Mar 9, 2019, 6:19 PM
News Code: 83237187
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Iran FM Zarif due in Iraq tonight

Tehran, March 9, IRNA - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says he will travel to Iraq on Saturday night in a bid to carry out preparations for the president's upcoming visit.

“I’m going to Iraq tonight in a bid to prepare for president Hassan Rouhani’s historic visit [to the country],” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said while addressing a conference in Tehran on the impact of Iraqi shia cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, assassinated in 2003, on Iraq’s unity.

“I’m certain that Rouhani’s visit will show once again that these two nations are the throbbing heart of this region,” Zarif added on Saturday.

Rouhani is scheduled to visit Iraq on Monday for three days.

“Without Iran and Iraq the region won’t be safe and stable. Iraq and Iraq are the two pillars of the security in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East,” he told the conference.

He expressed hope that “new movement launched by Iraqi officials comprised of all walks of life in Iraq can move forward.”

The Iranian official noted that “inseparable union between the Iraqi and Iranian people” is a result of presence of figures such as Ayatollah Hakim in Iraq and Imam Khomeini in Iran.

Zarif went on to refer to the Iraqi popular mobilisation forces, also known as Hashd al-Shabi, as the symbol of unity between the Iranian and Iraqi nations during Iraq’s eight-year war against Iran. The Hashd troops are popular armed units that have been battling Daesh terrorists across the country as well as on the border with Syria.

Iran foreign policy chief highlighted that Christians, Sunnis, Yazidis and all other people in Iraq have died and “they all shed their bloods together” in fighting extremist groups as well as Daesh terrorists.

Zarif pointed to the fact that “Iranians and Iraqi people were all killed together and that won’t allow the enemies to sow discord among these two nations'.

He stressed that “those who were looking to create a rival Iraqi government and turn that country into a danger for all the Islamic world missed their target'.

The Iranian official held talks with a wide range of Iraqi officials from all sectors during a five-day visit to the neighbouring country in January. “During all the five days of my visit to Iraq I felt that Iranian and Iraqi people are inseparable. I felt the same when I met the nomads in Karbala.”


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