Iraq's new prime minister who arrived in Tehran on Tuesday for his first official visit abroad is scheduled to meet with the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
According to Iranian media, the visit will be the first meeting of the Iranian Supreme Leader with any foreign dignitary or Iranian official in person since the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic in Iran in February.
Mostafa al-Kadhimi who arrived in Tehran on Tuesday afternoon was welcomed by the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Islamic Heads of State Conference Hall after an official reception at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport by the Minister of Energy Reza Ardakanian.
President Rouhani welcomes Iraqi Prime Minister Mostafa Al-Kadhimi
Talks between the Iranian President and Al-Kadhimi who is accompanied by the ministers of foreign affairs, oil, energy, financial affairs, planning, defense and health as well as his security adviser Qasim al-Araji started immediately after the welcoming ceremony, the government news agency IRNA reported.
The Iraqi delegation and Iranian officials will confer on the consolidation of bilateral relations in political, economic and cultural areas as well as regional and international matters during the two-day visit, Iranian media reported.
The visit came after the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's to Iraq on Sunday. The visit was the first since the killing of the Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. targeted attack in Baghdad in January. Zarif met with top Iraqi officials including the Prime Minister Mostafa Al-Kadhimi, President Barham Salih and his counterpart Fuad Hussein during his visit. He also paid a visit to the site where Soleimani was killed.
Al-Kadhimi was scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia before going to Iran but his visit has been postponed after the hospitalization of King Salman, the Saudi foreign minister said on Monday.
Visiting both Saudi Arabia and Iran during one trip by Iraqi prime ministers has turned into a diplomatic practice to keep the balance between its two powerful neighbors.