Despite the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) office in Baghdad confirming to Asharq Al-Awsat that it operates private bureaus in Tehran and other neighboring countries, observers noted that Plasschaert’s visit to Tehran has stirred doubts about the nature of the role played by the mission.
Local media and critics in Baghdad are questioning whether or not UNAMI’s work should involve visiting Iraq’s regional neighbors.
UNAMI said it runs offices across the region because of the great influence geopolitics has over Iraq.
Velayati, according to IRNA, stressed to Plasschaert that foreign powers should not interfere with Iraq’s internal affairs and predicted Baghdad and Tehran developing bilateral ties.
“We are very optimistic about the future of Iraq, and relations between Iran and Iraq will witness many developments,” Velayati said.
“The upcoming elections will be decisive for Iraq,” he noted.
Plasschaert, for her part, emphasized the need to preserve Iraqi unity and hold free elections.
“The situation in Iraq is better than it was in the past,” said Plasschaert, adding that Iraq enjoys cultural, economic and historical capabilities that must be activated.
Iraqi lawmaker and member of the parliamentary foreign relations committee Dhafer Al-Ani slammed Plasschaert for discussing Iraqi elections in Iran.
“There is no party that matches UNAMI in the way it validated fraud, corruption, and interference in the Iraqi elections,” Al-Ani tweeted.
“The removal of the United Nations from the Iraqi elections makes it fairer,” he added.
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