In US Aid Pitch, Iraq PM Downplays Yemen, Complains About Iran

Says He Didn't Mean to Criticize Saudi Arabia

Apparently having realized that securing more US military aid might be easier if he was more sycophantic, Iraqi PM Hayder Abadi has done a complete 180 on several issues today in comments with US media outlets.

Less than 24 hours after his criticism of the Saudi attack on Yemen earned him a sharp rebuke from the US, which is participating in the war, Abadi now insists the real problems with Yemen are the Yemenis themselves and that he never meant to criticize the Saudis at all.

Abadi also seemed to be moving away from his country’s long-standing alliance with Iran, saying Iraq “doesn’t accept” the presence of General Qassem Suleimani¬† in Iraq, and believes it is a “bad idea.”

World leaders often try to alter their official positions again during overseas visits for the sake of diplomacy. Such moves, however, are inherently risky, as it’s unlikely Abadi will get serious gains for pandering comments, and could lose some points with Iran, it’s other key ally, for throwing them under the bus in the comments.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of