Leader’s Advisor, Iraqi PM Discuss Anti-Terror Fight

Velayati hailed efforts by the Abadi government to establish “true democracy” in Iraq
Leader’s Advisor, Iraqi PM Discuss Anti-Terror FightLeader’s Advisor, Iraqi PM Discuss Anti-Terror Fight

A senior advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei discussed ways of improving bilateral cooperation in the campaign against terrorism in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday.

Ali Akbar Velayati reiterated the Islamic Republic’s support for neighboring Iraq in its battle against the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group that has occupied parts of the Arab country and its neighbor Syria since 2014, IRNA reported.

Velayati is in Iraq to attend the ninth session of the Supreme Council of the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening to be held in Baghdad on Saturday and Sunday.

The Iraqi Army has launched a large-scale operation to drive IS militants out of the northern city of Mosul.

The Iraqi premier hoped that the army would soon end IS atrocities in Iraq and called for security and intelligence support from other regional countries.

Velayati hailed efforts by the Abadi administration to establish “true democracy” in Iraq following the US withdrawal of its troops in 2011 in a joint press conference with Chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar Hakim earlier in the day.

Iraq was under US occupation since 2003.

“Baghdad has effectively dealt with its domestic problems so far,” said Velayati, adding that Iran will stick by its pledge to back the violence-ridden nation in its fight against terrorists.

He referred to the upcoming forum in Baghdad, saying the event, which focuses on efforts to uproot the takfiri ideology, is a gesture of solidarity between Shia and Sunni Muslims.

Takfiris are hardliners who accuse Muslims that do not follow their extreme interpretation of Islam as apostates punishable by death.  

Hakim described IS as a threat not only to Iraq but to the entire world.

He said the Baghdad gathering comes at a critical time amid the decisive Mosul battle, which got underway five days ago.

The joint conference followed a meeting between the two sides in which they exchanged views on the latest developments in Mosul.

Before that meeting, Velayati held talks with Iraqi President Fuad Masum to explore ways of promoting bilateral relations in various domains.

Masum thanked Iran for its help in Iraq’s long fight against IS terrorists.

Velayati, who is also the secretary-general of the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening, told Masum that Tehran is making serious efforts to cement its relationship with its western neighbor.

The offensive that started on Monday to capture Mosul is expected to become the biggest battle fought in Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003.

The fighting has forced 5,640 people to flee their homes so far from the vicinity of the city, the International Organization for Migration said late on Thursday, Reuters reported.

About 1.5 million residents are still believed to be inside Mosul, and Islamic State has a history of using civilians as human shields.

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