Iraqi PM becomes first foreign leader to meet Iran’s Raisi

Iran
Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran
Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi meets with Prime Minister of Iraq Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran, Iran September 12, 2021. Handout via official President’s website / REUTERS

September 12, 2021

(Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi on Sunday became the first foreign leader to meet with Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi and radicalized in August.

Iraq has been trying to mediate between Tehran and its Gulf Arab enemies, including Saudi Arabia, in hopes of preventing its neighbors from setting scores in their territory.

Iraq has become a playground of rivalry between Iran on the one hand and the United States, Israel and Gulf Arab states on the other, with attacks against US forces and killings of Iranian and Iraqi paramilitary leaders.

“I hope that we will see an expansion of good relations between Iran and Iraq, regardless of the targets of the enemies of the two countries,” Raisi told a joint news conference in Tehran.

Raisi said Iraq had agreed to waive visas for Iranian pilgrims to Shiite holy sites in Iraq later this month as part of a 40-day mourning period for Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, on the occasion of Arbin. was a sign of the end.

“Decisions were also made about the financial issues of the two countries that should be adopted,” Raisi said without elaborating.

Iraq is dependent on Iranian gas and electricity, but imports have been erratic in the recent past due to outstanding payments.

Iran’s state gas company said late last year that it had cut more than $6 billion in supplies to Iraq, threatening power outages in Baghdad and other cities.

Iraq’s electricity ministry said last month that Iranian gas supplies in the central region had been reduced from 3 million to 2 million cubic meters per day, while in the southern region it was reduced from 17 million to 5 million cubic meters per day. Was.

(Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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