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Sanctions, influencing gov't behind Zarif's visit to Iraq: sources

The real reason behind the Iranian foreign minister's visit to Iraq remains unknown. However, Iranian visits to Iraq have been seen suspicious, especially after US sanctions urged Iraq to curb relations with Tehran.

Two reasons are believed to be behind Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's visit to Iraq, including influencing the formation of the Iraqi government and circumventing the US sanctions.

Tehran is believed to be behind the delay of the completion of Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi's government, due to the insistence of its "allying parties and figures" to pass controversial Faleh al-Fayadh for the interior minister post in the new government.

Iraqi sources revealed that Iran has asked the Iraqi government not to announce the schedule of the visit of Zarif to Baghdad and Erbil at the head of a political and economic delegation that started on Sunday.

According to the sources, Tehran justified its request that its embassy in the Iraqi capital will take over the media minister's program, which angered parliamentary blocs and prompted it to consider the order as "Iranian tutelage."

Sources said that the Iranian embassy prepared a comprehensive program for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, including meetings with parliamentary blocs and IMIS figures before the official meetings with Abdul Mahdi, Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi and President Barham Salih, Saudi Okaz reported. 

Zarif has planned to discuss political files, most notably the crisis to complete the formation of the new government and the Iraqi stance towards the US sanctions on Iran, the sources revealed.

The Iranian foreign minister was accompanied by prominent economic figures and businessmen, the sources said, while Washington is exerting pressure on Baghdad to push it to abandon its economic cooperation with Tehran.

Zarif will introduce specific proposals to the Iraqi government to circumvent the US sanctions imposed on his country, the sources said, without specifying the nature of these proposals. However, they revealed that Zarif will discuss this matter with officials of the Kurdistan region in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah on Tuesday.

Two days after the Iranian foreign minister visited Iraq, he decided to encourage Iraqi businessmen to import Iranian products by encouraging them to travel with less obstacles to Iran, a step which probably aims at circumventing the US sanctions imposed on Iran in late 2018.

Zarif announced cancelling visas for "Iraqi traders" travelling to Iran.

During the Iraqi-Iranian economic conference held on Monday, which was attended by more than 100 Iraqi and Iranian businessmen, Zarif said that his country decided to finally remove any obstacles in the face of Iraqi traders.
Last Modified: Tuesday، 15 January 2019 01:54 AM
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