Kharrazi says Iran has always prevented arms smuggling to Iraq
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Ilam, May 19, IRNA
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Wednesday that Tehran has always prevented arms smuggling from its territory to Iraq.
Iraqi State Television quoted Kharrazi as saying that Iran has on many numerous cases before prevented arms smugglers to infiltrate Iraq to bolster its own as well as Iraqi security.
"We have arrested many arms smugglers who had tried to enter Iran," he added
"We will cooperate with Iraq as much as we can on border control," the Iranian foreign minister added.
Kharrazi has on past occasions said that if Iran had been careless to control its borders then the situation in Iraq would have been much worse.
Foreign ministers of Iran and Iraq discussed bilateral relations during the first round of their talks in Baghdad on Tuesday.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari welcomed his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi's long-awaiting visit to Baghdad stressing that the visit had a "great political message".
"This is the first visit to Iraq by the foreign minister of an Islamic state," Zebari said noting that the visit indicated the consolidation of relations between the two neighboring states.
Expressing hope that Kharrazi's visit would open new chapters in Tehran-Baghdad relations, Zebari said that Iran is the great neighbor of Iraq and Baghdad "needs Tehran's assistance."
Expressing satisfaction over his visit to Iraq, Kharrazi, for his part, said that the two capitals should try to revive the old roots of their friendship which had been destroyed during the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Iran has always been by the side of the Iraqi nation during their dark days under Saddam's regime, Kharrazi noted adding, but Tehran did not also support US interference in Iraq or the way it toppled Saddam's regime.
He voiced Tehran's readiness to extend its "honest" support and cooperation to the nation of Iraq as well as its government.
Kharrazi expressed hope that all regional states would also support the newly-elected government of Iraq.
Noting that democracy was a "new experience" in Iraq, Kharrazi stressed that Tehran and Baghdad could play a key role in the region and in the Islamic world as well.
::IRNA No.004 19/05/2005 00:29 --End
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