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Pompeo, Iraqi premier, discuss U.S.-Iran standoff in phone call

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks with the press as he flies to the Middle East on January 7, 2019. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed  his country’s encounter with Iran via telephone with  Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the latter’s office said in a statement on Friday.

The two officials “exchanged views over developments in the region on the backdrop of the crisis between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

Abdul-Mahdi, according to the statement, “stressed his country’s eagerness for deescalation and the protection of the interests of regional countries”.

Pompeo, according to the statement, “praised Iraq’s work on the preservation of security, stability and avoiding escalation”.

The situation has escalated between Tehran and Washington since the latter reactivated economic sanctions against the Islamic republic over its nuclear activity, having pulled out of a 2015 international agreement to commute the sanctions.

Iraq had offered mediation to put down the tensions between both countries.

Late May, the U.S. extended for 90 days a waiver permitting Iraq to continue energy imports from Iran, escaping sanctions.

The call between Pompeo and Abdul-Mahdi comes hours after the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned an Iraqi company and two Iraqi individuals over accusations of financing Iran’s influential Revolutionary Guards, an entity categorized by Washington as a terrorist group.



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