Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri says defense cooperation between neighboring Iran and Iraq will improve security in the Arab country in the face of US efforts to revive terrorists in the region.
He made the remarks on the sidelines of a meeting with Iraq’s Defense Minister Lieutenant General Juma Anad Saadoun Khattab in Tehran on Sunday.
Speaking to reporters, Baqeri referred to close relations and historical commonalities between Iran and Iraq, saying the armed forces of the two countries enjoy long-term ties and interests.
The Iraqi defense minister, along with Navy, Air Force, Air Defense commanders, discussed with Iranian officials ways to reinforce defense and military cooperation, he said.
They, he added, also visited an exhibition of Iranian defense industries and would hold meetings with their Iranian counterparts.
Baqeri further noted that during his meeting with the Iraqi defense minister, the two sides exchanged views on issues related to defense industry and security of the two countries’ common borders, as well as bilateral cooperation and joint military exercises.
“The purpose of this meeting is to develop and deepen security in both Iran and Iraq, but of course Iraq has faced several conspiracies in recent years,” he said.
“And now, as the Americans seek to redeploy terrorists in the region, this cooperation will provide better security for Iraq.”
The two countries have prepared a document on defense cooperation, which will be signed in the near future, Baqeri said, adding that Iran’s Defense Ministry supplied Iraq with the equipment it needed under previous accords.
He also stressed that preparations have been made to strengthen educational, operational and advisory cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries.
In 2014, when Daesh unleashed its campaign of terror in Iraq, Iranian military advisers rushed to the aid of Iraqi armed forces on Baghdad’s request, helping them reverse Daesh’s gains and ultimately liberate their entire homeland from the US-sponsored Takfiri terrorist group some three years later.
Top Iranian anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani, who played a key role in eliminating Daesh in the region, was assassinated in a US drone strike upon his arrival at Baghdad International Airport on January 3 at the invitation of the Iraqi government.
‘Iran-Iraq cooperation guarantees regional stability’
Also on Sunday, the Iraqi defense chief held talks with Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani on bilateral, regional and international developments.