By staff and agency

Iraqi PM says Riyadh wants to avoid war with Iran

October 1, 2019

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has said that he believes Saudi Arabia is looking to de-escalate tensions with Iran.

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera published on Monday, he said that it is in everybody’s interest to prevent further war in the region.

“Nobody possesses the weapons necessary to deal their adversary a fatal blow. Chaos and destruction will hit the region in its entirety,” he said.

“Everybody is open to dialogue,” he said. “Iran says [it is] willing to negotiate if sanctions are lifted; the U.S. [also] asks for dialogue ... neither does Saudi Arabia close the door for dialogue,” Abdul Hadi added.

“There are many countries, and Iraq is one of them, that can offer a solution or a place for a solution to be found.”

His comments came as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes program aired on Sunday that he  preferred a peaceful resolution with Iran, describing it as “much better than the military” option.

In a possible sign of diplomacy, Abdul Mahdi has announced that he would visit Tehran soon, in an effort to reduce tension in the region, according to Iraqi media. 

“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,” he was quoted as saying.

Earlier, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had also said that he was making an effort to mediate between Tehran and Riyadh. He held talks with Saudi Arabia’s leaders in Riyadh, as well as with Rouhani at the United Nations.  

Rouhani warned world leaders on September 25 at the UN General Assembly that “the Persian Gulf region is on the edge of collapse, as a single blunder can fuel a big fire.”

NA/PA

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