373 words - September 11, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif left Tehran for Baghdad, capital of Iraq, on September 8 to hold talks with senior Iraqi officials. Mr. Zarif has met with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, President Jalal Talabani, and Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi during his day-long stay in the country.
In a recent meeting with Under-Secretary-General for political affairs Jeffrey Feltman in Tehran, Mr. Zarif had warned that the consequences of spread of violence and extremism in the region could affect other parts of the world. The recent outbreak of violence in Iraq correlated with events in Syria, said experts. According to Prime Minister al-Maliki, "the wave of terrorist attacks has been a spillover of the Syrian conflict," something which the Iranian authorities had put forward as the direct consequence of what they have been denouncing as "foreign interference in Syria's internal affairs."
During talks with Mr. Zebari, Mr. Zarif worried about a number of countries threatening to launch military intervention in Syria. "We are glad that the high ranking Iraqi officials share the same viewpoints as the Iranians on ethnic strife and extremism, as well as the perils of foreign military intervention in Syria, and we should thus do all our best to refrain from the outbreak of another war in the region," said Mr. Zarif. From a diplomatic viewpoint, Mr. Zarif dared an unexpected rapprochement when he drew a parallel between Iran and Iraq as both victims of the usage of chemical weapons, this way condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria without holding the Assad regime responsible for it.
Also, Mr. Zarif announced Iran's readiness for "broadening comprehensive bilateral cooperation" with Iraq and underlined the "existing potentials in economic, trade, border cooperation, energy transfer lines and engineering projects." Mr. Zebari agreed there is need for expansion of bilateral relations, in line with "securing mutual interests." A decade after the US-led dismantlement of former President Saddam Hussein's regime, Iran sees Iraq's stability as a top priority of its foreign policy, up to the point that Iran "considers the security and development of Iraq as the security and development of (its) own country," said Mr. Zarif.
Parts of or the whole information published on this page is likely to originate from Official Institutions like Governments, Ministries, Embassies and States. Its reproduction on this page does not constitute any endorsement from DiploNews and any of its affiliates and/or partners. If titles are sometimes modified for better understanding, the contents are reproduced exactly as delivered by the institution that first published it. To know the exact origin, click on 'view original source' at the end of the page. All information that originates from DiploNews is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without written express authorization from DiploNews.