ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is expected to visit Turkey and Iran next week amid US-imposed sanctions on Ankara and Tehran, an official said on Saturday.
Iraq’s Prime Minister “will head to Turkey on Tuesday and Iran on Wednesday to discuss economic affairs with the two countries,” AFP quoted an official as saying on condition of anonymity.
In recent weeks, Washington has slapped both Turkey and Iran with economic sanctions.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump said he would double steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey. The dispute between the NATO allies has caused the Turkish lira to drop 16 percent against the US dollar.
The Trump administration has called for the immediate release of the US pastor, Andrew Brunson, who Turkey arrested in the aftermath of the failed 2016 military coup attempt.
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government charges Brunson, a Protestant evangelical pastor, with being involved in the putsch along with Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is in self-imposed exile in the US.
Meanwhile, sanctions on Iran are related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear deal signed between Tehran and World powers which the US pulled out of in May.
The initial set of sanctions on Iran include a prohibition on Tehran’s acquisition and use of US dollars, trade in gold and other metals, as well as the import into the US of Iranian carpets and pistachios.
During his weekly press briefing on Tuesday, Abadi said Iraq would not react to the US-Iran dispute but said Baghdad would abide by them “to protect the interests of our people.”
“As a matter of principle, we are against sanctions in the region. Blockade and sanctions destroy societies and do not weaken regimes,” the Iraqi Prime Minister stated at the press conference.
“We will not interact with them or support them, but we will abide by them.”