Zarif in Baghdad to discuss Syria, regional issues

Zarif in Baghdad to discuss Syria, regional issues
Sun Sep 8, 2013 12:28:33

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, to discuss bilateral ties and regional issues.

Zarif was welcomed by his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari upon arriving in Baghdad on Sunday.

The Iranian foreign minister is scheduled to hold talks with Zebari, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi during his visit.

Head of Majlis Research Center Kazem Jalali and Iraq’s Ambassador to Iran Mohammad Majid al-Sheikh are part of the delegation accompanying the Iranian foreign minister.

Prior to his visit, Zarif described Iraq as one of the most important neighbors of Iran, adding that the trip was aimed at providing an opportunity for consultation with Iraqi leaders about regional and bilateral issues and drawing the two sides closer on these matters.

Zarif said the threat of a US military attack against Syria was among the reasons for his visit to Iraq.

“We and our Iraqi brothers and sisters have common concerns about new warmongering in the region,” the Iranian foreign minister said.

The US is planning to bomb Syria based on conflicting reports of an alleged chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21.

The US cites rebels' claims that the Syrian government has carried out the attack, while there has been no evidence on the matter.

But the Syrian government has totally ruled out any involvement in use of chemical arms and says it was a false-flag operation by militants to open the way for US military intervention.

A group of US former intelligence officials and veterans wrote a letter to US President Barack Obama in which they said available evidence showed the attack was actually a planned operation by the militants, supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey.


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