Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani and Iran's Ebrahim Raisi. November 6. 2023

Iraqi PM Visits Tehran After Meeting With Blinken

Monday, 11/06/2023

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani arrived in Tehran early Monday, one day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Baghdad.

Al-Sudani was officially welcomed by president Ebrahim Raisi at Tehran's Saadabad palace, and held a joint press briefing after a meeting.

Iran’s official news agency IRNA quoted Raisi as saying that Tehran would welcome “any deterrent” measures by Islamic countries and regional states against Israel and the United States amid the conflict in Gaza.

The visit comes a day after al-Sudani met with Blinken, who visited Baghdad amid tight security following numerous drone and rocket attacks against US troops stationed in Iraq.

"It was very important to send a very clear message to anyone who might seek to take advantage of the conflict in Gaza to threaten our personnel here or anywhere else in the region: Don’t do it," Blinken told reporters after meeting al-Sudani.

Al-Sudani has pledged to pursue the perpetrators of rocket attacks on three military bases in Iraq hosting international coalition advisers, including Ain al-Asad in western Iraq, a military base near Baghdad's international airport and Harir in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil.

US forces shot down another one-way attack drone Sunday that was targeting American and coalition troops near their base in neighboring Syria, a US official said.

The US has warned it will respond to attacks by Iranian-backed groups. Iran has repeatedly called the US a "complicit" in what it describes as Israeli "war crimes" in Gaza, with Iranian foreign minister saying in late October that the US will not be "spared from this fire."

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