February 19, The Iran Project – Ali Akbar Velayati, A top aide to the Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, left Tehran for Iraq late on Thursday (Feb. 15) at the invitation of Head of Iraqi Forum for Proximity of Islamic Unity Seyyed Ali Alaq.
While in Iraq, Velayati held talks with senior Iraqi officials including Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Head of the National Wisdom Movement of Iraq Ammar Hakim, Vice President Nouri al-Maleki and President Fouad Masoum on regional developments and ways to promote bilateral ties.
He also addressed the day-long conference on Islamic unity in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Saturday (Feb. 17).
Talking to al-Jaafari, Velayati said that the United States is the major problem of the Middle East region, adding US secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to the region took place following Washington’s failures.
Al-Jaafari, in turn, expressed his appreciation to Iran on behalf of the Iraqi government and nation, noting that Iran plays a major role in the supporting the resistance in the region.
In a meeting with Velayati, Head of the National Wisdom Movement of Iraq praised Iran’s role in defeating ISIL and regaining its territory.
The two sides also discussed the latest political developments in the region and exchanged their viewpoints.
During his meeting with al-Maleki in Baghadad, Velayati stressed that Islamic Republic of Iran will stand alongside Iraqi government and people until the very end, adding that after the victory over ISIL, the Resistance Front needs to be ever more vigilant towards the regional developments.
For his part, Al-Maleki said that US’ attempts to regain its foothold in Iraq would fail because of Iraq’s rich Islamic culture.
Talking to Masoum, Velayati said Tehran will never withhold any effort to enhance Iraq’s national unity, and is prepared to enhance ties between Iraq’s central government and Kurdistan Regional Government.
For his part, the Iraqi president said Iran-Iraq relations are not “tactical” but expressed hope that the relations would remain alive and forward-looking.
He also called on the Islamic Republic of Iran to play its constructive role in strengthening of national unity among Iraqi groups particularly between Baghdad and Erbil.
Moreover, addressing the conference, Velayati said the resistance front in the region will push the United States and Israel out of the eastern side of the Euphrates River, which flows from Turkey through Syria and into Iraq.
He said Washington was seeking to split Syria through its presence in the eastern Euphrates.