Tabnak – Having been targeted by increasing US sanctions, Iran has started to look to the expansion of relations with neighbors as a way for remaining active on the international scene. In this vein, Iranian foreign minister will reportedly visit Baghdad for high-level talks with the Iraqi officials.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is due in Iraq for an official visit to hold talks with the Arab country's senior officials on ways to promote political and economic relations.
Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, Zarif is to set off for Baghdad on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said. He added that senior managers of dozens of major private and public companies would accompany the top Iranian diplomat.
Zarif is expected to hold talks with high-ranking Iraqi officials and attend a joint meeting of the two countries’ businessmen in several Iraqi cities, particularly Karbala and Sulaymaniyah, the Iranian spokesperson noted.
Back in November, Iraqi President Barham Salih paid a two-day visit to Tehran at the head of a delegation at a sensitive time when the US was pressuring regional countries to go along with Washington in “squeezing” Iran under the sanctions re-imposed on the Islamic Republic.
In a post on his official Twitter account, Zarif expressed his delight at the visit by the Iraqi president and his accompanying delegation, saying Iran and Iraq were committed to win-win cooperation. "Constructive exchanges on next steps to work together towards regional peace & security," Zarif said.
Also on January 10, top officials from Iran and Iraq held talks on ways to boost cooperation between the two neighboring countries, just one day after a surprise visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the Arab country, which was supposed to convince Baghdad to restrict its ties with Tehran.
Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh on Thursday met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, whose office said he "confirmed the deep relations between the two countries, the two neighboring peoples and the importance of strengthening them in areas that serve the interests of the two peoples, foremost of which is cooperation in the fields of oil and gas."
The Iraqi premier's office also said the Iranian oil minister "expressed his country's pride in the level of relations with Iraq and the aspiration to develop them, and hoped to achieve more cooperation and to meet the needs of Iraq's gas." PM Abdul-Mahdi had earlier declared his country “will not be part of the [US] sanctions regime, as it will not be part of aggression against any country."
The talks between Tehran and Baghdad on expansion of energy ties came a few weeks after US Energy Secretary Rick Perry urged Iraq to sever its energy dependence on Iran and open its energy sector to American investment. He was in Baghdad with a trade delegation arranged by the US Chamber of Commerce.
However, in defiance of the US’ efforts, Iraq's oil minister announced on Thursday Iraq and Iran are jointly exploring two oil fields shared by the two countries.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.