Iraq Purchasing Russian S-400 Systems Would Require Parliament Approval - Lawmaker
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A potential purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems by Iraq would require an approval of the country's parliament, but Iraq does not need such a weapon at present, Iraqi Council of Representatives member Sarkawt Shamsulddin said.
"Yes, there will be," Shamsulddin said in response to a question whether an approval by the Iraqi parliament will be needed to purchase the Russian S-400 air defence systems. "There will be budget allocation. There will be approval for parliament [to undertake]. There are going to be so many institutions involved before it is finalized."
However, Shamsulddin said he does not see at present a need to purchase S-400 defence systems and also pointed out that such a move would hurt Iraq's relations with the United States.
"What we have [in terms of] military equipment might be enough for now," Shamsulddin said. "I think we need to invest in other stuff. We need to invest in oil, railroads, highways, other infrastructure, not in S-400 for now. We don't need that for now."
However, Shamsulddin acknowledged that Iraq may need such weapon systems in the future, but said was cognizant a purchase of the Russian S-400 in particular would hurt Iraq's relations with the United States and such a course of action would no be worthwhile.
"It is not worth it to destroy our relations with Washington because we can get better things from Washington and because Washington is committed to protecting Iraq from external and internal threats," Shamsulddin said.
In May, Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Haidar Hadi said Baghdad has not yet made a decision on whether to purchase S-400 air defence systems. Hadi said such a decision is Iraq's sovereign affair and whether a purchase will take place will depend on the country's defence needs.
The United States has repeatedly objected against Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems, saying the weapon is incompatible with NATO security standards and might compromise the operations of the new F-35 fighter jets.
In July, the United States announced its decision to suspend Turkey's participation in the F-35 program as a result of Turkey's S-400 purchase.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|