Ayatollah Sistani meets FM Zarif
In a meeting with Iraq’s top Shi’ite authority, Ayatollah al-Sistani, the Iranian Foreign Minister stressed the need to preserve the unity of the region in the fight against terrorism.
After a pilgrimage to the shrine of Imam Ali (A), Dr. Mohammad-Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, met with Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf on Monday.
In a press conference after the meeting, Dr. Zarif spoke on the issues raised during the meeting and said that Ayatollah al-Sistani stressed the need for increased regional coordination and integration in the fight against terrorism.
He added that many sources of emulation have called for increased efforts in the fight against Takfiri-based terrorism.
“Extremism and terrorism have turned into a threat to all regional countries,” Dr. Zarif said, urging further coordination, cooperation, and integration among the countries to counter such threats.
He stressed the role of the Shi’ite religious authorities and stated that their influence in the region is of great importance. “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s support for the Iraqi people and the government in its fight against extremism terrorism continues and will continue to stand by them,” he said.
“Clerics and religious authorities have always had a constructive and prominent role in the fight against terrorism and extremism,” Dr. Zarif added.
Dr. Zarif also said he briefed Ayatollah al-Sistani on the recent conclusion of nuclear talks between Iran and world powers, and conferred with him on important regional and international issues.
The Iranian Foreign Minister travelled to Baghdad on Monday afternoon to meet for discussions with Iraqi authorities.
This trip to Iraq was part of a regional tour in a bid to explore avenues for bilateral, regional and international cooperation. Yesterday, Dr. Zarif travelled to Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar to met with officials there, including his Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim al-Ja’fari.