BAGHDAD – The leader of Iraq’s National Wisdom Movement Seyed Ammar al-Hakim said his country has not given in to Washington’s pressures to comply with the US sanctions against Iran.
In comments last Thursday, Hakim said the current Iraqi government has not bowed to US pressures to place sanctions that Washington has imposed against Iran.
“The Iraqi government tries to keep the balance in its relations with other countries in accordance with the international law, Iraq’s interests, as well as moral and humanitarian values,” the cleric added.
“The incumbent government in Baghdad has a deeper understanding of the regional conditions,” he said.
Hakim also touched on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s upcoming visit to Iraq, saying the very important trip at such a critical juncture reveals the two neighbors’ resolve to broaden ties at the highest level.
Heading a high-ranking delegation, the Iranian president will be visiting Iraq on March 11 at the official invitation of Baghdad.
It will be Rouhani’s first official visit to Iraq during his tenure.
On Monday February 25th, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi met with Prime Minister of Iraq Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad to make arrangements for Rouhani’s forthcoming trip.
The Iranian president’s visit would come against the backdrop of Tehran’s efforts to boost its foreign trade in the US sanctions era.
Iraq’s foreign minister said recently that his country is “not obliged” to abide by sanctions imposed by the US against Iran and would be pursuing options to continue bilateral trade.
President of Iraq Barham Salih paid a visit to Tehran in November 2018 with a ranking delegation for a series of political and economic talks.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart at that time, Rouhani said the value of trade and economic interaction between Tehran and Baghdad stood at around $12 billion, adding that the two neighbors have the potential for a $20-billion trade target.