Advisor hails Iran-Iraq ties amid U.S. pressure

July 26, 2020 - 18:14

TEHRAN – Hossein Amir Abdollahian, a senior foreign policy advisor to the Iranian Parliament speaker, has hailed the recent visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to Iran as a manifestation of the depth of ties between Iran and Iraq.

The visit took place while the U.S. has been putting pressure on world countries including Iraq to decrease level of economic cooperation with Iran, Amir Abdollahian said during a TV program on Saturday evening, IRNA reported.

Despite all those pressures, the Iraqi premier along with eight Iraqi ministers visited Iran, he added.

Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, Iraq's new prime minister visited Iran last week in his first official visit abroad since assuming office more than two months ago.

Several senior Iraqi officials including Minister of Finance and Prime Minister Assistant for Economic and Energy Affairs Ali Abdul Amir Allawi, Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, Petroleum Minister Ehsan Abdul Jabar, Health Minister Hassan Mohammad al-Tamimi, Minister of Planning Khaled Battal, Defense Minister Joma Enad, Electricity Minister Majed Hantoush, National Security Advisor Qassem al-Araji and Head of Trade Bank of Iraq Faisal al-Haimus accompanied al-Kadhimi.

Iran and Iraq have witnessed significant growth in their bilateral trade, Amir Abdollahian said.

Trade between Tehran and Baghdad stood at 14 billion dollars a year, while worth of Iran's cooperation with Europe does not reach even to three billion dollars in the current year, the advisor said.

Such trade has even made the U.S. extend its sanctions waiver which allows Iraq to import from Iran at a time when the U.S. has imposed maximum pressure on Iran, he remarked.

Amir Abdollahian said that Iraq, with a good geopolitical and geo-strategic position in West Asia, is an important neighbor whose ties with Iran can be complementary as the two enjoy considerable commonalities.

At present, the Iraqis have arrived at a conclusion that Iran has helped them at a time when the U.S. killed the Iraqi youth, fanned the flames of insecurity and managed the terrorists in the Iraqi soil to serve the U.S. interests, the advisor stated.

He further highlighted the important role played by martyr IRGC Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani in boosting Tehran-Baghdad relations after opening cross-border corridors between the two countries.

On January 3, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered airstrikes that martyred General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), in Baghdad’s international airport.

During al-Kadhimi’s visit to Tehran, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei referred to the U.S. assassination as an example of the U.S. crime which was the result of their presence in Iraq.

Underlining that Iran has never had and will never interfere in the internal affairs of Iraq, the Leader added that Iran wants a dignified, independent and united Iraq that its territorial integrity is protected. 

“Of course, the American view of Iraq is exactly the opposite of ours, because the U.S. is, in the strictest sense of the word, an enemy, and it does not agree with an independent, strong Iraq with a majority government,” the Leader noted.

Ayatollah Khamenei also said Iran expects Iraq to expel Americans from their soil. 

Amir Abdollahian said when the Leader talks about the assassination of General Soleimani even after six months, it means that revenge is coming.

MH/PA

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