Iran’s top judge holds talks with Iraqi leaders

February 12, 2021 - 22:15

TEHRAN - Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi held talks with several Iraqi political and judicial leaders including President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, and Head of Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council Faiq Zaidan.

On Monday, February 8, Ayatollah Raisi paid a two-day visit to Iraq. During his meeting with his Iraqi counterpart, the two sides signed three memoranda of understanding to boost judicial and legal cooperation between the two neighboring countries.

The documents were inked in Baghdad on Tuesday by the prosecutor generals, justice ministers, and heads of the two countries’ prison organizations, according to Press TV.

Upon his arrival in Iraq, Iran’s Judiciary chief visited the site near Baghdad International Airport, where the U.S. assassinated top Iranian and Iraqi anti-terror commanders General Qassem Soleimani and his comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

“Deserving conclusion”

During his meeting with al-Kadhimi, Ayatollah Raisi said Iran expects a “deserving conclusion” for the General Soleimani assassination case, underlining that the American drone strike that martyred General Soleimani and al-Muhandis violated Iraq’s sovereignty.

“The U.S. violated Iraq’s sovereignty, dominance, and laws by assassinating Martyrs Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Muhandis. We insist that the case should reach a deserving conclusion as soon as possible with Iran and Iraq’s cooperation,” the chief of Iran’s Judiciary said during a Tuesday meeting with the Iraqi prime minister.

Ayatollah Raisi also called for a due punishment of those implicated in the assassination of General Soleimani.

He said due punishment of the perpetrators and others, who provided a criminal contribution to the atrocities, would preempt the potential repeat of such atrocities in the future.

The office of the Iraqi prime minister issued a statement following al-Kadhimi’s meeting with Ayatollah Raisi.

“The two sides discussed joint bilateral relations, enhancing cooperation in the judicial and legal fields between the two countries, as well as discussing a number of other issues,” the statement said.

Al-Kadhimi pointed to the historical, geographical, religious and cultural ties between Iran and Ira, in addition to the common strategic interests between the two countries. He also praised the distinguished relationship between Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

On Wednesday, the top Iranian judge met with the Iraqi president. Ayatollah Raisi conveyed greetings from the Leader of the Islamic Revolution to the Iraqis, according to a statement issued by Iraq’s presidency.

According to the statement, the Judiciary chief reaffirmed Iran's support for the Iraqi government's fight against extremism and terrorism while underlining Iran’s support for securing the pillar of stability as well as respecting and protecting Iraq’s sovereignty.

Ayatollah Raisi said the U.S. is relocating Daesh terrorists from their former bastions in Syria and Iraq under the guise of fighting terror, while Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus, along with other neighbors, are working to cleanse the region of the Takfiri outfit’s remnants.

“The U.S. claimed that it seeks to fight Daesh and formed a coalition for the [declared goal], but we have [only] witnessed the strengthening of Daesh in terms of weapons, logistics, intelligence, and other aspects,” Ayatollah Raisi noted.

“While Iraq, Syria, Iran and regional countries are working together to eliminate the remnants of Daesh, the Americans do nothing but relocate the Daesh terrorists in the region,” he continued.

Ayatollah Raisi praised the joint Iran-Iraq battle against the Takfiri outfit as a “real symbol of solidarity and cooperation between the two nations.”

He pointed out that Tehran and Baghdad have been bolstering their relations in various political, economic and cultural fields against the will of enemies given the strong bonds between the two nations, which are rooted in their rich civilizations and beliefs.

“Enemies have always made attempts to sow discord between Iran and Iraq, but the two countries’ cooperation has thwarted such attempts,” the Judiciary chief continued.

Ayatollah Raisi and President Salih agreed that it was important to strengthen historical ties between Iraq and Iran and to focus on their deep relationship based upon close social, religious, cultural and geographic bonds. They discussed how to do this best so that it serves the interests of the peoples of both countries, according to the Iraqi presidency statement.

“During the meeting, emphasis was placed on developing and promoting Iraqi-Iranian relations at every level. It was agreed that there was space for further memoranda of understanding and other agreements between the two countries. Cooperation and coordination on legal and judicial matters should be a priority,” the statement added.

President Salih said that countries in the region have a responsibility to work toward easing tensions in the region and to use dialogue to achieve that.
He stressed that there was a need to coordinate efforts for promoting regional peace and stability and to seek common ground upon which to base constructive dialogue. Iraq's sovereignty should be considered a vital factor, President Salih noted.

Ayatollah Raisi's visit to Iraq was his first trip to this country in his capacity as the chief of Iran’s Judiciary.

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