MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : IRANIAN PROGRESS IN IRAQ – Iran, Iraq forge ahead with collaboration amid US pressure
Hamidreza Azizi April 8, 2019 – AL MONITOR – Article Summary – The Iraqi prime minister’s visit to Iran — his first since taking office — sends important messages to Tehran, Washington and Riyadh alike. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi visited Tehran April 6-7, his first official visit to the neighboring country since assuming office in October 2018. Accompanied by a large delegation of high-ranking Iraqi officials and representatives of the private sector, Abdul Mahdi came to Tehran at the formal invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Apart from meeting with Rouhani, the Iraqi leader also met with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and attended a joint meeting of the Iranian and Iraqi business sectors at the Iran Chamber of Commerce. The visit came less than a month after Rouhani’s visit to Iraq — the first by the Iranian president since taking office in 2013 — in which the two sides reached a number of important agreements, mostly on economic issues. The increased frequency of high-level meetings between Iranian and Iraqi officials, as well as Abdul Mahdi’s busy schedule while in Tehran, sparked fresh discussion on the growing ties between the two neighbors. In fact, taking into account Abdul Mahdi’s agenda in Iran, as well as the regional and international circumstances surrounding the visit, it could be said that the visit was important from three main aspects.
First and foremost, the visit came amid increased pressure from the United States to limit Iran’s influence in Iraq, giving the visit a symbolic aspect. Although the US administration agreed on March 20 to extend the sanctions waiver for Iraq, so it can import gas and electricity from Iran for a 90-day period, it has been pressuring Baghdad to eliminate its energy dependence on Tehran.
Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/04/iran-iraq-abdulmahdi-visit-economic-trade-rouhani-khamenei.html#ixzz5kcCoeGPI