Amid tensions fueled by Iran's proxies in the region, Ali Akbar Ahmadian, the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, met the Iraqi Prime Minister in Baghdad.
Iraqi National Security Council chief Qassem al-Araji was with Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani in the discussions regarding the escalating tensions in the region.
"Iraq has deployed, and continues to deploy, important efforts towards preserving stability and establishing de-escalation, in the interests of all the people of the region," Sudani said, according to a statement from his office.
The meeting occurred against the backdrop of recent US airstrikes in Syria and Iraq targeting elite Iranian forces and pro-Tehran armed groups. The strikes were a response to a drone attack on January 28 that resulted in the deaths of three US soldiers at a base near the Syrian border in Jordan and over 160 attacks since the Gaza war broke out on October 7.
Iran's proxies have come out in allegiance with Iran-backed Hamas, which waged war on Israel in an invasion which was the most deadly single day for Jews since the Holocaust. The US has come under fire for its support of Israel's right to defend itself.
The US airstrikes in Iraq, close to the Syrian border, resulted in the deaths of 16 fighters from Hashed al-Shaabi, a coalition predominantly comprising pro-Iran paramilitary groups now integrated into Iraq's regular security forces.
Iran, a significant trade partner of Iraq, holds substantial political sway in Baghdad, with its Iraqi allies holding considerable influence in parliament and forming the current government.
After a meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in November, Al-Sudani pledged to pursue the perpetrators of the rocket attacks on US bases in Iraq. The day after their meeting, the PM visited Tehran to meet President Ebrahim Raisi, Iraq in the middle of two allies amid wider regional conflict.