Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi says the Islamic Republic wants a powerful and strong Iraq and is determined to further improve relations with Baghdad.
In a meeting with Iraqi President Barham Salih, who is in Tehran to attend Raeisi’s swearing-in ceremony, the new Iranian president added that every step leading to Iraq’s strength and preventing foreign interference would contribute to the Arab country’s progress.
“In line with maintaining Iraq’s territorial integrity, security and stability, Iran has not hesitated to donate the blood of its dearest sons, such as Martyr Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani,” Raeisi said.
US terrorists assassinated General Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi, and their companions by targeting their vehicle outside the Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.
The cowardly act of terror was carried out under the direction of former US President Donald Trump, with the Pentagon taking responsibility for the strike.
General Soleimani is viewed by the world's freedom-seeking people as the key figure in defeating Daesh, the world’s most notorious terrorist group, in the Middle East battles.
For his part, Salih said the deep and cordial relations between the two nations were not harmed even under a long war imposed by former dictator Saddam Hussein and noted that the two countries still enjoy numerous capacities for the expansion of ties despite great progress made in this regard.
The Iraqi president stressed the need to redefine security arrangements in the region and said steering the regional developments towards the establishment of stability and inclusive security would be impossible without the presence of Iran and a powerful and independent Iraq.
He commended Iran’s efforts to preserve Iraq’s territorial integrity in the fight against terrorism, saying the fact that Iran has been a friend of Iraq in hard times will go down the annals of diplomatic relations between the two countries and shape the future of those ties.