Call for Implementation of Tehran-Baghdad Agreements

Call for Implementation of Tehran-Baghdad Agreements
Call for Implementation of Tehran-Baghdad Agreements

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said expansion of relations between Iran and Iraq and implementation of agreements would serve the interests of both countries. 
“Progress, prosperity, independence and growth of Iraq are very important for the Islamic Republic,” he said in a meeting with visiting Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid on Saturday, reported. 
Rashid arrived in Tehran on Saturday morning at the head of a high-ranking delegation for discussions with Iranian authorities. 
He held a joint press conference with President Ebrahim Raisi following the high-level meeting of the two countries’ delegations.
The Iraqi president said his trip was aimed at consolidating “historical” relations between the two friendly neighboring countries and expanding them in all sectors. 
“Relations between the two countries is solid and unchangeable, which is a result of both sides’ efforts on the basis of common interests while maintaining their independence,” he said, reported. 
He added that Iran and Iraq share the same history and geography, as well as multiple shared features among their ethnic groups, so the two sides’ relations are not limited to ties between their governments. 
Raisi described Tehran-Baghdad ties as “strategic and far from ordinary,” highlighting a mutual will to develop the relations in all areas. 
“Good relations between Iran and Iraq will definitely lead to cooperation at bilateral, regional and international levels,” he said, adding that both countries’ interests lie in standing side by side. 
The Iraqi president hailed the favorable level of trade ties, calling for efforts to strengthen relations in all sectors to address the two neighbors’ problems. 
Iran-Iraq trade amounts to over $10 billion, according to Raisi, which could be raised to higher levels. 
The president also said Tehran-Baghdad cooperation in infrastructural sectors, such as water, electricity, gas and energy, must continue so that both countries’ needs are completely satisfied. 
Rashid later demanded attention to Iraq’s water rights from rivers that flow into the Persian Gulf. 
Iran maintains that all countries’ water rights should be respected like all their other resources and reserves, according to Raisi. 
“While asserting Iran’s right of using the waters of Arvandroud, we respect Iraq’s water right based on agreements that have been signed in the past,” he said, stressing that both countries must be committed to recognizing this right to prevent disputes. 
The president of Iraq called for cooperation with Iran in the fight against drug dealing, which was welcomed by his Iranian counterpart. 
Raisi said Iran has been on the forefront of the fight against illicit drugs and is happy that Iraq is also determined to join the campaign. 
Other regional countries, as well as the United Nations, must also cooperate in a real way in combating organized crime and drug dealing, he said. 
The Iranian president later highlighted the importance of Iraq’s security, saying the most minor insecurity in Iraq is considered the same situation in Iran. 
He hailed security memorandums of understanding between Iran and Iraq and their role in improving the security of the broader region, while decrying the presence of American forces.  
“As much as negotiations between regional states is useful in our view, the presence of foreign forces is detrimental and the presence of Americans is a disruption to the region’s security,” he said. 
The president stressed that the Islamic Republic’s relations with Iraq and other regional countries is based on mutual interests and shared security, while Americans seek their own interests alone. 
Rashid finally congratulated Iran on its recent normalization deal with Saudi Arabia, saying this would consolidate security in the region and contribute to the security of the Iraqi and other regional nations. 

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