Iran has signed a deal to sell arms and ammunition to Iraq worth $195 million, according to documents seen by Reuters, in a move that would break the UN embargo on weapons sales by Teheran. According to the document, the agreement was reached at the end of November, just weeks following Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki return from Washington, DC, where he lobbied the Obama administration for extra weapons to in order to battle al Qaeda-linked forces.
Washington seems to be nervous about providing sensitive military equipment to a country they worry is inching toward the Teheran regime, and some Iraqi lawmakers have commented that Maliki made the deal because he was fed up with delays in delivery by the US.
A spokesman for the Iraqi prime minister would not confirm or deny the sale, but said such a deal would be understandable given Iraq's current security troubles. Although Teheran denies any knowledge of a deal, one US official told of Reuters' findings said such a deal could further complicate Washington's approach to negotiating with Iran on easing international sanctions over its nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at producing bombs. Iran says its aims are purely peaceful.