Iraqi Premier al-Kadhimi visits Iran before KSA, US
Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, is in Iran for talks on a range of political and economic issues. The trip is the Iraqi official’s first stop in his three-leg tour to Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Al-Kadhimi was welcomed by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, where the two officials talked about a host of issues covering economic, political and security areas. The Iraqi premier also sat with Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
The Iraqi official headed a large politico-economic delegation, which shows his willingness to maintain his country’s close ties with the Islamic Republic. To observers, the three-leg tour has more than just mutual interests and is an attempt to mediate between Iran and its arch foes.
Iran is at loggerheads with Saudi Arabia over a host of regional issues, especially the Saudi war on Yemen. However, Tehran is open to any dialog with Riyadh. The case is completely different when it comes to the US.
Washington has increased its so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran. More importantly, by assassinating Iran’s top commander General Soleimani, it has killed off any chance of talks with Iran.
Iran and Iraq share a 1,400-kilometer long border. Iran is a key source of energy to Iraq, supplying up to 40 percent of electricity in the Arab country. Iraq also depends on Iran’s food, machinery and home appliances.
However, the US and Saudi Arabia are not willing to see such a relationship to continue. Over the past months, Washington has been pressing Baghdad to stop buying natural gas and electricity from Tehran. The US is now planning to connect Iraq’s electricity to the Gulf Cooperation Council grid.
While many view al-Kadhimi’s three-leg tour as an attempt to fix Iran’s relations with Saudi Arabia and the US, some others believe that Washington and Riyadh will try to turn the tables and use this as a chance to push through their agenda in the region.
Source: Press TV