Iranian president and Iraqi prime minister vow to fight ‘terror’
On Tuesday, Tehran and Baghdad agreed that the new Iraqi prime minister’s first official visit to Iran should focus on enhancing economic relations, preventing “terrorism,” and ensuring shared security.
President Ebrahim Raisi welcomed Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani and stressed the desire to improve relations after recent tensions over Iran’s cross-border attacks on opposition organizations in exile.
After a year-long struggle between political parties to create a government following a general election in October 2021, Al-Sudani took office last month.
Security, peace, cooperation, and regional stability are crucial from both our and the Iraqi government’s perspectives, Raisi said during a joint press conference.
Therefore, he continued, “the struggle against terrorist organisations, organised crime, drugs, and other forms of instability that threaten the region depends on the shared will of our two countries.”
According to Al-Sudani, “no group or party will be permitted to utilize Iraqi territory to undermine and disturb Iran’s security.”
Iranian officials have charged Kurdish opposition groups in exile in northern Iraq with inciting the unrest since the country’s widespread protests began more than two months ago, and the Islamic republic has frequently carried out lethal cross-border attacks.
Even after Iraq’s federal government summoned Iran’s ambassador in late September to express its displeasure over cross-border missile and drone strikes that claimed at least seven lives, such strikes — which targeted Iranian-Kurdish groups in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq — continued this month.
Tehran has applauded Iraq’s recent announcement that it will reassign federal guards to the border between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran rather than delegating the task to Kurdish peshmerga soldiers.
In order to “create a workable framework for on-the-ground coordination to avoid any escalation,” Al-Sudani continued, the national security advisers of the two nations will meet.