PM: Iraq Forced Into Balancing Act Between US and Iran

Says he wants dialogue with US about pullout

In a press briefing Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi has confirmed attempts to balance retaliation with the US and Iran, while trying to avoid a military confrontation. He said he is “on a rope between two tall buildings. I am not required to walk on the rope, but to ride a bike on the rope.

Iran has been largely mum on relations with Iraq since the US assassination of Gen. Qassem Suleimani. Iraqi Shi’ite militias have been a lot more vocal, pushing for the US to pull out and threatening to resist the US militarily.

Kadhimi said he is interested in more dialogue with the US on the ongoing pullout and the timetable for doing so, saying he expects “delicate negotiations” will be coming following the US election in November.

Kadhimi also vowed to try to gain control over the Shi’ite militias. He said the forces need to be brought more fully under control of the state. Kadhimi promised Iraq’s elections would go ahead on June 6.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.