Salih’s Tehran visit shows Iraq defying Iran sanctions, ex-diplomat says

November 18, 2018 - 20:51

TEHRAN – Former Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Hassan Danaeefar has said Iraqi President Barham Salih’s visit to Tehran means that Iraq attaches great importance to its relations with Iran, despite the U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

In an editorial published on Sunday in the Etemaad newspaper, Danaeefar said in spite of Washington’s pressure on Baghdad to comply with its anti-Iran sanctions, Iraq has shown its political independence by defying the sanctions.

“Recently, the U.S. has put pressure on Iraq’s central government to implement its sanctions against Iran, and has sent delegations to Baghdad and the Iraqi Kurdistan in line with such policy,” he said, adding that the Iran-Iraq ties are still strong regardless of the Trump administration’s pressure campaign against Tehran.

“The Americans show enmity toward Iran, and this is what an enemy does. But we expect our friends to show their friendship as well,” Danaeefar remarked.

The former ambassador also said it is easy to say Iraq must meet its energy needs from somewhere other than Iran, but it is practically impossible.

Hence it should be said that despite the U.S. pressure, the political and economic relations between Iran and Iraq will continue unabated, the former diplomat added.

Salih arrived in Tehran on Saturday and met with top Iranian authorities, including Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Ali Shamkhani, Parliament speaker Ali Larijani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

In a joint press conference with President Rouhani, the Iraqi president said his country will not forget Iran’s support for the Iraqis in their struggle against the regime of Saddam Hussein and Daesh terrorists.

“Today I have brought a clear message from Baghdad and that we in Iraq comprehend the importance of relations with Iran very well,” he stated.

MH/PA

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