Iraq won’t be part of anti-Iran sanctions: Iraqi PM

May 10, 2019

TEHRAN – Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Thursday that his country will never be a part of the U.S. sanctions against neighboring Iran.

Iraq favors good relations with all its neighbors and other states, including the U.S. and Iran, the prime minister said in a meeting with the ambassadors of Germany, Britain and France whose countries are signatory to the 2015 nuclear deal, IRNA reported.

Iraq’s ties contribute to regional stability and security, he asserted.

Abdul Mahdi also called for efforts to strengthen regional security and curb the crises faced by the region and safeguard the nations from insecurity and instability.

The comments came one day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scrapped a visit to Germany to make an unannounced trip to Iraq, pressing Iraqi leaders about what he called the increased dangers to Americans there from Iran’s forces and allies.

Pompeo said he also used the four-hour visit to Iraq to discuss “big energy deals that can disconnect them from Iranian energy.”

U.S. pressures on Iraq to wean itself off Iran has become a major point of conflict between Washington and Baghdad. A lightening rod in their spat is Iraq’s reliance on Iranian gas imports to generate electricity consumed daily in the country.

Iraqi leaders say the country cannot stop Iranian gas imports without serious electricity shortages.

MH/PA

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