Luaibi to Iran for Hormuz threat talks

Iraq's Oil Minister, also president of OPEC, will be in Iran Thursday as pressure mounts over Iran's threat to shut Strait of Hormuz for oil flow.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari (left, C) and his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi (right, C) smile as they attend an official meeting in Tehran June 21, 2011. (MORTEZA NIKOUBAZ/Reuters)

BAGHDAD - As tension between Iran and the West increases, sparking a threat by Tehran to shut down the Strait of Hormuz to oil tankers in response to increased economic sanctions, the president of OPEC and Iraq's Oil Minister, Abdul Karim al-Luaibi, is attempting to head off a crisis.

"On this occasion, tomorrow (Jan. 19) I am going to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran and we are going to discuss with our brothers the officials there about issuing important and real assurances to the world that all are very keen about the protection of the water passage," Luaibi told reporters in the Oil Ministry.

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