Fmr Iraqi PM: US refused to sell us arms, Russia opened its own stockpiles

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In an interview with Iraqi TV, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says that Washington’s weapons deals with Iraq and world states are based on its political and commercial interests, and not on good-will.

Al-Maliki goes on to explain that Russia’s treatment of Iraqi requests for Russian weapons at critical times during Iraq’s war with ISIS was completely different.

Source: Afaq TV

Date: 13 June, 2020



I advise my brothers who are negotiating with the Americans not to trust them, because America uses its weapons (sales) and position solely to achieve its political and commercial goals. I mean, (the US) does not sell you a tank the way other countries do, it sells you the tank politically.

I once went to get a second batch of F-16 aircraft. For the Americans, such an (arms) deal must be signed by the head of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations – his name was (Bob) Menendez – so we went to him. I was told to go and convince him, so I went to him. (However,) Menendez said that he cannot sell me these fighter jets. He said: “How can I guarantee that you are not going to use these jets to launch a strike against Israel?” I answered: “I will not have you (speak to me in that manner).” Of course, he found my words to be insulting. He (Menendez) added: “you might launch a strike against Kurdistan as well.” I reiterated that I do not allow him to speak to me in that manner. Firstly, the Kurdish people are my people and my responsibility. Secondly, “you (Americans) are afraid that I use your planes to bomb the same Israel that you gave 250 nuclear missiles to.”

This is how (the Americans) were treating us on this issue. I advise…I reiterate, when I needed weapons, when the deal fell through and we no longer had weapons, ISIS was armed and equipped. Were it not for (ISIS’s) armament and equipment, and the American silence, and the Saudi intervention and other factors, we would have had enough forces to defeat groups even stronger than ISIS. But the (Americans) intervened using politics and intelligence services to subjugate the Iraqi forces, and they succeeded to an extent, but we stopped them (ISIS) at the borders of Baghdad.

Therefore, I went to Russia, met with Putin and told him that we are facing a difficult situation and that the Americans have stopped all kinds of support (tanks, aircraft and equipment). (Putin) said: “what can I do?” I told him that I need MI-35 and MI-28 attack helicopters, these modern Apache-like helicopters. Putin said: “This would require manufacturing (the helicopters).” So I said: “Give me (the helicopters) from the Russian (weapons) stockpiles, and you make up (the shortfall)”. And (Putin) actually did that. (The Russians) even transported these (jets and choppers) to Iraq on huge planes. He (Putin) did not deal with me politically. He rather dealt with us as a country that is being targeted by terrorist attacks. He stood by our side and gave us tanks – I mean later; he also gave us tanks.

The host:

But you did not expel the Russian. The Americans were expelled (from Iraq), but the Russians were never.


I did not expel (the American troops). The world must understand that the agreement (over the withdrawal of US troops) was negotiated with the Bush administration and implemented by the Obama administration. What was Obama’s slogan during the elections? His slogan was to withdraw all American forces from Iraq. This was his slogan that won him the elections. We had an agreement with the Americans. We did not expel them. We made sure not to expel (the US troops), but rather to let them leave under an agreement. As I told you, I told (the Americans) that I advise them…they left with respect. We didn’t expel them to deserve to be punished. But perhaps Obama was under pressure from his team, the military, or others. Unfortunately, this is how the Americans treated us. Therefore, American weapons are political weapons, they do not simply give weapons (to countries in need).

I was once in Kuwait and the former Prime Minister of Kuwait told me that he had heard that I bought F-16 fighter jets from the US. I said: “yes, I did”. So he said” let me give you a piece of advice. Give them (the jets) back”. I asked him why? He (the former Kuwaiti PM) said: “I once bought F-16 fighter jets from the US. We never used or flied these jets. They were parked (all the time). However, every month (the Americans) would use maintenance as an excuse to come and ask us for millions and millions of dollars. I (the Kuwaiti PM) told the (Americans) that we never used or flied these jets. At the end I told them to take (the jets) back. I (the former Kuwaiti PM) said “I donate them to you”. The Americans will never support you nor provide you with weapons, missiles, or anything (without certain strings attached)”. And he (the Kuwaiti former PM) was right.

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