Nazim Dabagh, the KRG representative to Tehran. File photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Kurdistan Regional Government representative to Tehran criticized Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi for hurriedly saying Baghdad was complying with US sanctions on Iran.
Nazim Dabagh told Iran’s ISNA agency that Abadi should have waited until the new Iraqi government is formed, so Baghdad could clarify its position on the US-Iran trade war.
Abadi said on Tuesday that Iraq will abide by US sanctions, but also expressed reservations by calling the move an "essential and strategic mistake."
"Frankly speaking, we will not react to them. Yes we will comply with them basically because it is a greater state than us," said Abadi during his weekly presser, adding that as premier he has to protect the interests of his citizens.
There were reports that Abadi would visit Tehran and Ankara this week. But an the spokesperson from the Iranian foreign ministry told state media on Sunday that Abadi’s visit hasn’t been formalized.
Dabagh added it is not in favor of the Iraqi government and its people to be against Iran because the two are neighbors and share common interests.
Concerning the US economic sanctions against Iran, Erbil announced last week that its stance will be "certainly" the same as that of Iraq.
"Regarding the American sanctions on Iran it is not clear to us yet, but the position of the Kurdistan Region will certainly be the same as Iraq's. The Kurdistan Region will act within the framework of Iraq's position and obligations about those sanctions. We've asked the US and Iraq to give us a clear idea about those sanctions," KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said during a press conference in Erbil last week.
Regarding the Erbil-Tehran relations, Dabagh hinted that the two sides' ties are deeply rooted and "we do not forget the assistance of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the people of Kurdistan at difficult times."
He added that thanks to the strong economic ties, the yearly trade volume between the Kurdistan Region and Iran amounts to $3 billion.