SMA NEWS – BAGHDAD
Iraq’s former Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has revealed the details of a phone call conversation he had with US President Donald Trump on New Year’s Eve (2020) regarding the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad during the last two days of 2019.
“Trump called me last New Year’s Eve at around nine o’clock Baghdad time, and thanked us for ending the storming of the American embassy and asked me whether the attackers were Iraqis or Iranians, so I told him they were Iraqis who objected to the US air strikes on armed factions on the border with Syria,” Abdul-Mahdi said in a documentary feature on the assassination of the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, General Qasem Soleimani and Popular Mobilization Forces Deputy Chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
On January 3, 2020, a US drone strike targeted a convoy transporting Soleimani and al-Muhandis at the Baghdad International Airport.
“Americans do not know the Iranians well, but the Iraqis are the ones who know them well,” Abdul-Mahdi added, quoting Trump.
The ex-prime minister added that he told the US leader that neither the Iranians nor the US want a war, and proposed either holding direct negotiations with Iran or establishing tacit agreements, with the latter being a popular approach since 2003.
Subsequently, Trump admitted to Abdul-Mahdi that Iraq is a good negotiator and that the US is prepared for anything Baghdad can achieve in this regard.
“There was approval and an official invitation for Soleimani to come to Iraq for discussions,” Abdul-Mahdi said.
Noting that Soleimani’s assassination could not have been decided and planned within a day or two, Abdul-Mahdi was skeptic towards whether Trump held sincere intentions for negotiating with Iran, or that it was all a play acted out less than 48 hours before launching the strike on the airport.