Iraqi PM: U.S. pressuring Baghdad to cut ties with Tehran

March 9, 2020 - 14:44

TEHRAN — Iraq’s caretaker Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi says the United States is pressuring Baghdad to sever ties with Tehran, stressing that Iraqis will never let their country become a venue for the settlement of conflicts or clashes between other countries.

Abdul-Mahdi, who has remained in office as the caretaker prime minister of Iraq since his resignation in November, made the comments in a meeting on Sunday with Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani in Baghdad.

“By withdrawing from the JCPOA and putting pressures on Iran and Iraq, the U.S. further complicated the regional situation, and is now mounting pressure on us and urges the severance of ties between Iraq and Iran,” the prime minister said, according to Tasnim.

Praising the Iranian government and nation for their genuine support for Iraq in the difficult years of the war against terrorism, he expressed gratitude to Tehran for offering assistance in containing a novel coronavirus epidemic.

“The geopolitical logic dictates that we employ the potential of our neighbors to fulfill our national interests and security,” Abdul-Mahdi stated.

Shamkhani had traveled to Iraq to exchange views with Iraqi officials on security and political issues. He visited Baghdad on Saturday night, heading a high-ranking delegation.

On Sunday evening, Shamkhani held talks with Iraqi President Barham Salih. At the meeting, Shamkhani stressed the need for joint campaign against terrorism.

In his two-day visit to Baghdad, Iran’s top security official also held talks with other senior Iraqi officials including the parliament speaker, political leaders, and health minister. 

In a meeting with Chief of Iraq's Intelligence Service (IIS) Mustafa al-Kazemi in Baghdad on Sunday, Shamkhani said countdown has begun for the expulsion of U.S. forces from the region.

“Assassinating generals of the Axis of Resistance, Marty Haj Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muahdis, was the result of a strategic mistake by Trump and the evil team in the White House. The countdown for the expulsion of America from the region began the early morning of Friday, Jan. 3,” he said.

Shamkhani's trip to Baghdad comes in the wake of the U.S. assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander General Qassemi Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad.  

General Soleimani was in Baghdad at the invitation of the Iraqi government when he was targeted in Baghdad’s international airport on January 3. 

The terrorist act led to a crisis in diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Iraq, which demanded that the American troops leave the country.

MH/PA

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