Iran FM to Visit Iraq Saturday: Sources

Iran and Iraq FMs
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and his Iraqi counterpart Mohammad Ali al-Hakim (R) hold a joint press conference during an official visit in Baghdad on January 13, 2019. / Photo by AFP

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is currently in Pakistan as part of his tour of several Asian states, is reportedly going to visit Iraq on Saturday.

That was reported by the Iraqi news agency Al-Forat, which quoted an informed source as saying on Thursday.

The report did not name the source or give more details about the visit, but said that the Iranian top diplomat is expected to hold talks with top Iraqi officials on the latest regional developments and bilateral ties.

Iraq will be the sixth Asian destination of the Iranian top diplomat during the past few weeks. He has earlier visited Turkmenistan, India, Japan, and China, and is currently in Islamabad on an official trip.

The visit to Iraq will come amid efforts by the Baghdad government to mediate between Iran and the US as tensions escalate in the Persian Gulf.

The Iraqi prime minister said Tuesday that Baghdad would take measures to curtail concerns over a military confrontation between Iran and the United States. Adil Abdul Mahdi said Iraq will send delegations to Tehran and Washington to help ease tensions.

In reaction to the offer, Iran said it has no problem with the visit of the Iraqi delegation to Tehran, but the Islamic Republic will have its own say on the issue.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday at the end of a weekly cabinet session, Chief of Staff of the Iranian president Mahmoud Vaezi said, “If they want to send a delegation to Iran, we won’t make any opposition to the visit but the main issue is that we will have our own say.”

Tensions have recently mounted between Iran and the US with Washington deploying a carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf citing “intelligence” of an imminent Iranian attack on US interests in the region. Tehran has repeatedly said that it is not seeking to escalate tensions but it won’t be afraid if there is any.

   
   

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