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Iraqi premier to visit Tehran today to mediate U.S.-Iran standoff

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi is scheduled to visit Tehran Monday to discuss with senior Iranian officials means of defusing a dangerous escalation in tensions between Iran and the United States.

Abdul Mahdi’s talks with Iranian officials will focus on how to media a solution to the crisis between Tehran and Washington, in addition to promoting relations between the two countries, Iraqi news website Baghdad Today quoted Iranian media as saying.

“Iraq is making high-level contact, and its view to resolve the crisis is so close to the European view”, the prime minister said during a cabinet meeting in May. “U.S. and Iranian officials have affirmed to us they were not seeking war”.

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The U.S. has reactivated economic sanctions targeting Iran after it had withdrawn from a 2015 international deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program.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.

Abdul Mahdi’s visit to Tehran also comes at a critical time, particularly after the Iranian Revolutionary Guard announced the seizure of British-linked oil tanker Stena Impero in the key shipping route of the Strait of Hormuz for “violating international maritime rules”.



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