Support for Iraq an Obligation

Support for Iraq an ObligationSupport for Iraq an Obligation

Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani says Iran feels an obligation to use all its potential to support the Iraqi nation and government.

"Since the era of (former Iraq dictator) Saddam (Hussein's) rule, we have stood by you (the Iraqi people) and supported democratic thinking in Iraq, but since then there have been some enemies who have sought to foment unrest in Iraq," Larijani said in a meeting with Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri and other Iraqi parliamentarians in Baghdad on Wednesday, ICANA reported.

Iran and Iraq have always held close political consultations on regional issues in various periods, he noted, adding, "Iraq is now faced with extremist and terrorist groups which… attack all religious groups and do not care about any ethnic group."  

He said hardships improve the nations' resilience and help them recognize their real friends, emphasizing that the outlook for the situation in Iraq is "positive".

He reiterated that Iran will back Iraq in its campaign against terrorism, stressing that the regional people's resistance will certainly help improve the situation in the region.    

Elsewhere, Larijani said Iran is keen to increase parliamentary relations with the Arab country, noting that enhanced parliamentary cooperation can pave the way for expansion of bilateral relations in other areas.

He underscored the significance of collaboration between the two countries on oil and gas and said increased cooperation in this area is essential in view of "mischievous moves" by some countries which have contributed to the current slide in oil prices, inflicting damage to the Iraqi government and some other oil-producing countries.   

The top lawmaker said Iran is ready to help boost domestic production in Iraq, which can help create jobs for the Iraqi youth.

On the issue of dust storms, which originate from dried-up ponds in Iraq and some other Arab countries to the west and south of Iran, Larijani said dust storms that have affected regional countries in recent years are a "destructive factor" which impedes the development of countries.

He said it is necessary that Iran and Iraq increase cooperation and hold more talks to find a solution to the issue.

The Iraqi parliament speaker, for his part, said the most important challenge facing the region is the threat posed by militants of the so-called Islamic State (IS), adding that Iraq has suffered a "heavy cost" as a result of IS terrorists' actions.   

Jabouri said Baghdad is opposed to extremism under any banner and seeks increased cooperation with Iran to deal with the challenge.

  Visiting Iraqi Kurdistan

In a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart after their meeting, the Majlis speaker said he plans to travel to Iraqi Kurdistan after his visit to Baghdad.

Pointing to his regional tour, which took him to Syria and Lebanon before visiting Iraq, he said he has observed that the three Arab countries are determined to combat terrorism, adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran backs any government that has the resolve to fight terrorism.

In a separate meeting with Iraqi President Fuad Masum on Wednesday, Larijani described terrorism as a "critical issue" facing the region and said some regional countries made a "great mistake" and supplied terrorists with arms.  

He went on to say that Russia is seeking a political solution to the Syrian issue and has held talks with Iran in this regard, expressing hope that the "preliminary plan" could yield positive results.

Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on December 17 during a visit to Moscow that Tehran backs Russia's efforts to host a new round of peace talks between Damascus and the Syrian opposition.

"We support Moscow's idea of holding a meeting between representatives of the (Syrian) authorities and Syria's moderate opposition," Amir-Abdollahian was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency TASS.

"Only representatives of the opposition that believes in political settlement and which is not armed should be invited. These representatives should have some sort of a base within the Syrian nation," the deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs said.

He added, "A large part of the militants and adversaries (of the Syrian government) that now exist in Syria are terrorists."

In his meeting with Larijani, the Iraqi president said Iran was the first country which came to Iraq's aid when it came under attack by terrorists and provided Iraq with what it needed to deal with terrorists.

On dust storms, Masum said he believes that Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia should take joint measures to tackle the issue, IRNA reported.