BAGHDAD (Rahnuma): Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Tuesday said that the reopening of the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad is “irreversible.”
“The decision to open the Green Zone is irreversible despite attempts to hamper it. The opening has carried many messages to the people,” Mahdi told a press conference after the weekly cabinet meeting.
Mahdi said that he believes that the officials “must live in the same circumstances of his people. If the citizen is in danger, then the official is in danger too.”
Mahdi’s comments came a day after the partial and temporal opening of the Green Zone for five hours in the evening, from local time 5:00 p.m. (1400 GMT) to 10 p.m. (1900 GMT) for two weeks in order to evaluate the security situation.
Meanwhile, Mahdi reiterated his country’s stance that “Iraq is not part of the U.S. sanctions against Iran,” asserting that he will send a delegation to Washington in order to exempt Baghdad from the U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Earlier in the day, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry met with Mahdi and Iraqi President Barham Salih in the Green Zone to discuss means to boost economic relations.
However, media reports said that Perry also discussed his country’s sanctions on Iran with the Iraqi leader.
After withdrawing from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal in May, the U.S. government has restored sanctions on Iran’s oil industry as well as its banking and transport industry.