realize the need to turn to the Eastern military strategy (and its Eastern partners). The Western military strategy, which we started implementing after 2003 has proved inefficient and unable to ensure adequate control over military operations,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Chairman of the Defense Committee of the Russian Federation Council, Colonel General Viktor Bondarev named Syria, Iraq, Sudan and Egypt as the potential buyers of the defense systems.
Last week, Chief Executive Officer of Rostec, Russia’s state-owned corporation for promoting the development, production and export of high-tech industrial products, stated that Moscow is ready to sell its air defense systems to any country with security concerns.