TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described Tehran as the trustworthy friend of all Iraqi groups, and called for the rapid formation of the new Iraqi government through consensus among all Iraqi parties.
“Iran is the friend of all groups, and the trend of the formation of the government in Iraq should be an Iraqi trend like choosing the prime minister,” Zarif told FNA on Wednesday and after a three-day tour of Iraq where he met with former and present presidents, prime ministers and parliament speaker as well as religious leaders and Kurdistan Regional Government President.
“We, as a country which has had friendly and close relations with different Iraqi groups, are trusted and consulted by them, and in this trip I had the opportunity to hold talks with all groups and hear the ideas of the top religious leaders,” he added.
Zarif underscored that Iran wants to see consensus among all Iraqi groups, and said, “We should hope that given everyone’s insistence on the necessity for the formation of a pervasive, integrated, sound and efficient government, we will come to see the results, God willingly.”
Zarif arrived in Baghdad on Sunday to meet the country’s new cabinet members to felicitate them on their appointment and start of work and discuss bilateral and regional developments as well as the latest security conditions in Iraq.
Yesterday, he held a meeting with President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani in Erbil.
During the meeting, Barzani appreciated Iran for its support for the Iraqi people and government, and added that the recent developments in Iraq proved Tehran’s sincerity in its relations with Baghdad more than ever.
On Monday, the Iraq-based Muslim religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in a meeting with Zarif in Najaf appreciated Iran for its firm stance in support of Iraq’s war on Takfiri terrorist groups, including the ISIL.
“Ayatollah Sistani thanked Iran for standing beside the Iraqi government’s campaign against the ISIL and supporting Iraq,” Iraqi Ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Majid Sheikh was quoted as saying by al-Soumariya News on Monday.
During the meeting, Zarif called for the partnership of all political streams in future Iraqi government, and said Tehran supports the political trend in Iraq.
He also underlined Tehran’s full back-up for Iraq’s war on terrorism.
Senior Iranian officials congratulated new Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and the Iraqi nation on his appointment as the new premier last week and expressed their support for the new government.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei hailed the appointment of the new Iraqi premier, saying that enemies’ plot to push Iraq into further chaos through political disputes over premiership would be foiled once the new cabinet starts work.
Following Iran’s approach, Iraq’s incumbent Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki also dropped his bid and voiced support for al-Abadi in a show of unity which is much needed in the crisis-hit country which has come under a surge of terrorist attacks by savage Takfiri terrorists of the ISIL in the last few months.
Iran and Iraq have enjoyed growing ties ever since the overthrow of the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, during the 2003 US invasion of the Muslim country.
Iraq’s Foreign Minister Houshyar Zebari was in Tehran in February. During his stay in the Iranian capital, Zebari and Zarif discussed mutual cooperation on economy and trade as well as joint efforts to address environmental issues.
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