Iraqi PM says U.S., Iran do not want war
BAGHDAD, May 14 — Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Tuesday said that Iran and the U.S. are not willing to enter a war, and Iraq is seeking to solve the crisis.
“Neither the United States nor Iran want war and Iraq is in contact with both,” Mahdi told a press conference after the weekly cabinet meeting.
“The Iran-U.S. dispute is a complex one and we are making an effort to find a way out of the crisis,” he said, adding that he made three phone calls with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before his visit to Iraq to discuss the regional issues and Iraq’s role in preventing the crisis.
He said that Iraq’s security will not be threatened, even in case there is any escalation of tensions between the two countries, confirming that Iraqi government has “emergency plans” if any clashes occur.
On May 7, Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Baghdad, during which he discussed with Iraqi leaders the latest regional developments amid rising tension with Iran.
Speaking after the meetings, Pompeo told reporters that he made the surprise visit to Iraq because Iran “is escalating their activity” in the region following the U.S. move to ban Iranian oil exports.
Pompeo said that Iraqi leaders promised to protect U.S. interests as they understood that this was their responsibility.
Mahdi’s comment came amid the tense situation in the region after U.S. President Donald Trump decided not to reissue the sanctions waivers for major importers to continue buying Iran’s oil when they expired in early May, in a bid to pile up pressure on Iran.
The U.S. has also increased its military buildup in the region recently by deploying an aircraft carrier, bombers and anti-missile systems in the region, citing a threat of Iranian “attack.” – XINHUA