June 3, 2023

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‘Comprehensive cooperation with Iraq is important for Iran’

TEHRAN – Deputy Chairman of the Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Kamal Dehghani has said that comprehensive cooperation with the Iraqi government is important for Iran.

“What is important for Iran is formation of a government in Iraq which is based on law and inclusive and takes step in line with Iraq’s national interests. We hope we would have comprehensive cooperation with this country,” he told ISNA in an interview published on Saturday.

He refuted accusations that Iran interferes in Iraq’s internal affairs, saying Iran has never sought to interfere in Iraq’s domestic affairs.

“This [non-interference policy] also includes all the neighboring countries,” the MP added.

Dehghani also said that Iran and Iraq have many capacities in various areas to tap for cooperation.

Iraqi President Barham Salih named intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi as prime minister-designate on Thursday.

Kadhimi is the third person to be named to the post in just over two months.

Kadhimi was nominated by Salih, shortly after the previous designated prime minister, Adnan al-Zurfi, announced he was withdrawing having failed to secure enough support to pass a government.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Thursday welcoming the naming of al-Kadhimi as prime minister, calling his nomination to the post “as the right decision at the right time”.

Iraj Masjedi, the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, said on Friday that Iran has a “positive view” on designation of Kadhimi as the new prime minister of Iraq.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran respects Iraq’s law and political system and supports anyone who has been designated through the legal procedure and gaining vote of the country’s parliament,” he told IRNA.

The ambassador said that Iran supports the Iraqi parliament’s vote because it represents the entire Iraqi society which includes Kurds, Shias, Sunnis and even minorities such as Turkmens and Christians.

“Our policy is not providing support for just one political group in Iraq. We respect all ethnicities and religious groups,” he remarked.

Iran’s approach towards Iraq is supporting the country’s unity and territorial integrity, he added.

Iran has been on side of Iraq since the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003. It was the first country that recognized the first post-Saddam ruling system in Iraq. 

Iran also rushed to the help of Iraq when the terrorist Daesh group suddenly captured large swathes of the Iraqi territory.

The religious and cultural affinities between Iraq and Iraq are also very strong. Every year millions of citizens from each country visit holy shrines in either country.

Since the toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq economic and trade ties between Iran and Iraq have also been ramping up. 

Yahya Ale-Es’haq, chairman of Iran-Iraq chamber of commerce, says Iran has a “long-term” and “strategic” view toward the Iraqi market.

He said in the calendar year of 1397 (March 2018-March 2019), Iran’s exports to Iraq stood at 13 billion dollars.

Also in the 11 months of the year 1398, it was about 11 billion dollars, added Ale-Es’haq, a former trade minister.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/446648/Comprehensive-cooperation-with-Iraq-is-important-for-Iran

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