Jul 24, 2019, 5:34 PM
Journalist ID: 2382
News Code: 83410201
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Abdul-Mahdi's trip to Tehran; mediation to deepening ties

Tehran, July 24, IRNA - Given to the visit of the Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to Iran, an expert on Middle Eastern affairs says the main theme of the trip is bilateral and security issues in the region, and Baghdad is trying to increase its regional and transatlantic diplomatic capacity.

The Iraqi Prime Minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, arrived in Tehran on Monday, July 22, and was welcomed by President Hassan Rouhani. He was scheduled to meet with Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and the senior officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran during this visit. Discussions about bilateral relations and ways to strengthen these relations, as well as regional issues, are the most important aspects of Iraqi PM's visit to Iran.

One of the main goals of the Iraqi PM's visit to Iran is to strengthen and develop the relations between Tehran and Baghdad in various fields; a trip which obviously under the current circumstances and after the American action to impose economic sanctions against Tehran is not welcomed by Washington.

The current visit of Adil Abdul-Mahdi to Tehran is his second trip to Iran since reigning on the prime minister's post. Abdul-Mahdi's first visit to Tehran was held on April 17 this year.

Strengthening and developing the relations between Tehran and Baghdad are the main goals and pillars of Abdul Mahdi's visit to Iran, as during this visit, the authorities of the two countries are considering serious ways to develop and strengthen bilateral relations in various fields. Contrary to the demands of the United States, it is anticipated that the Iraqi prime minister will take on the opportunity and reaffirm the position of Baghdad in opposing anti-Iranian sanctions.

Considering the importance of the issue, IRNA in an exclusive interview with the Middle East and Iraq issues expert Ardeshir Pashang touched on the development in this regard.

Pashang stated, "Abdul-Mahdi's visit to Tehran in recent months and his second meeting with the president and senior officials of the country is related to one of the most important regional and international issues and an increase in the level of tensions between Iran and the United States and, subsequently, security in the transportation of energy in the Strait of Hormuz. The Iraqi government has a very close relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran, on the one hand, is considered an ally of  the US in the region and is one of the major US bases in the region, and still a major part of strategies of the Iraqi government is drawn in coordination with the United States.

He noted that Iran's political influence in Iraq is undeniable and, according to many analysts, Iran has a lot of influence in Iraq. These issues cause that a country that has a lot of influence and presence in Iraq when it is involved in tension or an increase in tensions, the tension to penetrate in the spheres of influence of the parties and affected by the parties, and this is one of the concerns of the Iraqi government that has led Abdul-Mahdi to make a trip to Iran once again and use the potential of expanding Iraqi diplomacy and act as a regional mediator alongside some mediating nations such as Oman to reduce the level of tension.

The Iraqi issues expert on the importance of bilateral relations highlighted that Iran-Iraq relations are widespread in complex economic, security and political spheres, each of which is of particular importance, but the main focus of the visit is on security issues in the region. Iraq is struggling to reduce the level of tension through its diplomatic capacity and its relations with trans-regional countries, including the United States, and, on the other hand, to increase the level of political prestige in the region that has been disturbed due to internal problems. It seems that the security of regional issues should be prioritized during the visit of Abdul- Mahdi.

Pashang spoke about the phenomenon of Iranophobia in the region, “The issue of Iranophobia has a very wide range, and even in part of Iraqi, whether it is Sunni, Kurdish or Shia Iranophobia can be seen. The growing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia over the past two years and the persistence of hostility between Tehran and Tel Aviv, and the rise in tensions between Iran and the US, since the presidency of Donald Trump, has all led the Iranophobia projects are spreading across the region, but very close ties between Iraqi leaders and Iran, some of which friendly and emotional, is a serious opportunity for Iranians in this regard.

The university professor went on to say, "Iraq seeks to use existing issues as opportunity for its regional self-discovery, and in such a space, Iraq can play a positive role in reducing Iranophobia in the region. However, to reduce this issue the soft foreign policy of Iran must be also paid attention. Iraq has the capacity to reduce the phenomenon of Iranophobia.

He made the remark that "The Americans have put extraordinary pressure on Iraq, the leaders of Baghdad and Kurds to make their relations with Iran as minimal as possible, but the reality is that Iraq is under American pressure because of economic interdependence and close political and security relations cannot meet these demands, even in the case of the Kurds, which in recent years have seen the tensions and coldness of the relations created by the referendum that no development has been happened.

It seems that the Americans in practice know that their demands will not be so operational or the extent to which they want to see in Iran- Iraq ties will not be operational. For this reason, in exemptions granted to different countries, Iraq always has more exemptions vis-a-vis Iran, and known the reality that some issues are not done via order and pressure, and it seems that the economic, and political, interdependence between Iran and Iraq, leads this mutual interdependence despite US pressure, is continuing although the US pressure has severely reduced transit and exchange of goods and the exchange of monetary issues between the two countries, but in spite of these, relations remain friendly.

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