Call for United Campaign Against Terrorism

Call for United Campaign Against TerrorismCall for United Campaign Against Terrorism

President Hassan Rouhani called for a “unified campaign” against terrorism throughout the region, saying if terrorist groups are simply expelled from a certain country such as Iraq and reunite in another country, say Syria, they will still pose a threat to regional states.

Rouhani made the appeal at a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Masum in Tehran on Wednesday, which was preceded by a meeting between the two senior officials, Fars news agency reported. Urging all regional countries to collaborate against terrorism, Rouhani said, “The ones who believe terrorist groups serve as a tool to (advance) their interests in the region are wrong.”   

He said Iraq is a “unified state”, warning those who dream about splitting the neighboring country that the Iraqi nation will not let others decide their future.  

In the meeting, the two presidents also conferred on the ongoing regional developments, especially in Syria and Yemen, and the need to promote security in the two nations. Rouhani repeated Tehran’s call for the immediate dispatch of humanitarian aid to the Yemeni nation, who are in severe need of medicine, medical treatment and foodstuff.  “The Yemeni crisis is not simply a political and regional issue, but a humanitarian one (to be considered by) the countries in the region and the world,” he said.

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Masum, for his part, appreciated Iran’s support of Iraq since the start of the campaign against the so-called Islamic State (IS), saying that the militant group is an enemy not only to the Iraqi nation but to all nations in the Middle East.  

On regional issues, Masum said Iraq has opposed military interference in Yemen since the onset of the conflict and backed dialogue between political factions. He also said supporting the campaign against terrorism in Syria is a priority for Baghdad.  

In their meeting, the two presidents also explored ways of increasing cooperation in such fields as rail transport and high way links and facilitating the movements of goods and passengers across the joint border and discussed issues related to oil, gas, agriculture and industries. Rouhani described the current status of economic ties as “good”.

The Iraqi president, in turn, referred to Iran’s extensive experience in the fields of agriculture, industries, health services and road construction and said his country is willing to make use of Iranian experience in these areas.  In their discussions, Rouhani and Masum also addressed environmental issues, especially the problem of dust storms.

According to Masum, regional countries that are affected by the problem, namely Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia need to work together to deal with “desertification” in southern Iraq and overcome the challenge.

Pointing to the Iran nuclear talks with the major powers known as the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), Masum said concluding a final deal will benefit all regional countries as well as peace-seeking nations around the world. “There is no reason for other countries to be afraid of such an accord,” he noted.