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Iraq seeks to defuse tensions between Iran, US

Iraq seeks to defuse tensions between Iran, US

May 22, 2019 - 14:11

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Iraq Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said on Wednesday they would send delegations to the US and Iran to help end tensions between the two countries.

Mahdi, whose country has close ties to both Iran and the US, said officials from both sides had informed Iraq that they had “no desire of fighting a war.”

Last week, the US ordered the evacuation of nonessential diplomatic staff from Iraq amid unspecified threats from Iran and rising tensions across the region.

The White House has also sent warships and bombers to the region to counter the alleged Iranian threats.

Mahdi’s comments came two days after a rocket slammed into Baghdad’s Green Zone, landing less than a mile from the sprawling US embassy. No injuries were reported and no group claimed the attack.

Abdul-Mahdi said Iraq was trying to calm the situation. He will visit Kuwait later in the day to discuss regional issues.  “Iraq is only carrying messages (between the US and Iran). Mediation is a big word.

“What we are doing is trying to defuse the crisis,” he told reporters in Baghdad. “We are transferring messages from one side to the other,” Mahdi added.

“Iraq has no choice in the crisis. We don’t stand by one side against the other,” the prime minister continued.. 

On May 8, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a trip to the Iraqi capital after the abrupt cancellation of a visit to Germany, and as the United States said it had been picking up intelligence that Iran was threatening American interests in the Middle East.



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