Rouhani insists Iran will stand beside Iraq

July 11, 2016

TEHRAN – Reaffirming Iran’s support for Iraq, President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that Iran will stand beside the Iraqi people and government in fighting terrorism and defending the holy shrines.

During a meeting with Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Rouhani also highlighted the necessity of maintaining unity and boosting integrity among the various political and religious groups in Iraq.

He praised efforts being made by the Iraqi religious scholars in strengthening unity among the Iraqis and serving their “national interests”.

Pointing to the need to expand relations between Iran and Iraq, he said, “Expanding, boosting and strengthening Tehran-Baghdad relations will benefit the people in the two countries and in the region [the Middle East region].”

For his part, Hakim elaborated on the latest developments in Iraq, saying the liberation of Fallujah was a result of “unity” and “coordination” among the Iraqi political and military forces.

On June 17, the Iraqi forces recaptured Fallujah from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.  The city was occupied by the terrorists in January 2014.

On Sunday the Iraqi political figure also met separately with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's National Security Council.

In the meeting Shamkhani said Iran will press ahead with its support for Iraq and Syria in their fight against terrorists.

Zarif also insisted on the need for unity between different political and tribal groups in Iraq and cooperation between regional countries to defeat terrorism.

The foreign minister added, “The Islamic Republic of Iran will stand beside the Iraqi government and people until the total annihilation of terrorists.”

NA/PA

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