Sofia, 13 November 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The Bulgarian government has denied a U.S. press report that some of its officials were involved in a deal to sell a highly sensitive radar system to Iraq.
A U.S. newspaper Tuesday reported that Iraq is trying to acquire five Czech-made Tamara radar systems from Bulgarian arms dealers, with the cooperation of top Czech military officials.
But the Bulgarian government said last night that a top Bulgarian general mentioned in the story as a key player in the deal has never even held a post in Iraq. Iraqi Foreign Minister Muhammad Said Kazim Sahhaf told AFP the American report is "silly."
Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus earlier yesterday also dismissed the story, calling it a provocation. The Czech manufacturer of the radar system, Tesla, also denied the report, saying no Iraqi officials have ever approached the company. Nevertheless, the Czech national security service has opened a probe into the matter.