IRAQ: Al-Kadhimi and commander of Iranian Quds Force meet in Baghdad

BAGHDAD – Several media outlets have reported that the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustapha al-Kadhimi met with Iranian Quds Force commander Ismail Qaani in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. According to the media reports, the visit to Baghdad of the commander of the Iranian Quds Force lasted for three days in the middle of last week.

The meeting with al-Khadimi came about at the invitation of PM al-Kadhimi as the two met over breakfast in the office of the Iraqi Prime Minister. According to the media reports, the Prime Minister and the al-Quds leader discussed easing tensions between the Iraqi government and groups close to Iran. Al-Kadhimi has supposedly asked Qaani to work to persuade the Iranian-backed groups to reduce tensions.

The Quds Force is one of the five branches of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Ismail Qaani succeeded Qassim Soleimani after Soleimani was killed on 3 January of this year in a targeted drone strike while he and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, leader of the Iran-backed Kata’ib Hezbollah militia, were on their way to meet the former Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.