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Iran armed forces ready to confront threats against Iraq’s territorial integrity: Top general

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri (L) meets with his Iraqi counterpart Abdel Emir Rashid Yarallah in the capital Baghdad on December 3, 2023. (Photo by IRNA)

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri has expressed the Islamic Republic’s preparedness to confront any potential threats against Iraq’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty.

Baqeri made the statement in a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Abdel Emir Rashid Yarallah in the country’s capital of Baghdad on Sunday.

Iran’s top general pointed to the various commonalities and good relations between the two neighboring countries, saying Iraq was moving on the path of growth and development concerning the stability and good security established in the Arab country.

“The two countries have good and valuable experience in the war against terrorism and can share their experience in a suitable format,” Baqeri said, adding, “The Islamic Republic of Iran was the only country that came to Iraq's aid against the Daesh [terrorist group], and the martyrs Haj Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis are a precious legacy for the people of both countries.”

Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy chief of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were assassinated in a US drone strike outside Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

During the meeting on Sunday, Baqeri also stressed the need for holding joint drills between Iranian and Iraqi militaries to ensure the lasting security of shared borders.

“The common borders of the two countries provide an opportunity to increase the convergence and benefits of both nations from mutual capacities,” he added.

The chief of staff of Iraq’s Army, for his part, expressed his gratitude to the Islamic Republic for its sincere cooperation in the fight against Daesh and honored the memory of General Soleimani.

Yarallah also announced the full readiness of the Iraqi armed forces for the development of military, defense and training exchanges with Iran as well as joint exercises and sharing experience.

The two neighboring countries signed a security agreement in March after anti-Iranian terrorist groups residing in the Iraqi Kurdistan region increased their malign activities, especially in border areas.

Responding to their activities, Iran’s IRGC has launched several rounds of strikes against their positions since September last year, vowing to continue the attacks until the groups are disarmed.

Iran has, on countless occasions, warned Iraqi Kurdistan’s local authorities that it will not tolerate the presence and activity of terrorist groups along its northwestern borders, saying the country will give a decisive response should those areas become a haven for anti-Tehran terrorists.

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