Commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Force Brigadier General Kioumars Heidari and visiting Deputy Commander of the Iraqi Army General Tariq Abbas Ibrahim Abdulhussein discussed holding joint military drills in a Monday meeting in Tehran, a couple of days after Iranian air defense units shot down an intruding US spy drone over territorial waters in the Gulf Oman.
During the meeting with General Abdulhussein today, Brigadier General Heidari said the Iranian Army’s Ground Force is ready to expand the level of military cooperation with Iraq through joint drills and the transfer of knowledge.
Heidari called for holding joint war-games between the Iraqi and Iranian militaries in order to enhance the forces’ coordination in the fight against terrorism.
Referring to the religious commonalities, geopolitical situation and the common enemies that have aligned Iran and Iraq, General Heidari said uprooting the ISIL terrorists in Iraq was the result of the joint efforts between the two neighbors.
He added that the force is ready to help boost the Iraqi military’s power by transferring knowledge and expertise in various defense aspects.
The Iraqi official, for his part, expressed gratitude to Iran’s help and support in fighting terrorist groups and called for boosting all-out relations in different defensive sectors.
General Abbas Ibrahim Abdulhussein, pointed to the Islamic Republic’s advanced capability in designing and manufacturing defensive systems and said following the previous visits by Iraqi delegations to Iran and observing the country’s defensive capabilities Baghdad had requested to boost military cooperation with Iran.
“We are willing to pass different military training courses in Iran” to improve the capabilities of the Iraqi army, he said.
On Sunday, General Abdulhussein met with Commander of the Iranian Army’s Air Defense Force Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifard, and called for enhanced cooperation with neighboring Iran in the area of air defense.
The Iraqi official pointed to the Islamic Republic’s advanced capability in designing and manufacturing defensive systems. Baghdad was requesting the cooperation “in the light of the previous instances of observation by Iraqi military delegations of Iran’s defensive capabilities,” he noted.
Such cooperation, he said, would encompass such areas as production, training, logistical support in various fields, including electronic warfare operations, radar operation, optical surveillance, command and control, radar calculations, and software.
Abdulhussein further said, “Enjoying religious commonalities and facing common enemies has aligned the countries.”
The Iranian commander, for his part, conveyed Tehran’s “complete readiness to meet Iraq’s defensive needs in all areas of expertise concerning manufacturing and supporting air defense systems.”
Sabahifard said Iran had achieved the capability for manufacturing various pieces of air defense equipment, including tactical and deployable radars, missile and artillery systems, signal intelligence gathering, electronic warfare equipment, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
The two countries, he stated, were part of the unified Muslim Ummah, which could not be segregated from one another based on political and geographical demarcations.
Early in May, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, in a meeting with Commander of the Iraqi Army Aviation Staff Lieutenant General Hamed al-Atiya, said that Tehran and Baghdad are two influential players whose cooperation can boost regional security.
Also on the same day, on May 03, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told Iraqi Air Defense Commander Lieutenant General Jabar Obeid Kadhim Jabbar, that the Aerospace Force is ready to transfer experience and technical knowhow to the Iraqi army in order to further bolster the Arab country’s defense forces.
By acquiring world’s latest technology in manufacturing various types of radar systems, command centers and control of ground-to-air missile systems as well as electronic warfare equipment, Iran’s aerospace forces are ready to help Iraqi side boost its defense capabilities, Brig. Gen. Hajizadeh maintained.
Also in early May, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami underlined the necessity for closer ties between Tehran and Baghdad, saying that Iran’s support for Iraq against the ISIL terrorist group prevented the former’s disintegration.
Iraq could have been disintegrated by “ill-wishers and enemies of the peace” had it not been for Iran’s support, General Hatami said.
He further emphasized that both Tehran and Baghdad are resolved to develop their bonds.
Former Italian Ambassador to Iraq Marco Carnelos said in April that he had been told by American troops during his time of service in Iraq that Baghdad would have fallen to terrorists had it not been for Iran’s measures under Commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Qassem Soleimani.
“I had some personal meetings with American officials and they admitted during the meetings that had it not been for Iran’s immediate meddling in Iraq in 2014, Baghdad and Erbil would have fallen to the ISIL,” Carnelos, who also served as an advisor to Italy’s prime minister on Western Asia and North Africa, said.
He added that, based on his experience in Iraq, it was always Americans who were seeking to meet with Iranians and their requests were always declined by the Iranian side.
“I should admit that the US troops deployed in Iraq have a deep understanding of General Soleimani. They praise his capabilities. Through the Quds Force, Iran has managed to impede the American military’s progress in the Middle East. The American forces have no choice but to accept the general as a key military figure in the region,” highlighted the Italian diplomat.