Iraq is standing by to mediate between the United States and Iran but believes American unilateral action is not useful. Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim on Sunday.
Speaking to journalists alongside Iranian president Mohammed Zarif. who is in Iraq for a two-day visit. Mr Alhakim said that Baghdad will “stand with our neighbour“ but is willing to mediate.
Tension between the U.S. and Iran have escalated ever since the Trump administration withdrew last year from the 2015 nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers and reinstated American sanctions that have badly damaged the Iranian economy.
President Donald Trump has argued that the nuclear deal failed to sufficiently curb Iran`s ability to develop nuclear weapons or halt its support for militias throughout the Middle East that the US argues destabilize the region.
Mr Zarif said that Iran would battle against any war effort against it be it economic or military. He added that European states had to do more to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal in the face of the US withdrawal last year. This is a point he has made repeatedly. especially on May 8 when Iran used the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal to announce their own intention to breach some elements. The move was seen as a shot towards Europe. urging them to save the agreement or face its total collapse. Until now. Iran has maintained compliance with the deal. the international atomic agency has reported.
Mr Zarif arrived in Baghdad on Saturday evening and joined Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi for iftar.
A statement released by Abdul-Mahdi`s office said the two officials discussed `ways of making the two countries and the region avoid the harms of sanctions and the dangers of war.` They also spoke about the importance of security and stability in the Middle East and how to maintain the nuclear deal reached in 2015 between Iran and world powers.
Adel Abdul-Mahdi said last week that Iraq will send delegations to the U.S. and Iran to help end tensions between the two countries. adding that Baghdad is neutral in the conflict.
Late on Saturday night. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said he could hold a referendum over the 2015 deal. Mr Rouhani said he previously suggested a referendum to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2004. when he was a senior nuclear negotiator.
Such a referendum could provide political cover for the Iranian government if it chooses to increase its enrichment of uranium. prohibited under the 2015 deal with world powers.
President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal last year. In recent weeks. tensions between the America and Iran have risen over the US deploying an aircraft carrier. B-52 bombers and announcing the new or extended deployment of 1.500 troops to the region over a still-unexplained threat it perceives from Tehran.