Iraq's Ambassador to Moscow Abbas Khalaf has dismissed statements that Baghdad intends to blow up its oil wells in case of a US military strike against the country, the head of the Iraqi diplomatic corps said at a press-conference in Moscow Monday.
According to him, that and other statements circulated by the United States, follow the political line of "blackmail and intimidation". Abbas Khalaf noted that such scenarios were published to raise a scare in the oil market and put psychological pressure to bear on various international institutions and countries. The diplomat pointed out that the United States used that tactics to gain a maximum of advantage of the psychological war.
Answering RIA Novosti's question, the Iraqi Ambassador stressed that Iraq was ready to defend itself in case of a military attack by the United States. "We will defend our country, our sovereignty and our dignity from the US aggression," Abbas Khalaf said.
Commenting on various scenarios of the planned military operation, the Ambassador reminded that in 1991 not only Great Britain, but virtually the whole world backed the United States. The anti-Iraqi coalition then included 32 countries. Nevertheless, the Ambassador noted, that operation failed.
"Technically, the United States is ready to strike immediately, but the key issue facing them is not the attack itself, but what will follow," the Iraqi top diplomat specified. At the same time, he said firmly that "Iraq was a hard nut that might cost the US its teeth." Abbas Khalaf avoided answering the question whether or not de jure Iraq intended to declare a war on the United States in case of a US military strike.