Iranian president criticizes concept of “regional NATO”

Raisi, Iraqi PM underline the need for regional peace, stability

June 26, 2022 - 20:16

TEHRAN — Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi officially welcomed Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi at Saadabad Palace on Sunday.

At the welcoming ceremony, first the national anthems of the two countries were played and then the Iranian president and the Iraqi premier reviewed the honor guards.

After holding talks, Raisi and al-Kadhimi explained the results of their lengthy meeting in a joint press conference.

During the presser, Raisi pointed out that Tehran and Baghdad have agreed to take new steps to expedite monetary cooperation.

“Iran’s relations with Iraq are deep-rooted,” the president said.

Raisi says Tehran has now the best relations with Iraq among neighbors.

He then went on to note that such a determination is required for further expansion of relations between the two neighboring countries.

President Raisi said that linking Shalamcheh railway to Basra railway was one of the main topics of his meeting with al-Kadhimi. 

He said that in line with the Iranian government's foreign policy to expand relations with the neighbors, Tehran has now the best relations with Iraq among its neighbors.

For his part, al-Kadhimi hailed Tehran and Baghdad’s ties, labeling it as “very deep.”

The premier continued, “Today we agreed to strengthen economic relations between the two countries.”

Continuation of Yemen war increases sufferings

Elsewhere in the presser, Raisi insisted on Iran and Iraq’s common view to bring the Yemeni war to an end.

“We stressed the need to find a solution to the Yemen crisis and the continuation of truce,” the president highlighted, adding, “The continuation of the war in Yemen will only increase the suffering of the people, and we call for launching a Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue.”

In this regard, the Iraqi premier also expressed Baghdad’s support for a ceasefire in Yemen.

Normalization will not bring security for Israeli regime

In another part of the press conference, Raisi referred to the so-called normalization of some Arab states with the Israeli regime, underlining, “The steps taken by the Zionist regime to normalize its relations with some countries in the region will not bring security to this regime at all.”

Tehran, Baghdad reiterate the need to back peace in region

Elsewhere in the briefing, the two leaders reiterated that Iran and Iraq stress the need to support peace and stability in the region through joint efforts between their leaders.

“Our effort is to secure the interests of the two nations of Iran and Iraq,” al-Kadhimi noted.

The Iranian also criticized the concept of “regional NATO”, saying, “Foreign intervention will not resolve problems in the region, but rather will increase them.”

The comments by President Raisi come a few days after Jordan’s monarch announced he would support the formation of a Middle East military alliance similar to the U.S.-led NATO.

Such a grouping could work with like-minded countries, but the military alliance’s mission statement would need to be clear from the outset, King Abdullah II told CNBC News.

“I’d like to see more countries in the area come into that mix. I would be one of the first people that would endorse a Middle East NATO,” Abdullah said. “The mission statement has to be very, very clear. Otherwise, it confuses everybody.”

Abdullah's comments come as U.S. President Joe Biden prepares to visit West Asia as part of efforts aimed at normalizing ties between the region’s Arab countries and Israel, in addition to boosting Washington's ties with its regional allies.

During the interview with CNBC, Abdullah also pointed to Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine and said the offensive had already helped unite Middle Eastern countries.

“As well as security and military cooperation, a closer alliance in the Middle East could help to address the challenges arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, especially with regard to energy and commodity prices,” the Jordanian king said, according to Press TV.

“All of us are coming together and saying ‘how can we help each other?’ which is, I think, very unusual for the region,” he added. “If I’m okay and you’re not, I’m going to end up paying the price. I’m hoping what you’re seeing in 2022 is this new vibe, I guess, in the region to say, ‘how can we connect with each other and work with each other?’”

Leave a Comment