Iraq’s Unity Essential to Greater Security

Iraq’s Unity Essential to Greater SecurityIraq’s Unity Essential to Greater Security

A top Iranian security official said solidarity among all ethnic groups in Iraq is the key to overcoming security challenges posed by the emergence of terrorist groups.

Speaking in a meeting with Deputy Secretary-General of Iraq’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Barham Salih in Tehran on Tuesday, Iran’s Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said, “Iraqis’ strategic interests and [the restoration of] their regional power lie in a united Iraq”.

Pointing to the atrocities of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group during its two-year presence in large parts of Iraq, Shamkhani said experience shows that “getting away from a united Iraq brings harm”, ISNA reported.

“The defeat of IS in Iraq will help foster solidarity and national identity,” he said.

IS militants took control of the major city of Mosul in the north of the Arab country and some other areas in the east in the summer of 2014, committing heinous crimes against all ethnic and religious communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.

Iraqi Army and volunteer forces are seeking to win back militant-held regions in joint operations and have made huge achievements in recent months.

Shamkhani said the Iraqi central government is perfectly capable of running the country, as it has proven its power in handling major security threats.

“All Iraqi political parties should seek dialogue as the only way to settle their differences and play their role in Iraq’s political and economic structure,” he said.

“The contribution of all groups to the decision-making process and [their efforts] to prevent hostilities from influencing the decisions will help enhance domestic capacities to solve security, political and economic problems.”

Shamkhani said the Iranian government is ready to develop political and economic cooperation with Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, based on the guidelines of Iraq’s central government.

Saleh praised Iran’s support for Iraqi Kurds in their fight against terrorism.

“We appreciate Iran’s constructive role in the fight against terrorism and its support for the Iraqi people in restoring peace and stability to their country,” he said, stressing the need for a “tireless” drive against terrorist groups in the region.

The Iraqi official said boosting ties is of top importance for Iraqi Kurds, saying, “We see Tehran as our strategic partner”.