SHAFAQNA – Iranian and Iraqi defense ministers stressed the further expansion of mutual defense cooperation between the two countries.
“We believe that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s support for Iraqi Army and armed forces is part of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defense and security strategy,” said Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan in a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Khaled al-Obeidi here in Tehran.
He also said that supporting “Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity, democracy development based on the Constitution mechanisms, establishment of full security and helping Iraq’s all-out progress are some fundamental and constant policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Khaled al-Obeidi, for his part, appreciated Iran’s backing for Iraq, and said, “The all-out support of the Islamic Republic of Iran has made a very good and brotherly emotion in Iraqi armed forces, government and nation to Iranian government, nation and armed forces.”
He also stressed boosting bilateral ties between the two countries, and said, “We believe that development of Iran-Iraq ties is in favor of interests of the two sides.”
Iraqi forces have made fresh gains against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists during recent weeks. The most notable of all operations came in November when Iraqi forces retook the strategic town of Baiji and its refinery from the terrorists. The Iraqi army also managed to liberate key districts in the city of Samarra in early December.
Iran has repeatedly stressed that it will not interfere militarily in Iraq and Syria, but the Islamic Republic continues to provide support to both countries against ISIL in the form of defense consultancy and humanitarian aid.