President Rouhani: Iran-Iraq strategic bonds ensure security, stability of region

Tehran, Feb 3, IRNA – President Hassan Rouhani said in a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein on Wednesday afternoon that Iran and Iraq have strong commonalities.

President Rouhani said that these commonalities connect the two countries to such an extent that the results and fruits of this brotherly and strategic bond have gone beyond the two countries and ensure the security and stability of the whole region.

He pointed out that taking into consideration the economic potentials of the two neighboring countries, Iran and Iraq can complement each other’s economies, adding that the volume of trade should reach $20 billion a year.

Referring to the holding of a joint commission between the two countries, President Rouhani said that by following up and implementing the agreements of this commission, an important step can be taken in the development of economic relations between the two countries.

He also commented on solving the problems of the Shalamcheh-Basra railway, saying that Iran believes that the project is completely economic and commercial, and in line with diversification of the transportation routes between Iran and Iraq.

Stressing that supporting stability, security, independence, territorial integrity, dignity and authority of Iraq, and promoting its regional and international status are of special priority for Iran, the President added that cooperation of the two countries during the invasion of Daesh (ISIS) is a great example of strengthening bilateral ties to save the region from Takfiri terrorists.

Noting that Tehran opposes any foreign interference in the internal affairs of Iraq and considers it to the detriment of the Iraqi people and the entire region, President Rouhani added that the heinous assassination of Lieutenant-General Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was an example of the most brazen foreign intervention in Iraq's internal affairs, which was carried out in the form of a state terrorist operation to target the heroes of the victory over Daesh.

He went on to say that Iran supports Iraq's presence in regional interactions and believes that Iraq carries weight in the region's political and security interactions.

The Iranian president also hoped that the new US administration will decide that its presence is harmful to security of the region and reconsider this policy.  

During the meeting, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein described President Hassan Rouhani's visit to Iraq as historic and unforgettable, saying that the trip created more opportunities for cooperation and sped up the implementation of agreements.

The Iraqi foreign minister said that according to the agreements between the officials of the two countries, Iraq is seeking to expand ties with Iran in various economic and commercial fields.

He also said that the people and government of Iran are always grateful to Iran for having cooperated with them in the war against terrorism, especially Daesh (ISIS), and will never forget that.

Hussein added that Baghdad is persistently pursuing the exit of foreign forces from Iraq and this is being done through negotiations and the measures taken.


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