Iraqi prime minister says to visit Iran, U.S. soon to defuse tension

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi

Baghdad ( – Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday that he would pay a visit to Iran and the U.S. soon, in a move that he said aims to spare his country the repercussions of tightened American sanctions on Tehran.

Iraqi TV channel Alsumaria News quoted the premier as saying that he would also discuss with American and Iranian officials “the latest regional developments.”

“The Iraqi government has moved towards a truce to save the country from the repercussions of sanctions on Iran,” Abdul Mahdi said, without giving further details on the visit.

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The U.S. has reactivated economic sanctions targeting Iran after it had withdrawn from a 2015 international deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program.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

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