Iraqi PM to visit Iran amid efforts to deescalate Tehran-Riyadh tension: report

September 29, 2019

TEHRAN – Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi plans to visit Iran in line with his government’s policy to reduce the growing tension between Tehran and Saudi Arabia, the Iraqi media have reported.

“Abdul-Mahdi, who has arrived from Saudi Arabia wants to invite Saudi Crown Prince Bin Salman and the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Baghdad for a meeting,” an Iraqi website reported.

Abdul-Mahdi traveled to Riyadh on September 25, where he met King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Mohammed bin Salman, also called MBS.

Sources who spoke to the Lebanese channel Al-Mayadeen revealed that Iraq is trying to propose an initiative in his mediation efforts between Riyadh and Tehran.

According to the Mehr news agency, the sources, who refused to be named, said that "the Iraqi mediation aims to hold a meeting between leaders of Iran and Saudi Arabia in the Iraqi capital Baghdad."

Earlier, Al-Manar also reported that Iraqi sources have revealed that Abdul Mahdi is going to visit Iran in the few coming weeks in the context of reducing tension and soothing the crisis between Riyadh and Tehran.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have blamed Iran for the September 14 drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities, a claim which Iran says is unsubstantiated.

Pakistan has also voiced readiness to reduce tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he was acting as a mediator between Iran and the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

Khan said in a press statement on the sidelines of the recent UN General Assembly that "I cannot disclose more now, except that we are trying to do so and mediate."

"The U.S. president asked me to meditate and I already spoke with the Iranian president yesterday," Khan said.

Khan met Rouhani in New York on September 23.

"We also talked with Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and he asked me to talk to the Iranian president, where he knew I would meet him, and President Trump asked me whether we could ease the tension and maybe even reach a new agreement."

MH/PA

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