Baghdad will send two delegations to Washington and Tehran to calm down


21 May 2019

A joint photo of the

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi in Paris on May 3, 2019

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said Tuesday that Baghdad will send two delegations to the United States and Iran, in order to calm the tension that has escalated between them recently.

Tension between Iran and the United States has grown since the Bush administration put the IRGC on the black list of “terrorist organizations” and tightened sanctions against Tehran after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal a year ago.

Tensions rose as the United States deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers in the Gulf more than a week ago to counter what it said were “threats” emanating from Iran. Trump also ordered the non-essential US diplomatic staff to leave Iraq because of threats from Iraqi armed groups supported by Tehran.

“Iraq will send very soon delegations to Tehran and Washington to push things forward for the interests of Iraq and its people first and the region in general,” Abdul Mahdi said at his weekly press conference.

The Iraqi prime minister said that there are Iraqi messages to the parties to the need for calm and “not to allow other parties to fuel the situation and march towards war,” stressing that there is no Iraqi party involved in the political process wants to push things towards war.

He stressed that Iraq is not a threat in the issue of self-distancing, and we do not allow Iraq to be a battlefield or a starting point against any country. ”

Iraq is an extraordinary forum for the United States and Iran, which are hostile to each other and allied with Baghdad.

“The United States considers Iraq the only country capable of bringing the two sides to a negotiating table that might be in Baghdad,” a government official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He added that “Abdul Mahdi has a vision of the solution, and presented during his visit to Paris earlier this month,” pointing out that “the two delegations will be headed by Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed Halbusi.”

The Prime Minister said Tuesday that Baghdad is working with European and Arab parties also to calm the situation.

He is due to travel to Kuwait on Wednesday for a one-day official visit. He also postponed a scheduled visit to Qatar for logistical reasons, according to the source.

On the other hand, Abdul Mahdi also stressed that Iraq will participate in the meetings of the Arab summit in Mecca at the end of May.

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