Iraq, an arena for score-settling between Tehran and Washington

Iraq, an arena for score-settling between Tehran and Washington

Shafaq News / the Iraqi Foreign Relations Committee considered on Saturday, that the reciprocal diplomatic sanctions between the United States and Iran on Iraqi territory are a new escalation in the ongoing conflict between Washington and Tehran.

The deputy head of the committee, Dhafer Al-Ani, told Shafaq News agency, "The new diplomatic conflict is one of the aspects of the US-Iranian conflict in Iraq, in addition to the military, political and economic conflict."

He stressed, “this conflict affects the diplomacy of Iraq and enforce it to manage its relations with great caution and sensitivity due to these two high-effect countries."

In turn, the prominent Iraqi politician, Mithal Al-Alusi, told Shafaq News agency, "The exchange of diplomatic sanctions confirms that Tehran and Washington are dealing with Baghdad as an arena for score-settling."

He added, "Iran’s sanctions on USA in Iraq can only occur by preventing political leaders and influencers of militias from holding any meetings or making any dialogue with Washington's ambassador in Baghdad."

The Iranian Foreign Ministry decided on Friday to impose sanctions on US diplomats in Iraq, in response to the sanctions imposed by Washington on the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad, Iraj Masjedi.

The Iranian sanctions included the US ambassador and his deputy in Iraq, and the Consul General of the United States in Erbil, according to Iranian media.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatib Zadeh tweeted that the US ambassador to Baghdad, Matthew Toller, "played a major role in coordinating terrorist attacks in Iraq as he is involved in the assassination of the Iranian" Quds Force "commander, Qassem Soleimani and the imposition of sanctions on Iran.

Earlier, The United States blacklisted Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s Ambassador to Iraq, saying he has for years overseen the training and support of Iraqi militia groups which are responsible for attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq.

“In his current capacity, Masjedi has exploited his position as the Iranian regime’s ambassador in Iraq to obfuscate financial transfers conducted for the benefit of the IRGC-QF,” Treasury said in a statement, referring to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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