ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi on Saturday arrived in Tehran, the first visit to the neighboring country since he took office in October of 2018.
His trip comes at the invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who met with the leader and other Iraqi officials earlier in March. Abdul-Mahdi’s press office said in a statement that a ministerial delegation and a number of Iraqi businessmen accompanied him on his two-day visit to Iran.
This is the second foreign tour of Abdul-Mahdi following a visit to Egypt on March 23. He announced from there that he would visit other countries to strengthen Iraq’s bilateral relations.
Until now, Iraqi President Barham Salih has made most trips to meet with foreign heads of state and other top officials on behalf of Iraq.
At his latest press briefing, the Iraqi premier told reporters that he would visit Tehran and Riyadh later this month as part of a policy of openness to neighboring countries.
Iran and Iraq maintain robust political and economic relations. Over the past decade and a half, Baghdad has relied considerably on Tehran to fulfill its economic needs by importing food products and other goods.
Over the past few months, Iraq has been put in a difficult situation after the US imposed the second round of its sanctions on Iran at the beginning of November, which targeted the financial and energy sector of Tehran.
Editing by John J. Catherine