The Iranian government will continue supporting Iraq in the fight against Islamic State (IS), as Iraq’s security is intertwined with that of Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday.
In a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the Iranian capital Tehran on Wednesday, Rouhani said, “The main responsibility for combating terrorism and finally defeating it falls undoubtedly on the shoulders of the Iraqi nation and army.
“Nevertheless, the people and government of Iran have been and will continue to be beside the government and nation of Iraq,” the Iranian president told Press TV.
Stability, security, and peace in Iraq and Iran’s other neighbours can help progress and economic development in the region, Rouhani added.
He suggested Iraq make an all-out effort to strengthen national unity to counter its enemies’ plans.
Abadi hailed Iran’s support for Iraq in its anti-terror efforts and said the continuation of Tehran’s assistance to Baghdad would help in its fight to eradicate IS both in Iraq and the wider Middle East.
The Iraqi premier also called for the expansion of bilateral trade and cultural ties.
During the Iran visit, Abadi also met Iran’s Secretary of National Security Supreme Council Ali Shamkhani, who dismissed Western officials’ claims that defeating IS could take 5 to 7 years.
Shamkhani described the claims as a plot to prolong the crisis in the region for the sake of Western separatist interests.
“Considering the high potential and capability in Iraq, total elimination of the terrorist group can be achieved in the short term and security completely restored to the country,” he insited.
“Tehran and Baghdad should extend their strategic ties in all areas of political, economic, cultural and security cooperation in order to reach sustainable security and provide a role model for bilateral ties in the region.”