Baghdad Offers to Mediate Crisis Between Tehran, Washington

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Alhakim insisted Baghdad “opposes U.S. sanctions against Tehran,” but would be ready to serve as an intermediary, Voice of America reported.

The 48-hour visit to Baghdad by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif follows recent protests by supporters of Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr calling for a peaceful resolution to the current escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

During a press conference Sunday with his Iraqi counterpart, Zarif insisted Tehran was “still abiding by the 2015 nuclear accord” with the P5+1 group of countries. However, Zarif added Tehran would respond to economic and military actions taken by Washington.

He said Tehran will defend itself against efforts to wage war against it – either economic or military – in order to inflict damage to the Iranian people. Iran, he insists, will react with force and resistance. Zarif did not, however, specify what Iran’s reaction would be.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Alhakim insisted Baghdad did not support what he called “one-side actions” by the United States, but it is ready and willing to serve as an intermediary between Tehran and Washington, if and when the need should arise.

He said that Iraq opposes one-sided actions by Washington and stands by its neighbor Iran in the face of such actions, and said Baghdad was ready to serve as a mediator between both parties at the appropriate moment, VoA added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mehdi insisted earlier in the week Baghdad is sending delegations to various capitals to push for a de-escalation in tensions.

He said Iraq was talking to both the United States and Iran and will send delegations to a number of countries, including the United States and Iran, in order to push for a calming of tensions.

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