April 9, 2019
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi visited Tehran over the weekend and assured Iran over US sanctions against its military presence.
On the sidelines of his Sunday meeting with his Iraqi counterpart, Chief of General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri said Iraq has guaranteed for Tehran that the presence of the US troops is merely restricted to training Iraqi forces and they are doing their job under the control of the Iraqi military force.
In the first Iraqi response to Islamic Revolution leader Ali Khamenei’s calls last Saturday calling on Baghdad to expel US forces immediately, Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Othman al-Ghanemi said US troops would stay in Iraq, but he reassured the Iranian side that their presence is part of training Iraqi forces.
Ghanemi is part of an Iraqi delegation visiting Iran, one month following the visit of President Hassan Rouhani to Baghdad.
Later, a statement issued Sunday by the Prime Minister’s office told Iran´s Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, “Iraq was not part of the sanctions system imposed on Iran.”
The PM was keen on addressing a clear message to the Iranian side when he reaffirmed his country’s sovereignty and that Iraq is in a position of “being open” towards all its neighboring countries to build a stable region.
The Iraqi PM said he would work on placing his country in its suitable place in the Arab and Islamic world. He denied his country’s support of an axis or aggression policy against any state.
Meanwhile, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh uncovered Sunday that Iran and Iraq have reached an understanding about developing two oilfields on their mutual border.
Media reports said last week the United States would designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization and confirmed that President Donald Trump’s administration would announce the decision as soon as Monday and that concerned defense officials were bracing for the impact.