Iranian Ambassador Iraj Masjedi and a delegation of Kurdish politicians met in Baghdad this week to discuss future plans for the new government with Iraqi parliamentary representatives. A group of Kurdistan Diplomatic Party (KDP) officials lead by Secretary General Fazil Mirani met Ambassador Masjedi to ensure that the formation of the newly elected government will not be rushed. While traditionally Iran has maintained lucrative relations with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party, the cooperation with other Kurdish parties has always beeen maintained out of necessity.

Mirani informed local media after the meeting that, “Fortunately the commonalities in our views were many. We both reached the belief that there shouldn’t be a rush, and for negotiations to continue, either here or in Erbil.” While Mirani touched on past exchanges between the KDP and Iran, he primarily emphasized the need for continued dialogue between the two. He added that, “We gave a summary of our negotiations in the political process in Baghdad to Mr. Ambassador. The Islamic Republic as a friend and neighbor has weight in this area. It is not possible for us not to exchange views.”

Ambassador Masjedi was extremely receptive to the KDP’s outreach and described the coexistence between the autonomous region of Kurdistan and Iran as valuable historic but wished to pursue future collaboration as well. Regarding Iraq, the ambassador concurred that the formation of a robust government would be essential in giving Iraq a leg up. It’s an important moment for Iraq as rebuilding the nation on various levels is on everyone’s mind. According to Iranian media, Masjedi also met with a delegation from the Kurdish PUK to discuss similar things. The PUK delegation was led by Mala Bakhtiar, they held meetings with Turkish Ambassador Ammar al-Hakim too.

Iran has always maintained a close relationship with Iraq as a whole, the Hashd al-Shaabi and other various Iraqi militias have been given a great deal of support by Iran. These militias also have close ties with the Fatih alliance which was close second place contender in the parliamentary elections. Now Iran wishes to enter the fold in a big way as a Shiite heavy government is sure to be stood up under the newly elected Muqtada al-Sadr.

Featured image: PUK’s Mala Bakhtiar pictured with Sunni leader Salim al-Jabouri on Thursday by Mala Bakhtiar via Facebook

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