Iran to continue backing Iraq integrity: Defense chief
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan says the Islamic Republic has always supported Iraq’s territorial integrity and the establishment of security and peace in the country and will continue to do so.
“As long as the Iraqi government and nation demand, we will stand by them,” Dehqan said in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi in Baghdad on Monday.
He added that supporting Iraq’s unity and integrity, helping Iraq improve security in the country and contributing to the nation’s development and progress are three strategic principles in Iran’s approach to the Iraqi developments.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will react to any approach that seeks to disintegrate Iraq or target the country’s identity and national unity,” Dehqan said.
He added that sustainable security and lasting peace would be restored to Iraq through national unity.
Dehqan expressed Tehran’s readiness to bolster defense and security cooperation with Iraq and equip the country’s army.
Dehqan meets Iraqi counterpart
In his talks with Iraqi Defense Minister Khalid al-Ubaydi on Monday, Dehqan said the Iranian government is determined to improve ties with Iraq, particularly in security and defense sectors, given the ongoing regional crises and insecure situation.
The Iranian minister said Tehran-Baghdad defense and security cooperation and joint fight against terrorism would improve stability and security in the region.
He added that Iran strongly stands by the Iraqi government and nation and has given a positive response to Iraq’s request for Iran’s help in order to fight terrorism.
He expressed hope that Iran and Iraq would manage to take further major steps to fully destroy the criminal terrorist-Takfiri-Zionist movement as the most important factor behind insecurity in the region.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been in chaos since ISIL started its campaign of terror in early June 2014.
Since then, Iraq’s army has been joined by Kurdish forces, as well as Shia and Sunni volunteers in operations to drive the ISIL terrorists out of the areas they have seized.
Iran has repeatedly stressed that it will not interfere militarily in Iraq and Syria, but that it will continue to provide support for both countries against ISIL in the form of defense consultation and humanitarian aid.