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Iraq, Kurdistan region must prevent Israel, anti-Iran elements from abusing their territory against Iran: President Raeisi

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi (R) and President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Nechirvan Barzani meet in Tehran on May 6, 2024. (Photo by

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi says Tehran expects both the Iraqi central government and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government to prevent Israel and any anti-Iran elements from abusing their territory against the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian government and nation regard Iraq's security as that of their own, Raeisi said in a meeting with President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Nechirvan Barzani in Tehran on Monday.

"We are confident about the goodwill and friendship of our Iraqi and Kurdish brothers," the president said.

He noted that Iran has always stressed the significance of strengthening unity and cohesion in Iraq and supported the country during its hard times.

The Iranian president hailed efforts by the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan region to implement a security agreement with Iran and called for its full and strict implementation.

"Complete disarmament and the absence of anti-revolutionary elements in the Iraqi territory are a necessity," Raeisi emphasized.

The security agreement between Iran and Iraq entails the complete disarmament and re-location of anti-Iran terrorist groups operating in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Raeisi said Iran sees no obstacle in the way of promoting economic cooperation and trade exchanges with the Kurdistan region.

"We regard the long borders between the two sides as a valuable opportunity to improve the level of relations, but security is an essential base for any kind of cooperation or the expansion of interactions," he added.

He noted that Iran and Iraq should not allow enemies and ill-wishers to disrupt the friendly and close relations between the two countries.

Barzani, for his part, hailed the leading role played by Iran’s legendary anti-terror figure Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in boosting security in Iraq and its Kurdistan region.

The former commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) was assassinated in a drone strike authorized by then US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

Soleimani was assassinated along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and their companions.

Barzani said that the Kurdistan Regional Government regards its cooperation with Iran as a red line and will never cross it.

He emphasized that the Kurdistan Regional Government will not prefer relations with the Israeli regime, which is currently in its worst position, over its ties with a powerful and friendly country like Iran.

Barzani reiterated the Kurdistan Region's commitment to the full implementation of the Iran-Iraq security agreement.

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