Iraq Yet to Make Decision on Purchase of S-400 From Russia - Ambassador
15:08 15.05.2019(updated 17:41 15.05.2019)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Iraqi government has not made a decision on the purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems yet, Iraq's Ambassador to Russia Haidar Hadi said on Wednesday.
"As for S-400, there is no contract yet", the ambassador said at a press conference held at the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, when asked at what stage the situation with the deliveries of S-400s were.
"There is no information that there are talks or that talks are at a particular stage… If the government decides to buy these systems, it will be Iraq's sovereign affair and will depend on its needs", Hadi added.
When asked about Washington's possible moves to hinder the purchase, the envoy said that there are "relevant diplomatic channels" to solve this kind of issue with the Americans.
Plans by Ankara to purchase the Russian air defence system, announced by Turkey earlier, triggered a conflict between the country and the US. American officials have repeatedly warned the Turkish government against the move, threatening to block the sale of F-35 fighter jets to their Middle Eastern ally and to stop manufacturing support for the aircraft. The Pentagon claimed that the S-400s are incompatible with NATO equipment and alleged that the Russian systems pose a threat to the F-35s.
In February, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari told Sputnik that Iraq was negotiating the purchase of S-400 air defence missile systems from Russia, but possible US sanctions could be an obstacle to doing so. Meanwhile, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert announced that the United States had informed governments around the world, including Iraq, of possible consequences under the US Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
The article has been corrected as the quote of the Iraqi ambassador was initially mistranslated.
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