Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said the country has proven to be Iraq’s best friend in tough times.
Speaking in a meeting with Iraq’s visiting Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein in Tehran on Wednesday, Raisi stressed that Iran cannot tolerate the presence of terrorist groups on the country’s common border with Iraq.
He urged Baghdad to honor its relevant security commitments towards Tehran.
“During the days that Iraq was besieged by the Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) terrorist group, the Islamic Republic did not withhold any assistance from Iraq, proving itself to be Iraq’s friend during its (the Arab country’s) tough days,” Raisi said.
The president was referring to the military advisory support that the Islamic Republic began providing for Iraq after the latter found itself in the grip of the Takfiri group’s campaign of bloodshed and destruction in 2014.
The remarks came two days after Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said the ultimatum given to Iraq to disarm anti-Iran separatist groups based in the Arab country’s Kurdistan region would not be extended.
“Iran’s stance is completely clear. According to the agreement reached with the Iraqi government, the final deadline for the disarmament of the terrorist and separatist forces in Iraq’s Kurdistan region ends on September 19 and that deadline will not be extended in any way,” Kanaani said at a weekly press briefing in Tehran on Monday. The spokesperson noted that the Iraqi government had taken measures in this regard and had stressed that it would honor its commitments.
Hussein, for his part, considered the constant meetings that have been taking place between the countries’ diplomatic delegations and ranking officials to be an indication of their strong and developing relations.
“Today, the countries’ relations have gone beyond (simple) political, cultural, and economic ties,” he said, stressing that “we should preserve these unparalleled relations.”
The Iraqi top diplomat laid emphasis on Baghdad’s complete commitment to the implementation of standing security agreements between the countries.
“The Iraqi government will, under no circumstances, allow any movement or group to use the country’s soil to pose a threat or perpetrate an incursion against the borders of Iraq’s neighbors, especially the Islamic Republic, or let them (such groups) deploy themselves on the Iraqi soil,” he emphasized.