Iran says it has no problem with the visit of an Iraqi delegation to Tehran with the aim of mediating between Iran and the US, but the Islamic Republic will have its own say on the issue. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (left) and Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi (right)
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday at the end of a weekly cabinet session, Chief of Staff of the Iranian president Mahmoud Vaezi said Iran and Iraq have close ties as two long-time neighbours.
"If they want to send a delegation to Iran, we won't make any opposition to the visit but the main issue is that we will have our own say," he was quoted as saying in a report by dolat.ir.
Touching on efforts by Iraq to mediate between Iran and the US, Vaezi said since May 8 when Iran said will stop complying with parts of the Iran nuclear deal, many countries and delegations have sought to safeguard the nuclear accord and prevent from any regional confrontation.
"Given the importance of the Iran nuclear deal, the countries and delegation are seeking to prepare the ground for meeting Iran's expectations," he said.
He then underlined that efforts are underway to ease tensions but it doesn't mean that there is a negotiation between Iran and the US.
"As far as the American officials try to exert pressure on the Iranian people and continue to violate their commitments, there would be no negotiation between Iran and the US," he concluded.
The Iraqi prime minister said Tuesday that Baghdad would take measures to curtail concerns over a military confrontation between Iran and the United States. Adil Abdul Mahdi said Iraq will send delegations to Tehran and Washington to help ease tensions.
Vaezi also referred to the recent visit of Omani foreign minister to Tehran and his alleged message to the Iranian officials, and said during his stay in Iran, the Omani minister held talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on mutual and regional issues.
"The foreign minister briefed the cabinet ministers on his meeting with the Omani foreign minister. His briefing shows that the visit was not aimed at mediation," he said.
Tensions have recently mounted between Iran and the US with Washington deploying a carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf citing "intelligence" of an imminent Iranian attack on US interests in the region. Tehran has repeatedly said that it is not seeking to escalate tensions but it won't be afraid if there is any.