Iraq does not agree but will abide by US sanctions on Iran: PM Abadi

“We will not interact with them or support them, but we will abide by them.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Prime Minister says his country objects the newly-imposed US sanctions on Iran but admits it is difficult not to abide by them as Baghdad wants to protect its interests.

During his weekly press briefing on Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Iraq would not react to the dispute between Iran and the United States as Washington reimposes sanctions on the neighboring country.

“As a matter of principle, we are against sanctions in the region. Blockade and sanctions destroy societies and do not weaken regimes,” Abadi said at the press conference.

He described the sanctions on Iran as “a strategic mistake and incorrect,” adding Iraq “will abide by them to protect the interests of our people.”

“We will not interact with them or support them, but we will abide by them.”

On Monday, the Trump administration announced the first stage of the re-imposition of economic sanctions on Iran which had initially ended with the 2015 nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, Iraqi President Fuad Masum, in an interview with US-based al-Hurra Iraq on Tuesday, said it is difficult for Iraq to abide by the US-imposed sanctions because of Baghdad’s relations with Tehran.

The decision might result in an Iranian response that might affect the situation in Iraq and its neighboring countries as well, Masum warned.

Earlier in the day, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said the Kurdistan Region would deal with new US sanctions on Iran within the framework and policy of Iraq.

“Until now, the sanctions are not clear for us in the Kurdistan Region. I believe they are not clear to them, yet, either,” Prime Minister Barzani said in response to a question asked by Kurdistan 24 correspondent Aras Ahmed during a press conference.

“But, certainly, the Kurdistan Region’s steps will be within the policies and position of Iraq,” he continued. “We have asked the US and Baghdad to give us more clarifications about that.”

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany