June 4, 2023

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Iranian defense official meets Iraqi defense minister

TEHRAN – An Iranian defense official who traveled to Iraq to participate in an Iraqi defense exhibition has met with Iraqi Defense Minister Thabet Muhammad Saeed Al Abbas.

Brigadier General Hamzeh Qalandari, who is the head of international affairs at the Iranian Ministry of Defense, met the Iraqi minister on Saturday in Baghdad. 

General Qalandari traveled to Iraq to take part in the Baghdad defense exhibition. 

During the meeting, which was attended by senior officers of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, they discussed issues of common interest between the two neighboring countries.

Within the framework of joint coordination between Iran and Iraq, the Iraqi defense minister arrived last week in the capital, Tehran, where he was received by his Iranian counterpart, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani. The Iranian defense minister and his Iraqi counterpart reviewed the guard of honor at the headquarters of the Iranian Ministry of Defense, where the band played to welcome the Iraqi guest.

The Islamic Republic of Iran displayed various types of defense equipment produced nationally at the 11th exhibition of security and defense industries in Iraq, according to Al Alam.

The military gear put on display was produced by various Iranian defense research and development centers. 

The exhibition was attended by senior Iraqi officials, including Mohammad Sahib al-Darraji, advisor to the Iraqi prime minister, and on the Iranian side Brigadier General Hamzeh Qalandari, head of international affairs at the Iranian Ministry of Defense.

It is worth noting that the exhibition will last for four days.

Defense Minister Saeed Al Abbas paid a visit to Iran in late February for talks with his Iranian counterpart and other senior military figures as well as President Ebrahim Raisi.

In his meeting with the Iraqi defense minister, Ashtiani said the Islamic Republic is ready to share its experiences with Iraq in achieving self-sufficiency in the military industry.

Ashtiani added, “The Ministry of Defense of the Islamic Republic of Iran is on your side with all its might.”

It was the first visit by the Iraqi defense minister to Iran after the formation of the new government in Baghdad.

Iran’s defense minister also said, “I consider it necessary to thank the efforts by the Iraqi armed forces for providing security for (Iranian) pilgrims during the Arbaeen rituals.”

Every year millions of Iranians visit holy shrines in Iraq, especially during the Arabaeen pilgrimage. 

The defense chief also sounded the alarms about the presence of Iranian separatist militant groups in northern Iraq, saying they are a “potential and real” threat to the security of the two countries.

Iranian-Iraqi cooperation continues in several directions, the latest of which was the visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdollahian to Baghdad, where he held a series of talks with senior Iraqi officials. The talks centered on developing relations, securing borders and railway links.

The Iranian foreign minister also welcomed the mediation by Iraq to restore diplomatic ties between Tehran and Riyadh that were severed in 2016 and heal the rift between Tehran and Cairo. The chief diplomat also thanked Baghdad for trying to put the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement back on track.

Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/482620/Iranian-defense-official-meets-Iraqi-defense-minister

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