Monday, September 26, 2022

Analyst: Iran-Saudi talk may continue in Egypt, Europe amid chaos in Iraq

An Iranian Middle East expert says Iraq risks losing the opportunity of hosting future rounds of Iran-Saudi talks due to a “worrying” political crisis unfolding in the country, and that the diplomatic process may continue in Egypt or European states if the turmoil continues.

In an interview with ILNA, Hadi Seyyed-Afghahi said the situation in Iraq was currently “very fragile and complicated,” amid a stalemate in government formation and an overheating dispute pitting the Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr against other Shia groups.

He warned against American plots to destabilize Iraq through a Shia-Shia conflict in the country and criticized Sadr for fueling the crisis by seeking to push his own political agenda through amassing millions of his followers on the streets.

The commentator said the crisis in Iraq could negatively impact the country’s mediation role in the rapprochement talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which have made good progress.

He recalled calls by Saudi Arabia and Iran for taking the talks from a security level to a political one.

“The Iraqis should be given some time until calm returns to the country and Baghdad can continue its mediation,” he said.

“There is, however, the possibility that the talks will not be held in Iraq due to the current situation.”

Iran and Saudi Arabia need to continue their negotiations any way and the meetings may be transferred to Egypt or European states, he added.

Tehran views dialog as the solution to the crisis in Iraq, respects any decision that the Arab nation takes, and stands ready to help its neighbor restore order, the analyst added.

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