Iraqi MP: No request from Baghdad by Tehran to mediate for ties with US, S. Arabia

FNA – A senior member of the Iraqi parliament’s foreign relations commission dismissed media reports claiming that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has during his recent visit urged Baghdad to mediate between Tehran and Washington or Riyadh.

“Tehran has not made any official request to Baghdad for mediation between the country and Saudi Arabia or the US,” al-Fa’ez told the Arabic-language service of Sputnik news agency on Tuesday.

Yet, he said Iraq itself has embarked on some initiatives to keep the region safe from clashes, adding that conflicts between Tehran and Washington and Riyadh and their negative impacts on Iraq were discussed during Zarif’s recent visit to Baghdad.

Speaking to reporters in a joint press conference after meeting his Iraqi counterpart Fo’ad Hossein in Baghdad on Sunday, Zarif underlined the need for the establishment of tranquility in the region, saying that Tehran is interested in having a powerful and peaceful Iraq along its border.

“A powerful Iraq full of peace and tranquility with constructive and good relations with all its neighbors is equal to power, tranquility, stability and peace of ourselves and we welcome Iraq’s effective role in the powerful and peaceful Persian Gulf region,” Zarif said.

He added that presidents of the two countries have agreed to increase their volume of trade ties to $20bln during President Rouhani’s visit to Iraq, and said, “We are not so much far from that goal and we will certainly adopt joint measures to this end.”

“Iraq is one of prioritized neighbors in our economic and trade relations,” Zarif said.

He also referred to the US assassination of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani and al-Muhandis, in January, and said it was a big harm to the war on terrorism in the region and Iran and Iraq will pursue the case in cooperation with each other.

“It is highly important to us to see that the national sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of our neighbors does not come under aggression by foreigners,” Zarif stressed.