Publishe Date: 8:52 PM - 9/24/2013 | Print

Iran ready to strengthen Iraq Army: Iran defense minister

Politics - Iran Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan has expressed the Islamic Republic’s readiness to equip and strengthen the Iraqi army, saying countries in the Middle East are capable of restoring regional security.

“An independent, united, strong and secure Iraq guarantees regional security and prepares the ground for the country’s progress,” Dehqan said in a meeting with the visiting Iraqi counterpart, Saadoun al-Dulaimi, in Tehran on Tuesday.

He noted that both Iran and Iraq are located in a “sensitive and strategic” region, and called on the two countries to improve cooperation based on mutual confidence and common interests to present a new model for regional cooperation.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to make its utmost effort to establish peace and tranquility in the region in cooperation with Iraq and other friendly and neighboring countries,” Dehqan pointed out.

“Stability and security in the region will be achieved through … collective cooperation among regional countries and not through security imported [to the Middle East] by trans-regional states which are only pursuing their own interests,” Dehqan added.

He also condemned sectarian strife in Iraq and urged all national and moderate movements in the country to help strengthen peace and stability.

The Iraqi minister, for his part, said his visit to Iran is aimed at further boosting defense cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad.

Dulaimi hailed Iran’s positive stance on the ongoing crisis in Syria, adding that Tehran and Baghdad share views on developments in Damascus.

The Syrian and Iraqi people are victims of organized terrorism which aims to weaken independent and democratic countries in the region, he stated.

The Iraqi defense minister arrived in Tehran on Monday at the head of a high-ranking delegation to hold talks with senior Iranian officials on bilateral defense cooperation and leading regional and international issues.


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