US raises concern with Iraq on reports of arms deal with Iran

Tags: News
The US has raised its concern with Iraq at the highest levels over media reports that it had signed a contract to buy arms from Iran, a move forbidden under a United Nations embargo.

"We raised our concerns about this matter at the highest levels with the government of Iraq and reiterated that any transfer or sale of arms from Iran is in direct violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday.

"The government of Iraq assured us that it would look into the matter. Today we have seen the press release issued by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense denying that any contracts for military equipment were signed with Iran," he said adding that the US will follow up with the government of Iraq on that matter.

Carney said the joint plan of action is an interim agreement reached by the P-5 plus one that commits Iran to freeze or rollback aspects of its programme, that allows over a six month period of the negotiations towards a comprehensive solution to take place.

"Our bottom-line proposal, our position is that Iran cannot have, cannot acquire a nuclear weapon. So the best way to achieve that for the long term is for Iran itself to give up the effort," he added.

"But the President takes no options off the table. He simply believes that given the commitments Iran has made and the enforcement mechanisms and verification mechanisms in place that we need to test whether or not a comprehensive solution is possible, because obviously, achieving a nuclear-weapon-free Iran through diplomatic agreement that is verifiable and transparent is a far better outcome than alternatives," Carney said.

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