TEHRAN – In a meeting with secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani in Baghdad on Friday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki thanked Iran for its ‘spiritual support’ to the Iraqi government and people.
The visit to Baghdad by Iran’s top security official at this critical time that Iraq is caught in a severe war with terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is of high significance.
In his talks with Shmakhani, Maliki described the election of Salim al-Jabouri as the Iraqi parliament speaker on July 15 as a vital political step in his country.
Role of religious authority
In a separate meeting with Iraq’s former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari on Friday, Shamkhani also said the religious authority plays a unique role in promoting “national security” in Iraq.
‘Faith’ and ‘national will’ play important role in a way out of the current situation in Iraq, he said.
The ISIL has issued a statement according to which northern Iraq's dwindling Christian population should either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death. The ruling was to go into effect on Saturday.
Terrorist will be defeated
Shamkhani went on to say that the terrorist groups in Iraq will fail, because they are not backed by people.
Jaafari said that the Iraqi people’s “honorable” fight against terrorism will definitely lead to the failure of terrorist groups.
On Friday, the Iranian official also held a meeting with a group of Iraqi Shiite political leaders including the chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar al-Hakim.
Elaborating on the complicated political and security situation in the region, Shamkhani said Iran and Iraq are targets of foreign conspiracies.
Shamkhani arrived in Iraq on Thursday.
Before heading to Baghdad, he met with some religious figures including Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Najaf.
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