Iranian FM arrives in Iraqi’s capital to organize for President’s go to

BAGHDAD, March 9 (Xinhua) — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Iraq’s capital Baghdad on Saturday ahead of an official visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Iraqi official news agency reported.

Rouhani is expected to visit Iraq on Monday to meet Iraqi top officials, the Iraqi News Agency (INA) said in a brief statement.

An official from the Iraqi Foreign Ministry told Xinhua that Rouhani is scheduled to meet with Iraqi President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, as well as other political and religious leaders.

Rouhani’s visit came at the official invitation of his Iraqi counterpart to discuss bilateral ties, the source said on condition of anonymity.

The visit comes as the United States has been exerting sanctions on Iran’s oil industry and its banking and transport sectors, after Washington pulled out from the 2015 landmark nuclear deal last May.