BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq warned on Wednesday it would not be bullied into signing a security pact with the United States despite US leaders warning of potentially dire consequences if it failed to approve the deal. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh lashed out at US military chief Admiral Michael Mullen for saying that Baghdad risked significant losses if an agreement is not concluded to keep American forces in the country beyond 2008. "It is not correct to force Iraqis into making a choice and it is not appropriate to talk with the Iraqis in this way," Dabbagh said. To the apparent frustration of the Americans, the Iraqi cabinet decided on Tuesday to seek changes in the pact after months of tough negotiations between Baghdad and Washington. On Tuesday, Mullen said if Baghdad delayed signing the deal beyond the December 31 expiry of the current UN mandate governing the presence of foreign troops, its forces "will not be ready to provide for their security." "And in that regard there is great potential for losses of significant consequence." And on Wednesday, the White House again insisted the deal governing the long-term presence of US troops in Iraq beyond the end of 2008 is more or less done, and there was limited scope for any changes in the deal. Spokeswoman Dana Perino said, "The door wasn't slammed shut but it's pretty much closed in our opinion." Negotiators would have "a very high bar for them to clear" if there were to be any changes at this stage, she added. In a strongly worded statement, Dabbagh said the government was "deeply concerned" by Mullen's remarks. "Such a statement is not welcomed by Iraq." Iraqi military spokesman Brig-Gen Qassim Atta also insisted that domestic forces were ready to handle security nationwide. "The security forces are ready since their numbers have increased and following the improvement in their abilities," he told a news conference. "They are already controlling 11 provinces and soon we will take over the rest of the provinces." Senior Shia lawmaker Abbas al-Bayati said such comments by Washington's leaders were provocative. "Mullen's remark is an attempt to pressure the Iraqi side, but we will not be subjected to such tactics because our reservations are linked to the sovereignty and national interest of Iraq," he told AFP.  "The American side should be more flexible because if they really want to pass this agreement, they should first stop launching such warnings which provoke Iraqis."