Gulf Countries

Iran says U.S. cannot influence its ties with Iraq

 Iran says U.S. cannot influence its ties with Iraq

TEHRAN (Rahnuma): Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said Thursday that the United States is not entitled to influence the ties between Iran and Iraq, official IRNA news agency reported.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other U.S. officials have no right to “meddle” in neighborly ties between Iran and Iraq, Zarif said in the Iraqi city of Najaf.

Iran’s relations with Iraq are not superficial and are deeply-rooted in the history and culture, he was quoted as saying.

“Outsiders will eventually leave the region, and it is the regional nations that will remain” to live with each other, said Zarif.

He stressed “I am confident that Iran-Iraq relations have a bright future.”

On Jan. 9, Pompeo paid a surprise visit to the Iraqi capital Baghdad to meet with Iraqi leaders to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues.

Following that, the Iranian foreign minister arrived in Iraq on Sunday for talks with senior Iraqi officials in diverse areas, including U.S. “intervention” in the mutual ties between Tehran and Baghdad.

The visit of Zarif to Iraq came against the backdrop of Iran’s efforts to boost its trade with traditional economic partners to counter the U.S. sanctions.

The U.S. has reimposed sanctions on Iran, including its oil exports and banking sectors, following its exit from the landmark Iranian nuclear deal last May.

However, Washington has agreed to let eight countries, including Iraq, keep temporarily buying Iranian oil.

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