WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and Iraq's leader are discussing ways to prevent a diplomatic dust-up between Saudi Arabia and Iran from exacerbating ongoing sectarian conflict in Iraq.
Obama spoke by phone Wednesday with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (HY'-dahr ahl ah-BAH'-dee). The White House says both leaders were concerned about Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shiite (SHEE'-eyet) cleric and subsequent attacks against Saudi diplomatic outposts in Iran.
Obama and al-Abadi are calling on all parties to show restraint and avoid inflammatory actions. They also discussed the fight against the Islamic State group and the campaign to drive IS out of Ramadi.
The rift between Shiite-led Iran and Sunni-led Saudi Arabia put both the U.S. and Iraq in difficult positions. Iraq's Shiite-led government is working to contain sectarian tensions at home.
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