1/6/2020 12:32:00 PM Iraq PM urges cooperation to prevent war
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iraq’s caretaker prime minister has met with the U.S. ambassador to say cooperation is key to prevent “sliding towards an open war” between the U.S. and Iran.
Adel Abdul-Mahdi said the U.S. must also work with Iraq to bring about the withdrawal of American troops from Iraqi soil.
He told U.S. Ambassador Matthew Tueller today that relations with Washington must be built on a “sound basis.“
Tensions in Iraq and the wider Middle East are at a boiling point, after the U.S. killed Iran’s top general last week in an airstrike in Baghdad.
Iraq’s parliament voted Sunday to expel U.S. and foreign troops in the wake of the killing.
Baghdad has for years worked to balance its alliances with both the U.S. and Iran.
U.S. forces were in Iraq to help fight against Islamic State militants and train Iraqi forces.
In the meantime, the United Nations’ cultural agency is calling on governments to remember that cultural sites are not targets.
President Donald Trump has recently tweeted that the United States would bomb Iranian cultural sites if Tehran retaliates for the America’s recent killing of a top Iranian general.
UNESCO’s director-general, Audrey Azoulay, says both the U.S.and Iran have ratified treaties protecting cultural sites during war. She met with the Iranian ambassador to the Paris-based organization on Monday.
Targeting cultural sites is a war crime under the 1954 Hague Convention for the protection of cultural sites.
Iran is home to two dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They include the ancient ruins of Persepolis, the grand mosque of Isfahan, and the Golestan Palace in Tehran, where the last shah to rule Iran was crowned in 1967.