Baghdad trying to stay away from Iran-U.S. competition: analyst

February 3, 2021 - 21:26

TEHRAN - Reza Mirabian, an international relations expert, says Baghdad intends to stay away from the competition between Iran and the United States.

In an interview with ILNA news agency on Wednesday, Mirabian said, “Iran and Iraq need to negotiate continuously.” 

Fuad Hossein, Iraq’s foreign minister, visited Tehran on Wednesday for talks with top Iranian officials including President Hassan Rouhani. The visit took place amid media reports that Iraq is seeking to mediate between Iran and the U.S. 

Since the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani by American Special Forces in January 3, 2020 near Baghdad’s international airport, the tensions between Tehran and Washington have been escalating. 

Pointing to the good relations between Iran and Iraq in recent years, Mirabian noted, “Iraqis have not yet officially declared what is the intention of the Iraqi foreign minister’s travel to Iran.”

Highlighting the significance of relations between Tehran and Baghdad, he added, “These travels are done to increase coordination between the two countries.” 

“Tehran and Baghdad negotiate continuously over various issues through their embassies to ensure the interests of both countries. Therefore, these travels don’t indicate there is a tension between the two nations,” he remarked. 

Asked about the impact of a change in the U.S. administration on relations between Iraq and Iran, the analyst said, “Since Biden took power, Iraq hopes to play as a mediator between Iran and the U.S. to ease tensions between both countries.”

He noted, “Last day, one of the American media outlets reported, according to the French intelligence service, that the U.S. is considering to withdraw majority of its forces from Baghdad and transfer them to Irbil. It shows Iraq is trying to ease the past tensions and provide an opportunity to stabilize the relation between Iran and the U.S. in Iraq.” 

EE/PA

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