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Iraq Welcomes Saudi-Iran Agreement, Pro-Tehran Factions Silent

Iraq Welcomes Saudi-Iran Agreement, Pro-Tehran Factions Silent

Saturday, 11 March, 2023 - 17:15
This handout photo released by the Iraqi prime minister's press office shows premier Mohammed Shia al-Sudani addressing the final signing ceremony of the contracts for the latest licensing round for oil and gas border exploration blocks and fields, at the Oil Minister in Baghdad on February 21, 2023. (Iraqi prime minister's press office/AFP)

The Iraqi government expressed its satisfaction with the signing of the Chinese-sponsored agreement to restore relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani received a telephone call from Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, to voice Tehran’s gratitude to Baghdad that had hosted negotiations between the Kingdom and Iran.

Iraq had helped bridge the divide between the two sides that culminated in the signing of the agreement this week in Beijing.

For his part, Sudani congratulated Shamkhani on reaching the agreement, which he hoped would help increase harmony between Islamic countries that will in turn reflect positively on the region’s security and stability and offer more opportunities for development and prosperity.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said the agreement will create a new “atmosphere that will prioritize the interests of the region.”

In a statement on Saturday, it added that the agreement reflected Saudi Arabia and Iran’s prioritizing of dialogue as the only was to ease tensions.

Moreover, it stressed that Baghdad had hosted the rounds of dialogue between Riyadh and Tehran because it realized that the region needed all its parties to come together.

Baghdad believes that the agreement may lead to solutions to protracted regional issues, it added.

“We aspire for a secure region and an environment that promotes opportunities for development. This is only possible through collective will that overcomes differences,” it stated.

Pro-Iran factions in Iraq have yet to comment on the agreement.

Meanwhile, prominent Iraqi religious and political figures welcomed the agreement.

Head of the Hikma movement Ammar al-Hakim said the development will effectively impact the stability of the region and its strength.

He also highlighted Iraq’s intense efforts in bringing together the Saudis and Iranians to hold dialogue.

National security advisor Qassem al-Araji said diplomatic dialogue is the “best way to resolve conflicts between friends,” praising the Iraqi, Omani and Chinese efforts that led to the signing of the “historic” agreement.

In a tweet, he stated he was “confident that the agreement will have major positive impacts on Iraq, the region and world.”

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