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Iran Press TV

Supporting Iraqi nation, government Iran's principled policy: Iran's defense chief

Iran Press TV

Thu Jul 4, 2019 01:57PM

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami says supporting the Iraqi nation and government constitutes a "principled policy" of the Islamic Republic.

"We consider Iraq's security, stability, and advancement to be beneficial for the [entire] region, and have invariably defended it," Hatami told his Iraqi counterpart, Najah Hassan Ali al-Shamma, on the phone on Thursday.

Iran's defense chief was speaking to Shamma to congratulate his recent appointment as the Arab country's most ranking defense official.

Relations between the two countries' armed forces have grown in synergy, affinity, trust, and amity, Hatami said and hoped that the bilateral defensive ties would further develop during Shamma's incumbency.

Iraq should be proud of its armed forces as they sealed an epic victory in defeating terrorist groups to restore stability and security to the country, which would go down in history, the Iranian defense chief noted.

Hatami called Iraq a "friendly" neighboring country, which enjoys numerous and deep-rooted religious and social commonalities with the Islamic Republic.

Over the past decade, the countries' bilateral ties have assumed an "exemplary" state thanks to the Iranian and Iraqi leaders' common will and understanding, he stated.

Shamma, for his part, voiced gratitude towards the Islamic Republic for its military advisory support for Baghdad's counter-terror operations. He said the neighbors shared many interests and that their security was interdependent.

Iran notably ramped up its defensive cooperation with Iraq in 2014, when the latter fell prey to a campaign of bloodshed and destruction by the Takfiri terror group of Daesh.

Last month, the visiting deputy commander of the Iraqi Army, Tariq Abbas Ibrahim Abdulhussein, called for enhanced cooperation with Iran in the area of air defense, days after Tehran successfully thwarted an American spying mission by downing a sophisticated surveillance drone over Iranian territorial waters.

He made the request to the Iranian Army's Air Defense Force, Brigadier General Alireza Sabahi-Fard, who expressed Tehran's "complete readiness to meet Iraq's defensive needs in all areas of expertise concerning manufacturing and supporting air defense systems."

In April, Iran's top military commander said the countries had agreed to cooperate in the area of air defense to fend off the challenges facing their respective air spaces.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri made the announcement to reporters following a meeting in Tehran with his visiting Iraqi counterpart, Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanimi.

The meeting addressed "the integrated defense of Iran and Iraq's skies, because we might sense threats coming from the direction of [our] western borders," Baqeri noted back then.

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