Iraq Replaces Envoy to Iran

Iraq Replaces Envoy to IranIraq Replaces Envoy to Iran

Sa’ad Jawad Qandeel will replace Rajeh al-Mousawi as the Iraqi ambassador to Iran, the foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Mahjoub said in a statement released in Baghdad on Friday.

Mousawi’s replacement came days after he was summoned by his government due to a footage  circulated on social media networks showing him yelling at a group of Iraqis in Iran over the  recent national unrest in Iraq, causing widespread criticism, Kurdistan 24 reported.

Baghdad’s envoy was asked by the Iraqis during a visit to a mosque in Tehran about the dire situation in their country, particularly in Basra where lack of public services, corruption, and thousands of cases of water poisoning sparked widespread and sometimes violent protests.

The video shows Mousawi responding to Iraqis by shouting: “I’m not on trial. Ask your prime minister and his government.”

The footage led his foreign ministry to investigate his behavior during the incident.

“Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has ordered Mr. al-Mousawi's immediate return to Baghdad amid accusations that he had engaged in irresponsible behavior towards Iraqi nationals in Iran,” Mahjoub said in a statement a few days ago.

An investigation will be opened, and "legal measures will be taken," the ministry’s spokesman added.

The Sept. 7 burning of the Iranian Consulate in Basra during the protests resulted in diplomatic tensions between the two neighbors. Tehran, in response to the attack, summoned Mousawi to discuss the matter.

Mousavi’s dismissal come as millions of Iranians get ready to visit Karbala in the coming weeks to commemorate Arbaeen, which marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for Imam Hussein (PBUH) the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).


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