By Mehran Shamsuddin

Iraq’s security amounts to security of Iran: Leader

November 29, 2022 - 23:18

TEHRAN – In his first visit to Iran since taking over as Iraq’s premier, Mohammad al-Sudani visited Tehran on Tuesday at the invitation of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. 

Al-Sudani met with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

In the meeting, Ayatollah Khamenei praised Iraq’s position in terms of national and human resources, saying that despite these resources Iraq has been unable to reclaim its lofty position among nations. He expressed hope that under al-Sudani, Iraq will achieve its true position and make progress.

Ayatollah Khamenei also pointed out that Iran has faced insecurity coming from Iraqi soil, adding that the only solution to this problem is that the central government of Iraq extend its authority over those regions of Iraq. 

The Leader also said that Iran will defend Iraq in the face of any efforts to create insecurity in the Arab country.

“Iraq’s security amounts to security of Iran just as security of Iran impacts Iraq’s security,” the Leader said. 

Touching on economic cooperation, the Leader said Iran and Iraq had reached good understandings, but that was hardly implemented. “Therefore, we must move toward implementing all the understandings especially in the sectors of economic cooperation, exchange of goods, and rail connectivity.” 

“The security of the two countries is inseparable from each other and is considered a part of the security of the entire region,” Iraqi PM says.Ayatollah Khamenei said there exist some wills that understandings and cooperation between Iran and Iraq not implemented. “We must overcome these wills with action,” he added. 

The Iraqi prime minister, for his part, underlined the new government of Iraq’s determination to implement the deals between Iran and Iraq. 

Regarding security issues, al-Sudani underlined the intertwining of Iran and Iraq’s security, noting that Iraq will not allow any parties to create insecurity from Iraqi soil.

Upon his arrival, the Iraqi prime minister was received by President Raisi and accorded an official reception at the presidential complex of Sa’adabad. 

After the official reception ceremony, al-Sudani and Ayatollah Raisi held a meeting in which they discussed a variety of bilateral, regional, and international issues. In the meeting, Raisi expressed satisfaction with the political stability and the formation of the new Iraqi government and said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran always welcomes and supports a united nation and a strong government in Iraq.”

He added, “Iran seeks to develop exchanges with Iraq in various commercial and energy fields, and holding regular meetings of the Cooperation Commission of the two countries can play an effective role in realizing this goal.”

President Raisi stated, “The relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq are different and top-tier, and the strengthening and deepening of bilateral relations should lead to the development and improvement of the level of regional and international interactions in order to establish as much peace and stability in the region and the world as possible.”

The Iraqi prime minister, for his part, praised the relations with Iran, saying, “Iran has a privileged and excellent position in Iraq's foreign relations, and the relations between the two countries are desirable and satisfactory.”

After their meeting, President Raisi and Prime Minister al-Sudani held a joint press conference. In the presser, Raisi described the relations between Iran and Iraq as having deep and historical roots and stemming from the common beliefs of the two nations. 

“The peak of these relations was manifested in the glorious Arbaeen ceremony and the excellent hospitality of the Iraqi government and nation to the pilgrims of Imam Hussein (AS), especially the Iranian pilgrims, which deserves sincere appreciation,” the president remarked. 

“Today, Iran and Iraq have very good and close cooperation in a wide range of political, economic, security, social, cultural, scientific and technological issues, and we hope that this cooperation will improve in the new era,” he added, according to the official website of the Iranian presidency. 

Raisi emphasized security, peace and stability in the region and stated, “From this point of view, the fight against terrorist groups, organized crimes, drugs and any danger that threatens the region is agreed and emphasized by the two countries.”

He said, “Security, peace and stability in the region must be provided by the countries of the region, and the presence of outsiders does not bring security at all, but causes many problems for the region.”

Pointing out that the presence of the Americans, just as it did not bring security to Afghanistan, will not bring security in other parts of the region, the President emphasized, “Definitely, the withdrawal of the Americans from the region will lead to an increase in peace, stability and security in our region.”

Raisi considered the presence of al-Sudani in Iran as a turning point in the relations between the two countries and stated, “Our negotiations are a big step in the direction of improving relations and also advancing issues between the two countries, including commercial and economic, monetary and banking issues and export of electricity and gas.”

 He referred to the common views of the two countries on bilateral, regional and international issues and expressed hope that the visit of the high-ranking Iraqi delegation to Tehran would stabilize the good relations between the two countries and be an effective step towards common regional issues.

The Iraqi prime minister, in turn, appreciated the generous invitation of the President of Iran to visit Tehran.

“Today we are in Tehran to discuss bilateral economic, political and security relations and to discuss the latest international developments,” al-Sudani said. 

The Iraqi prime minister also pointed to security in the region. “The security of the two countries is inseparable from each other and is considered a part of the security of the entire region,” he said. 

Emphasizing that it is the official policy of the Iraqi government that its land should not be a starting point for harming the neighboring countries, he stated, “We follow this policy in our diplomatic relations in order to have a balanced policy with friendly and brotherly countries based on the principle of mutual respect and non-interfere in other's internal affairs.”

He noted, “The Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iraq is also present in this trip and will discuss security issues with his counterpart in order to reach an understanding on the working mechanism and field cooperation in this field and prevent any tension.”

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