Former Iran minister: Do not oppose partition of Iraq

Former Iran minister: Do not oppose partition of Iraq

The US and Iran are Iraq's two biggest allies and the sanctions put Abadi's outgoing government in a hard position.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was to visit Iran and Turkey later this week.

In July 2017, the two countries signed an agreement to promote interaction and share experiences in the fight against terrorism and extremism, work together to ensure border security, and provide each other with training and logistical, technical and military support.

Speaking at a news conference in Baghdad, Mr al-Abadi said: "I did not say we would abide by the sanctions".

An Iranian government official on Sunday tried to play down the effect of the sanctions and said Abadi's visit to Iran had been cancelled by Tehran.

On Sunday, Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei's representative in Baghdad, Moujtaba al-Hussein, lashed out at Abadi as the Tehran visit was called off.

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"These irresponsible remarks have already been condemned by many people".

In a recent tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump said: "Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States".

"We are saddened by this position which shows he (Abadi) has been defeated psychologically in the face of the Americans", he concluded.

The United States and Iran, increasingly at odds, are Iraq's two biggest partners and the sanctions put Abadi's outgoing government in a hard position.

The Badr Organization, the main faction of PMF, also called for the Iraqi government to stand with Iran as an advocate and supporter.

Yet, Washington began restoring sanctions, which had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, on Iran last week.

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