“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned US military intervention in the Middle East on Monday as he began a first official visit to Iraq, meant to bolster Tehran’s influence and expand trade ties to help offset renewed US sanctions,” it said.

“His visit also signaled to Washington and Persian Gulf Arab allies that, in the face of US sanctions reimposed after the US pullout from world powers’ nuclear deal with Iran, Tehran still plays a dominant role in Iraqi politics,” it added.