Hakim Calls for Expansion of Strategic Iraq-Iran Ties

Hakim Calls for Expansion of Strategic Iraq-Iran Ties Hakim Calls for Expansion of Strategic Iraq-Iran Ties

President of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar al-Hakim described relations between Iran and Iraq as "strategic" and "strong", saying increased bilateral cooperation can help "turn challenges into opportunities" for the two nations.

"It is essential that the high potential for cooperation between the two countries in the political, economic and commercial areas be exploited," Hakim said in a meeting with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran on Monday, according to a press release issued by the foreign ministry.

Zarif, for his part, appreciated the approach adopted by Iraqi politicians, especially Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperate with Tehran in the campaign against terrorism, which poses a common threat to the interests of the two neighbors.

In a separate meeting with Hakim in Tehran on Sunday, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) said unity and integrity are the major factors which help Iraqis overcome takfiri groups and their allies operating in the crisis-hit Arab country.

Ali Shamkhani said, "Unity and integrity in Iraq were the main reasons behind (recent) victories over takfiris and their supporters, who try to sow discord and raise distracting issues to undermine the capacities in the Muslim World (which can be used) against the hegemonistic system," IRNA reported.

A takfiri is a Muslim who accuses another Muslim of heresy.

The security chief said, "Documenting and expressing the realities about the formation of the plague of Daesh (the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), its supporters and the effective methods of confronting terrorism are critical to preserving the history and culture of resistance."

Referring to the victories of the army and volunteer forces in Iraq in the fight against terrorists and the liberation some areas which had been seized by Islamic State militants, Shamkhani described unity and empathy among Shiites and Sunnis in political and military spheres as a great achievement which helps strengthen the national might and regional status of Iraq.  

Hakim, for his part, briefed the SNSC secretary on the latest political, economic and security developments in Iraq and said, "The Iraqi nation dealt a heavy blow to terrorist takfiri groups and their sponsors through increasing unity and cohesion, and they will pursue their battle until they recapture all areas which have been seized."

Stressing the need to pay more attention to the reconstruction of the areas damaged by the clashes with terrorists, he said, "In view of the improved security situation in different parts of Iraq, it is necessary that the two countries increase bilateral economic cooperation to help improve the people's well-being (in Iraq)."