Iraqi PM seeks balanced ties with Iran, S. Arabia and U.S.: analyst

July 20, 2020 - 20:42

TEHRAN – Amir Mousavi, an international relations analyst, has said that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi seeks to create a balance in his country’s relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

“In his visits to Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United States, Al-Kadhimi makes efforts to create a balance among these three countries in Iraq. If he succeeds, it will be a great achievement for him,” he told IRNA in an interview published on Monday.

Mousavi added that Kadhimi believes that balanced relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. will result in economic development, stability, and security in Iraq.

He also noted that the Iraqi prime minister seeks to play a mediatory role between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The analyst said that a “political peace” between Iran and Saudi Arabia will benefit the region and in that case, Iraq can benefit from Iran’s scientific and technologic capabilities and Saudi Arabia’s financial power.

Iraqi officials told The New Arab in June that Kadhimi was planning his first foreign tour with visits to and Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the United States in July.

Kadhimi was planning to visit Riyadh on Monday. However, his visit was postponed as the Saudi king was hospitalized. After his visit to Riyadh, the prime minister was scheduled to arrive in Tehran on Tuesday. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that the prime minister’s visit to Iran will not be postponed.  

Kadhimi formally took office on May 7.

Prime Minister Kadhimi probably wants to mediate between Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S., what his successor Adel Abdul Mahdi tried to do.

Iran has been open for dialogue with Saudi Arabia but Tehran has been a fierce critic of the Saudi-led war on Yemen. 

However, Iran has rejected the notion of talks with the Trump administration, insisting that the U.S. must first make up for its illegal sanctions measures against Iran. 

Moreover, some analysts and politicians are of the opinion that the U.S. killed off any chance of dialogue by assassinating Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in early January.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Baghdad on Sunday. He held talks with senior Iraqi officials during his one-day trip to Iraq.

He met the Iraqi president, prime minister, speaker of the parliament, foreign minister, head of the judiciary, chief of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), and other political officials of the country.

In his talks with al-Kadhimi, Zarif discussed the latest bilateral and regional issues as well as the Iraqi prime minister’s imminent trip to Iran. 

Zarif said Iran is looking forward to a “new and positive stage” in its relations with Iraq, according to a statement issued by the media office of the Iraqi prime minister.

Zarif also told the prime minister that Iran is interested at the highest level in the upcoming visit by al-Kadhimi to Iran to start a new stage of cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad.

Al-Kadhimi also pointed to the importance of developing ties between Iraq and Iran in various sectors. 

“Iraq is seeking to assert its balanced and positive role in making peace and progress in the region,” said the Iraqi prime minister. 

President Salih also stressed the depth of Iraq’s historical relations with Iran, saying that cooperation between the two countries should be expanded in all sectors, according to a statement published by Iraq’s Presidential website. 

President Salih also said the region is in need of building balanced ties, understanding and clear vision to reach fundamental solutions to the crises in the region through engaging in a constructive and honest dialogue between all parties. 

Salih also hailed Iran’s support to Iraq, especially in combating Daesh terrorists.

Zarif also expressed Iran’s readiness to help Iraq in various sectors, underlining the importance of strengthening ties between the countries in the region for the sake of peace and combating terrorism.

NA/PA

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