Iran reiterates support for security in Iraq

October 8, 2008

TEHRAN – Iran reiterated on Tuesday that it is prepared to help establish peace and security in Iraq.

Iran’s policy is to support the reinforcement of peace in Iraq and to help the country make economic progress, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani told his visiting Iraqi counterpart Mahmoud al-Mashhadani on Tuesday.
He said the two countries have a great potential to deepen ties and called for stronger economic cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad.
Turning to a proposed security pact between the U.S. and Iraq, Larijani said, “The agreement will have unfavorable consequences for the sovereignty of Iraq and other regional states.”
Iraq is negotiating with the United States on a security agreement aimed at giving a legal basis for U.S. troops to stay in Iraq after December 31, when their United Nations mandate expires.
Mashhadani said Iraq is determined to bolster relations with the Islamic Republic, adding that further ties between the two neighbors will help reinforce stability in the region.
Mashhadani said, “The presence of foreign troops is Iraq’s major problem,” adding, “foreign forces cannot heal Iraq’s wounds.”
The Iraqi parliament speaker arrived in Tehran earlier on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters upon his arrival at Mehrabad international airport, Mashhdani said he traveled to Tehran to seek the opinion of Iranian officials about the proposed security pact between Washington and Baghdad.
Mashhadani said a draft agreement on the security cooperation has been submitted to the Iraqi cabinet.
If the cabinet passes the draft agreement, it will be sent to the parliament for final approval, he stated