Iraq serious to implement economic projects with Iran: MP

September 14, 2021 - 22:9

TEHRAN - "Al- Kadhimi is seeking Iran's satisfaction," says the head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran's Parliament.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi held talks with senior Iranian officials including Parliament Speaker Mohamad Bagher Ghalibaf on Sunday.

"The Iraqi Prime Minister was the first political official since the Raisi administration took office, which shows the depth of Iran-Iraq relations," Vahid Jalalzadeh told Mehr on Monday.

He said that the Iraqi prime minister traveled to the Islamic Republic to congratulate Raisi's presidency and to pursue economic and political projects between Iran and Iraq.

Al-Kadhimi stated that in his government he tried to implement the agreements signed between Iran and Iraq in political, economic and security areas, and to gain the consent of the Islamic Republic, the MP noted.

Jalalzadeh stated: "Al-Kadhimi, referring to the economic, political and security pressures on the Iraqi people in recent decades, emphasized that the Iraqi officials and nation will not forget the efforts and struggles of the Iranian people in supporting the Iraqi people."

"Iraq has been the venue for talks between the Iranian and Saudi delegations until today.”

Iraq has been suffering since Saddam Hussein invaded Iran in September 1980 that lasted until in 1988. After the war against Iran, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.

Iraq was put under the UN sanctions for its capture of Kuwait. From 1991 to 2003, Iraq was just allowed to sell oil to import food and medicine. 

In 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq under the false pretext that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction. The invasion turned Iraq into a battlefield for terrorists, so that rarely a day passed that a terrorist attack did not happen in Iraq.  Amid bombings and terror attacks by terror groups such as al-Qaeda and pro-Saddam groups, a new more violent group that its kind that the world had emerged in 2014. It was called Daesh in its acronym or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 

Iran rushed to help Syria and Iraq in the fight against this unimaginably brutal group. 

However, Jalalzadeh said Qalibaf told the Iraqi prime minister that the Iranian people are asking why Iraq is not helping Iran at this time of illegal sanctions by the United States. 

"The speaker of the Majlis addressed the Iraqi prime minister and said the people ask us that we helped Iraq and our youth sacrificed their lives for the common security of the two countries, then why Iran and Iraq do not have defensible relations in economic fields, and Iraq is not helping Iran in sanctions time.” 

"You are right," al- Kadhimi stated in response to the remarks of the Iranian speaker, the parliamentary committee chief said. 

Al-Kadhimi noted that after the sanctions of the 1990s, Iraq is continuing to receive the currency it needs from U.S. federal banks, and "we are facing sanctions in financial and banking matters that we could not get rid of, but we are trying to stand by the people and the government of Iran."

Jalalzadeh evaluated the trip as positive and highlighted that if the two nations of Iran and Iraq came together, many problems in the region would definitely be resolved. 

"Iraq can take important steps in breaking U.S. sanctions against Syria. In addition, the Iraqi government can help the Lebanese people circumvent the sanctions."

The Islamic Republic seeks to develop economic relations with Iraq, the MP underlined, and stated the team that accompanied the Iraqi prime minister on the visit to Iran was very significant.

It is rare for a country's prime minister to bring so many officials with him. The ministers of foreign affairs, energy, transport, housing, chief of the national security council, and the minister of finance accompanied al-Kadhimi on the visit, which demonstrates Iraq's political will to improve economic relations with Iran.

The parliamentarian referred to some border and economic issues in the bilateral meeting.

"I hope this visit will be a prelude to the promotion of Iran-Iraq relations during the Raisi administration."

In response to a question on whether the Iraqi prime minister had a message from Saudi Arabia for talks with, Jalalzadeh stressed, "Iraq has been the venue for talks between the Iranian and Saudi delegations until today.”

This case goes its own way, he said, underscoring that the Islamic Republic seeks to defuse tensions and establish good relations with neighboring countries. 

"The experience of Afghanistan is before us. If we pave the way for foreign countries to act in the region, no communication will be established between neighboring countries."

The MP also said Iran was ready to have mutual and constructive relations with the countries in the region.

"We hope that Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Persian Gulf will understand this concept and help establish communication in a constructive and bilateral relationship that serves the interests of both countries."

One of the important principles of the foreign policy of the current administration, as emphasized by the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, is the promotion of relations with neighboring countries, Jalalzadeh reiterated.

He stressed: " The priority of the Islamic Republic is economic diplomacy with neighboring countries."

During his visit to Tehran, Prime Minister al-Kadhimi addressed many bilateral issues and discussed ways to boost ties with Iran in an arduous effort to balance Iraq’s relations with key stakeholders in the region.

Heading a politico-economic delegation, al-Kadhimi was welcomed by the new Iranian president, Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi. The Iraqi premier met with the Iranian president to discuss a variety of issues including visa abolition for Iranian citizens, completion of a joint railway project and increasing the level of trade between Iran and Iraq. 

During a joint press conference, the two leaders stressed the importance of deepening the Iran-Iraq relations at all levels. 

“The deep bonds between Tehran and Baghdad stems from the beliefs and hearts of two nations, two countries and two governments,” Ayatollah Raisi said. “Despite the wishes of the enemies, the level of relations between Iran and Iraq will develop day by day.”


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