August 25, 2020
The new spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that Iraq is special to his country, adding that during the last visit of Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to Baghdad, the issue of a strategic document between the two countries was on the agenda.
During his first press conference after being appointed, the Iranian spokesman welcomed Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein’s readiness to hold strategic talks with Iran and the countries of the region.
“Everyone is aware of the strategic relations between Iran and Iraq. Iraq has a special status for us, and during FM Zarif’s visit, the issue of a strategic document between the two countries was on the agenda, and information will be provided as soon as it is finalized,” he said.
Khatibzadeh said his country welcomes this announcement and hope to hold strategic talks with Iraq as soon as possible.
The Iranian official’s statements come after last week’s visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to Washington where he met with US President Donald Trump, describing their sit together as significant and successful.
They also come after Amman announced that a tripartite summit will be held between Jordanian King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Jordan’s capital within a few days to activate the “New Levant.”
The Iranian statements come with reports about Kadhimi’s delayed visit to Saudi Arabia in the coming days, in addition to talks about an electricity project between Iraq and the Gulf States in the coming year.
And while Iran spoke about its readiness to sign a strategic agreement with Iraq, the Iraqi Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Water, and Marshlands called for speedy government action to ensure a continuous flow of water from Iran. The Head of the Committee, Salam Al-Shammari, said in a press statement that the Ministry of Water Resources has indicated the great damage that will affect Iraq, especially in its center and south, from the low levels of the Zab and Sirwan rivers coming from Iranian territory.
He said the damage will first affect Diyala Governorate, especially the Diyala River, on which the province depends completely to irrigate millions of dunams of agricultural land.
Concerning Kadhimi’s talks with the US administration and the New Levant plan, National Security Professor at al-Nahrain University Dr. Hussein Allawi told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the Iraqi PM’s visit to Washington achieved three important issues: it stressed national sovereignty through a timetable for the withdrawal of advisors and their redeployment outside Iraq in the coming three years, moved the Iraqi-US relations from the security-military level to the economic-advisory level, and finally separated Iraq from the US-Iranian conflict.