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The Iran-Iraq Ties Expanded in Defiance of US Pressures

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Top officials from Iran and Iraq discussed ways to boost cooperation between the two neighboring countries, a day after a surprise visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the Arab country, which was supposed to convince Baghdad to restrict its ties with Tehran.

In further details, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, whose office said he "confirmed the deep relations between the two countries, the two neighboring peoples and the importance of strengthening them in areas that serve the interests of the two peoples, foremost of which is cooperation in the fields of oil and gas."

The Iraqi PM’s office also said the Iranian oil minister "expressed his country's pride on the level of relations with Iraq and the aspiration to develop them, and hoped to achieve more cooperation and to meet the needs of Iraq's gas."

Abdul-Mahdi had earlier declared his country “will not be part of the [US] sanctions regime, as it will not be part of aggression against any country."

Relatively, the Iranian minister held talks with Iraqi President Barham Salih, who said promotion of ties between Tehran and Baghdad would serve the stability and security of the entire Middle East.

The talks were held after Pompeo's meeting with Abdul-Madhi on Wednesday, where the two discussed "US support for Iraq’s energy independence" from Iran among other issues.

Pompeo’s unannounced visit to Baghdad was part of his tour of the Middle East meant to promote the White House's hardline position on Iran.

His trip to Iraq, which followed a controversial visit by US President Donald Trump late last month, was notable in that Iran was not mentioned in any official readout.

However, he earlier referred to a "counter-Iran revolution" between the US and its Mideast allies during a Tuesday press conference in Jordan.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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