John Kerry in Iraq
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves a meeting with Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad, March 24, 2013. Reuters/Jason Reed

In the latest installment of mysterious stories emerging from the Middle East, reports that Iraq has signed agreements to buy arms and ammunition from its former bitter enemy and international pariah Iran has sparked outrage in the U.S. and confusion in the media.

According to the newspaper Defense News, Iraq has denied inking the agreements, which the U.S. staunchly claims would violate Western sanctions against the Islamic republic and longtime U.S. nemesis.

According to the report, the Iraqi Defense Ministry stated on its website on Tuesday that "no contract was signed with the Iranian company.”

For its part, the U.S., through State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, told the paper that “any transfer of arms from Iran to a third country is in direct violation (of United Nations sanctions on Iran). “We are seeking clarification on this matter from the government of Iraq and to ensure that Iraqi officials understand the limits that international law places on arms trade with Iran,” she said.