Baghdad needs Iran's continued cooperation to uproot terrorism: Iraq Defence Minister

Agencies    31-Dec-2014

Tehran, December 31: Iraqi Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi underlined that his country needs Iran's cooperation in its ongoing fight against the Takfiri terrorists.

"We do not see any other option than cooperation and being on the same side (with Iran) to uproot the terrorists," al-Obeidi said, addressing a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan in Tehran on Tuesday.

He underlined the need for broadening defense cooperation between Baghdad and Tehran in the campaign against their common enemy.

His remarks came after he and Dehqan signed an agreement on expanding defense cooperation.

In a meeting on Tuesday with General Dehqan in Tehran, al-Obeidi described Tehran's growing military aid to Baghdad as a strategic necessity, news agency Fars reported. 

"Today, Iraq is engaged in fierce fighting in the three fronts of campaign on terrorism and corruption as well as reconstruction of the country, and we seek Iran's assistance, support and partnership in these three fronts and have pinned much hope on the Islamic Republic of Iran's positive role," Obeidi said.

"We assume Iran's increased support for the Iraqi armed forces as a strategic necessity," he added.

Obeidi appreciated Iran for its help and military advice to the Iraqi army in the past, and said, "By visiting Iran, we underscore the Iraqi government, nation and armed forces' determination to expand relations with Iran and we believe that developing ties between Iraq and Iran will benefit both nations."

Iran and Iraq have enjoyed growing ties ever since the overthrow of the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, during the 2003 US invasion of the Muslim country.

In relevant remarks in November, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi lauded Iran for its support and assistance to Baghdad in fighting terrorism, and said he would never be coaxed into destroying or undermining relations with Iran for some short-term benefits.

"I will not spoil my ties with Iran for the sake of certain sides," Abadi said in an interview with al-Mayadeen news channel.

"At present we are facing a life and death battle and Iran has stood beside us in this war," he added.

Also earlier this month, Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Brigadier General Esmayeel Qa'ani said Baghdad remained untouched by ISIL terrorist group due to Iran's support and assistance.

"The ISIL terrorists sought to surround Baghdad but they failed in reaching their ominous goals thanks to Iran's supports," Qa'ani said in North Khorassan province.

Noting that the ISIL terrorists had been left with no more command center and were searching for new shelters, he said ISIL was becoming weaker and weaker day by day and was being annihilated.