Iran-Iraq relations, perfect role model for regional states

IRNA – The visit of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Iraq is a turning point in bilateral relations as cooperation between the two neighboring nations could be seen as a perfect example of establishment of friendly and brotherly relations, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjedi said.

In an article published in ‘Iran’ newspaper on the occasion of Rouhani’s current visit to Iraq, the ambassador said that Rouhani’s three-day trip to Iraq that started today is very important and effective in the current conditions.

In the past 16 years, he said, Iraq has been hit by many crises including the US 2003 invasion which created the threat of disintegration of Iraq, the presence of Takfiri terrorists backed by Zionists and certain regional countries and growing religious and tribal disagreements as well as the creation of the terrorist group of Daesh (ISIS) in the country.

All those threats in addition to the fact that Iraq is Iran’s neighbor so the crises might be transmitted to Iran as its neighboring country were sufficient reasons to persuade Tehran stand by Baghdad and help the latter tackle the crises, he added.

The official further noted that when Daesh and Takfiri terrorists were busy exposing threats to Iraq, Iran was the sole country that stood by Iraqi nation and government from the beginning.

On the first phase, Iran helped Iraq make the terrorists retreat, and then, it helped Iraq annihilate Daesh; a truth which confirmed and appreciated by the Iraqi officials over and over again.

In Nov 2017, Commander of Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Qasem Soleimani in a letter to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei announced the termination of the cursed tree of Daesh and congratulated the glorious victory to the Islamic World, he added.

After defeat of Daesh, a new political chapter opened for Iraq.

It was May, 2018, when the United States unilaterally withdrew from the Iran Deal and started putting tremendous pressure on Iraq to follow the US sanctions policy against Iran.

However, the Iraqi officials reiterated repeatedly that they would not go with the US at its unilateral sanctions.

The ambassador believed that all the above, emphasizes how important the March 11 visit of the Iranian president to Iraq is and what elements makes such a visit meaningful.

The growing increase in relations between Iranian and Iraqi officials including annual exchange of seven million pilgrims and the presence of common political stance on many international and regional questions have made unique and special form from Iran-Iraq ties in the region, Masjedi said.

Today, Iraq, which had been considered as the main security threat to Iran for years and the enemies were using it as a tool to threaten Iran, has turned into a strategic ally and a loyal friend to Iran, he noted.

And the borders between the two countries, the ambassador said, have also turned into the borders of friendship, cooperation and stability.

Masjedi also noted that the today travel of President Rouhani to Iraq will give a special message to the regional countries that they can remove the obstacles through cooperation, convergence, friendship and fraternity which will then bring economic development and stability to the region.

Iran’s president arrived in Baghdad earlier today.

His visit to Iraq is taking place upon the official invitation of his counterpart President Barham Salih and also Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

During his three-day stay in Iraq, President Rouhani is also to confer with the senior Iraqi cleric, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Sistani.

Exploring avenues for promoting bilateral relations in the political, economic and cultural fields are among the main objectives of the Iranian president’s official visit to Iraq.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif travelled to Iraq on Saturday to do the necessary arrangements for President Rouhani’s official visit to the neighboring state.