Russian arms deal not cancelled, No corruption, acting defence minister
BAGHDAD/ Aswat al-Iraq: Acting defence minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi denied here today any cancellation to the Russian arms deal, stressing that he will "personally bear any corruption suspicion about the deal".
In a press conference, he confirmed that the negotiations were with Russian themselves where we got the offers.
"The selection committee did not finalize its work, no contract was signed, no money transferred, no final decision taken, but just offers", he elaborated.
He stressed that he will bear responsibility before God and Law if there are corruption cases, thus referring to himself as head of the negotiating delegation.
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh denied "any relation whatsoever" with the Russian arms deal, expressing astonishment for including his name, according to Saudi Al-Sharq al-Awsat daily.
In a telephone call with the paper, he utterly denied the news and demanded premier Nouri al-Maliki to make a comprehensive investigation on the deal and publish the results "to clear his name".
Maliki's advisor Ali al-Mussawi announced that the deal was cancelled, in his statement to AFP.
Chairman of parliamentary Integrity Commission Baha' al-Araji sent a letter to Premier Maliki calling him to end the Russian arms deal.
Premier Maliki ordered investigations in the Russian arms deal, which was signed with the amount of $4.2 billion.
Iraq signed two arms deals with Russia and Czech republic during the visit of Maliki, at a time the Kurdish Alliance expressed its "grave concern' of the arms deal.