Tehran Backs Unity Among Iraqi Ethnic Groups

Tehran Backs Unity Among Iraqi Ethnic GroupsTehran Backs Unity Among Iraqi Ethnic Groups

A senior advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution on international affairs voiced support of the Islamic Republic for unity among different Iraqi ethnic groups with a view to helping boost Iraq's integrity.

Ali Akbar Velayati made the remark at a press conference in Tehran, following a meeting with former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday, in which the two sides stressed efforts to help maintain unity among Iraqi groups, ISNA reported.  

"Iraq consists of different tribes and ethnic groups, including Kurds, Arabs, Sunnis and Shias, and in case we feel that there is any misunderstanding between these groups, we will cooperate with the Iraqi government to clarify the misunderstanding to preserve Iraq's unity," he said.  

Asked about Iran's role as an intermediary between regional countries, including its western neighbor, Velayati said, "Iraq has a legal government elected by the will of (its) people, so any group or individual who seeks to pursue their own ideas needs to act upon legal means."

However, the senior official noted that Iran will not support any measure taken outside the current legal framework, saying, "Then there will not be any justification for mediation."  

Describing the government of Iraq as "a highly independent state" that allows for expression of differing points of views, he said the performance of the Iraqi government is "far beyond what is expected from a newly-established government."

Prior to the conference, in a meeting with the Iraqi official, Velayati expressed Tehran's readiness to cooperate with the Iraqi government in political and cultural fields.

Pointing to Iran's "strategic relations" with Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen, Velayati cited the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei who warned that the United States is seeking to expand its dominance all over the Middle East, aiming to fragment countries such as Iraq and Syria.

According to Velayati, the Leader, however, said, "Iran will back its allies and Muslim countries and will not let them (the West) to achieve their goals in the region."

The Iraqi official stressed the need to fight terrorism and said, "Iraq and other countries in the region are today subject to terrorist attacks."

Maliki said terrorist groups such as the so-called Islamic State and the Taliban have been created by the world's arrogant powers to serve the goals of the Zionist regime.