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Iran urges regional alliance against US, Israeli plots

Iran's First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri (L) listens as Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim speaks during a joint press conference in Ankara, Turkey, October 19, 2017. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran's first vice president says the Middle East is teeming with different kinds of tensions, part of which is the result of US and Israeli plots, calling on the regional states to close ranks and thwart them. 

"We must uphold the idea of a strong region, because if our region is powerful, America and Israel will not be able to hatch plots in it," Es'haq Jahangiri said at a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Ankara on Thursday.

“If we, the regional states, are strong, other countries and powers cannot harm us and create a crisis and this is our strategy,” Jahangiri said, adding, "Even though our short-term interests may be harmed, we will achieve our goals in the long run."

Jahangiri then said, “We are living in a region that has always been the scene of different clashes and in some cases has witnessed meddling by the countries outside the region.”

Part of these tensions is the result of Israel’s measures and conspiracies, he said, referring to a recent crisis in Iraq following a controversial secession vote held in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

The Iranian vice president noted, “The thought that the territorial integrity of a large country such as Iraq can be damaged is vain and the regional countries like Iran and Turkey always support Iraq’s territorial integrity and the rule of the central government.”

Iraqi forces enter the district of Dibs, west of city of Kirkuk, October 17, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The plebiscite took place on September 25, sparking strong objection from Baghdad. Iraq’s neighbors and the international community also voiced concerns about the repercussions of the vote, which was only backed by the Tel Aviv regime.

Earlier this week, the Iraqi army conducted an operation and managed to retake the control of the areas that had been held by Kurdish forces since 2014, when Daesh unleashed its campaign of death and destruction across the Iraqi territory.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Jahangiri said, "We believe that the crisis in Iraq can be solved through the cooperation of the three countries of Iran, Turkey and Iraq, and in the case of Syria, the Astana process is a confirmation of the joint cooperation between Ankara and Tehran."

The Astana discussions in Kazakhstan have brought representatives from the Syrian government and opposition groups to the negotiating table and led to the establishment of four de-escalation zones in Syria.

The Turkish prime minister, for his part, stressed that the trilateral cooperation among Iran, Turkey and Russia within the framework of the Astana peace talks on Syria should continue. 

Yildirim also underlined the importance of cooperation between Tehran and Ankara in the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

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