Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
On 24 August, the Iranian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Tehran will be present at this month’s regional summit in Baghdad, and now The Cradle has learned that Foreign Minister-designate Hossein Amir-Abdollahian will lead Iran’s delegation to the Iraqi capital.
President Ebrahim Raisi’s nominee for the post of Foreign Minister is waiting to receive final approval by the Iranian parliament on 25 August, along with the rest of Raisi’s cabinet picks.
Upon his ascension to the post, Abdollahian will have a few days in office before heading to Baghdad on 28 August, where Iraqi authorities hope to help ease tensions between the Islamic Republic and Gulf States, in particular Saudi Arabia.
“Even if we bring the foreign ministers together at one table this could be considered a breakthrough to end the tensions between Iranians and the Gulf Arabs,” an official close to Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said, regarding expectations for the summit.
Iran and Saudi Arabia severed ties in 2016, backing opposite sides in Yemen’s war. But earlier this year Iraq hosted private meetings between representatives from Tehran and Riyadh, with officials saying since then they’ve received “positive signals” from both sides to continue direct talks.
“We have always welcomed improving ties with regional countries such as Saudi Arabia, and it is a priority of our President Raisi’s foreign policy,” a senior Iranian official told Reuters earlier this week.
According to reports, representatives from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, the UAE, Qatar, Egypt, and Jordan will attend the summit. French President Emmanuel Macron has also announced his presence.
Officials say the regional summit will focus, among other things, on the war in Yemen, Lebanon’s economic meltdown and a regional water crisis.