Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraq is planning to send delegations to the United States and Iran in order to calm down the recent escalation and war of words between the two bitter rivals, Iraqi premier Adel Abdel-Mahdi said Tuesday.
During a weekly cabinet press briefing, Abdul-Mahdi said his country is sending two delegations to Iran and the U.S. to calm down the tensions, but said the effort was not a mediation.
He said his administration was considering alternatives for oil exports in case Iran fulfilled its threat to close the Hormuz Strait, a major commercial pathway, in response to U.S. pressures.
“Iraq is making high-level contact, and its view to resolve the crisis is so close to the European view”, the prime minister said. “U.S. and Iranian officials have affirmed to us they were not seeking war”.
Abdul-Mahdi is reportedly scheduled to embark on a Gulf region tour that includes Kuwait and Qatar, and press reports had quoted sources close to him saying that the tour would see efforts to mediate between the warring sides.
Tensions have risen recently between Washington and Tehran as the U.S. administration sent bombers and aircraft carriers to the Middle East to counter what it described as potential threats against U.S interests from Iran. Tehran responded with warnings that it was ready to counter American threats.
The U.S. has reactivated economic sanctions targeting Iran after it had withdrawn from a 2015 international deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Washington says the deal was insufficient to counter Iran’s nuclear aspirations and ballistic capabilities. Tehran sees the U.S. stance as a violation of international law.
Iraq is a very close ally to Iran, and has showed a confusing stance as to commitment to U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic.