ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned one of its consuls in Iran, Yassin Sharif, for appearing in a video advertisement for an Iranian cosmetic surgery center.
“[Iraqi] Foreign Minister Mohammad Ali al-Hakim summoned the Iraqi Consul-General in [Iran’s] Mashhad to return to the Ministry’s headquarters over a video circulated [on social media],” the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The statement came soon after the 2:54-minute video promotion spread through Iraqi social media networks, with Sharif advertising an Iranian plastic surgery clinic.
“With a delegation from the Iraqi Consulate in the holy city of Mashhad, I visited the center… which is one of the famous centers in this city,” Sharif says in the video.
“We have seen the medical and health services provided, in the field of hair transplant and rhinoplasty, as well as the treatment of infertility and teeth, and we have found the center offers what the Iraqi citizen needs in terms of medical services and affordable prices.”
The video has been shared everywhere on Iraqi social media, with people strongly criticizing the diplomat for using his position and the consulate for a private advertisement in a foreign country.
Many Iraqi activists on social media criticized the Consul for having the Iranian flag alongside the Iraqi one in the consulate, as it is seen in the video, but Kurdistan 24 was unable to independently verify where the video was recorded.
Sharif, in the video, claimed to have met with Iraqis in the center, who “praised the good treatment” they received.
The Iraqi Consul-General also made a post about the center on his official Facebook account, calling on Iraqis to contact the center to book appointments and surgeries to avoid “bad operations” at other cosmetic centers.
Sharif has been a member of the Foreign Ministry since 2007. Over the past years, he has held several posts in the ministry, including the Deputy Consul at the Iraqi Embassy in Doha and the head of the political section of the Iraqi Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
Editing by Nadia Riva