Baghdad is ready to step forward and act as a peacemaker between the United States and Iran if asked, Iraq’s parliament speaker said.
Mohamad Halbousi’s comments, confirmed by state TV, came shortly after Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif touched down in Baghdad Saturday for a two-day visit.
Iraqi TV aired footage of Zarif upon arrival while being received by the Foreign Ministry’s undersecretary Nizar Khairallah.
“We are ready to mediate to solve the crisis between Washington and Tehran if we are asked for that,” al-Halbousi, whose country has close ties with both Washington and Tehran, said. He added that there has been “no official request for such mediation.”
Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s office later said he and his guest discussed, “ways of making the two countries and the region avoid the harms of sanctions and the dangers of war.” They also spoke about the importance of security and stability in the Middle East and how to maintain the nuclear deal reached in 2015 between Iran and world powers.
Adel Abdul-Mahdi said earlier this week that Iraq will send delegations to the U.S. and Iran to help end tensions between the two countries, adding that Baghdad is neutral in the conflict.
The offer of mediation by al-Halbousi coincided with the latest warning from Iran that it is ready to target U.S. Navy forces now gathering in the Gulf region.
As Breitbart News reported, the U.S. Navy has been warned Iran claims to possess a terrifying “secret new weapon” that will send American warships “to the bottom of the sea along with their crew and planes.”
“America… is sending two warships to the region,” General Morteza Qorbani, an adviser to military command, told semi-official news agency Mizan Saturday in comments translated by Reuters. “If they commit the slightest stupidity, we will send these ships to the bottom of the sea along with their crew and planes using two missiles or two new secret weapons.”
In another sign of tensions in the region, last week a rocket was fired into Iraq’s capital of Baghdad, landing less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy, as Breitbart News reported.
AP contributed to this report