Iraq

Ammar Hakim says Iraq Ready to Mediate between Iran and US

Head of Iraq’s Reform and Reconstruction Coalition Seyed Ammar Hakim warned against the repercussions of increased tensions between Iran and the US and said the Baghdad government can mediate between the two countries, local reports said.

Speaking at a Sunday meeting with the Chargé d’affaires of the US in Baghdad, Joey Hood, Hakim described recent tensions between Tehran and Washington as “worrisome” and said the tensions threaten the stability and security of all regional countries.

The cleric also welcomed recent remarks that indicated the willingness of the US and Iran to reduce tensions and said that these statements should be a prelude to appropriate solutions to help regional nations stay away from wars and blockades.

Hakim further emphasized that Iraq has strong ties with Iran and the United States and can act as an intermediary to bring the two countries’ viewpoints closer and an end to the current crisis.

On Saturday, Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjedi and Iraqi President Barham Salih discussed the most recent political developments in the region.

Masjedi and Salih also stressed the necessity for constructive dialogue among regional countries to de-escalate tensions and boost stability in the region.

The meeting came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US with Washington imposing sanctions hampering Tehran-Baghdad relations.

The US has ratcheted up pressure on Iran since last year after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Since then, the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” and has sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship, and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.

Iranian officials, however, have dismissed such moves as psychological warfare, saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans and selling crude oil.

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