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EghtesadOnline: The Leader called on Baghdad’s central government to extend its authority to regions from which threats are posed against Iran Leader Underlines Tehran-Baghdad Security as Closely Related.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei stressed the importance of security in neighboring Iraq, saying it is closely linked to the security of Iran.

“Security of Iraq is equal to security in Iran, as the security of Iran affects that of Iraq,” he said in a meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani in on Tuesday, Leader.ir reported.

He expressed regret about the fact that some areas of Iraqi territories are used for activities against Iran’s security despite pledges by officials in Baghdad.

“The only solution is that the central government of Iraq extends its authority to these regions,” he said.

Terrorist and separatist groups in the Iraqi Kurdistan region have attempted to provoke unrest in Iran’s western border cities, according to Iranian officials.

Tehran has repeatedly warned the Iraqi Kurdistan’s local authorities about these groups’ activities but they have failed to take proper measures to prevent terrorist moves.

Since September, Iran has frequently launched air raids against the positions of those groups, with officials saying the Islamic Republic had no choice but to exercise its inherent right to self-defense.

The Leader later reiterated Iran’s supportive position with regard to Iraq in the event of any security threat.

“If any party intends to jeopardize the security of Iraq, we will stand against them to protect this country,” he said.

Al-Sudani also pointed to Tehran-Baghdad’s strategic ties, saying joint efforts in fighting the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group was a clear example of close cooperation between the two countries.

“Security of Iran and Iraq is not separable and based on our constitution, we will not allow any party to use Iraqi soil against the security of other countries,” he said.

Regional Threats

The Iraqi premier, who arrived in Tehran on Tuesday on his first visit at the head of a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, had earlier met Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Raisi stressed the importance of peace, security and stability in the region for both Iran and Iraq, saying the two countries agree on the need to counter any regional threat.

“Fighting terrorist groups, organized crimes, drug smuggling and any other danger threatening the region is an area of agreement between the two countries,” he said, President.ir reported.

He added that peace and stability in the region needs to be ensured by regional countries alone, President.ir reported.

“The presence of foreigners will not bring security, but will cause multiple problems for the region,” he said.

Pointing to the United States’ failure to promote security in Afghanistan and Iraq, he said the American presence will not be helpful in any other regional country either.

“Certainly, the US exit will contribute to peace, stability and security in our region,” he said.

The Iraqi premier also underlined the importance of Tehran-Baghdad cooperation in fighting terrorism and drug smuggling, saying the security of the two countries is inseparable and part of the whole region’s security.  

Al-Sudani stressed that Baghdad is committed to strict implementation of its constitution and will not allow any group or party to use its soil for harming and disrupting the security of any other country.

“This is the official policy of the Iraqi government not to allow this land to be a starting point of harm to any neighboring country,” he said.

Baghdad will pursue this policy in its diplomatic relations so as to have balanced relations with friendly countries based on mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.

He said Iraqi delegates would discuss security issues with their Iranian counterparts during the visit to reach agreements on establishing a working mechanism to prevent any tension.

“We believe dialogue and interaction are the best ways to prevent problems.”

Close Cooperation

Further during the presser, Raisi described Tehran-Baghdad ties as historical and stemming from the two nations’ common beliefs.

“Today, Iran and Iraq have close cooperation in a wide range of sectors, including political, economic, security, social, cultural, scientific and technological,” he said, hoping this course would continue under Iraq’s new government.

He described al-Sudani’s trip as a turning point in the two countries’ relations, saying the present negotiations were a great step toward upgrading the ties.

The Iraqi top official said his trip was aimed at enhancing the long-standing ties, stressing the need for closer economic cooperation.

He expressed appreciation for Iran’s support of Iraq in the supply of energy, calling for Tehran’s further assistance until the completion of Iraqi gas and electricity projects.

“Iraq is making efforts to repay its debts to Iran through special mechanisms and we had talks in this regard today,” he said.

Iraq owes billions of dollars to Iran for electricity and natural gas imports which they say cannot be transferred to Iran due to American sanctions.

Al-Sudani said talks will also be held between the oil ministers of Iran and Iraq during the visit about projects related to the transfer and refinement of crude oil to extract derivatives.

security Leader of the Islamic Revolution