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    EXCLUSIVE: NATO Arms Dealer Attempted to Buy Russian Weaponry for Iraq in 2015

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    Documents leaked to Sputnik today indicate a surge in the interest of Iraqi authorities in Russian armaments in 2015, with a NATO arms dealer attempting to purchase billions of dollars of Russian military hardware on Baghdad's behalf.

    The documents, which include a letter of interest (LoI) from International Armour – a NATO licensed arms dealer in Greece – were leaked to Sputnik today by a European businessman.

    READ MORE: NATO Fears 'Moscow's Eye' Amid S-400 Deal With Turkey — German Media

    International Armour (NATO Cage Code G2181) operates additional offices in the UK, Serbia and Cyprus, and attempted to purchase an array of Russian weaponry – including 50,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 5,000 SVD sniper rifles, 200 tanks of the T-72 range, and 50 9M133 Cornet anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) launchers – in the second quarter of 2015.

    Details within the documents tying the businessman and his company to the attempted procurement deal have been hidden, at his request.

    • International Armour's leaked letter of interest (LoI) sent on May 19, 2015 (page 1 of 3)
      International Armour's leaked letter of interest (LoI) sent on May 19, 2015 (page 1 of 3)
      © Sputnik /
    • International Armour's leaked letter of interest (LoI) - Page 2 of 3
      International Armour's leaked letter of interest (LoI) - Page 2 of 3
      © Sputnik /
    • International Armour's leaked letter of interest (LoI) - Page 3 of 3
      International Armour's leaked letter of interest (LoI) - Page 3 of 3
      © Sputnik /
    • Iraq arms request (page 1 of 2)
      Iraq arms request (page 1 of 2)
      © Sputnik /
    • Iraq arms request (page 2 of 2)
      Iraq arms request (page 2 of 2)
      © Sputnik /
    1 / 5
    © Sputnik /
    International Armour's leaked letter of interest (LoI) sent on May 19, 2015 (page 1 of 3)

    Another document, in which Iraqi authorities tasked International Armour with acquiring the aforementioned list of Russian arms on its behalf, was also leaked to Sputnik on Tuesday.

    The businessman added that Baghdad’s strong interest in Russian weaponry underscores the strength of Russia’s defense industry and the superiority Russian and Soviet-era weapons enjoy over NATO alternatives, in terms of value for money.

    Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the businessman said it’s normal for defense contractors who don’t have access to Rosoboronexport – Russia’s state exporter of military hardware and other technologies – to approach him for access to Russia’s defense industry, but he described such a large order of Russian armaments by a NATO arms dealer as “unusual” and suggested there could be a more sinister motive behind the attempted procurement of Russian arms, without elaborating.

    Last July, Moscow confirmed it had received an order from Iraq for an unspecified number of T-90 tanks, Jane’s Defense Weekly reported, citing Russia’s Izvestia newspaper.

    Baghdad is believed to have opted to bolster its defense capabilities with Russia’s T-90 tanks instead of the US-manufactured M1 Abrams tank due to the lower unit cost of the T-90, and a dispute with Washington over the presence of M1 Abrams tanks in the hands of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) – a series of Iran-backed militias.

    It’s unclear if International Armour had any involvement in Iraq’s recent acquisition of T-90 tanks from Russia. 

    READ MORE: US Confirms Nine American Abrams Tanks in Hands of Iranian Militias

    Related:

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    Merkel's Government Increased Arms Exports to Countries Beyond EU, NATO
    Tags:
    T-90, leaked documents, military, arms, International Armour, NATO, Rosoboronexport, Russian Government, Iraq, Russia, United Kingdom, Greece
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