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Iraq To Send Delegations To Washington And Tehran 'To Halt Tensions'

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi (R) meets with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the capital Baghdad, May 9, 2019

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has announced that his country will send delegations to Washington and Tehran to help ease tensions between the United States and Iran.

Iraq is one of the few countries in the world that has close relations with both the U.S. and Iran.

Abdul Mahdi also said that both countries have told Iraq they have “no desire in fighting a war”. He added that there are no groups in Iraq who would want to push for a war.

Teo days earlier, a rocket fired at Baghdad’s Green Zone landed less than a kilometer from the U.S. embassy, prompting President Donald Trump to tweet a stern warning to Tehran. Iran controls several militias in Iraq and the U.S. is concerned that they could be used in proxy attacks against its interests.

Abdul-Mahdi said Iraq is "playing a role to calm the situation but it is not a mediation." He said he will visit Kuwait on Wednesday to discuss regional issues.

Some Iraqi influential politicians voiced concern on May 20 that any conflict between the U.S. and Iran will have direct adverse implications for Iraq. Prominent Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and several other Iraqi politicians warned against dragging Baghdad into a conflict between Iran and the United States.