Iran and Russia have agreed to jointly help Iraq combat terrorism, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says.
“Tehran and Moscow firmly support Iraq in its fight against terrorism and will strongly stand by the Iraqi nation and government to protect Iraq’s unity, independence and territorial integrity,” Amir-Abdollahian said in an interview with Iran’s al-Alam Arabic-language news channel.
He added that Iran and Russia both oppose any conspiracy for the disintegration of Iraq into smaller entities.
The top Iranian diplomat further said, “Tehran and Moscow have close and in many cases common and coordinated stance on regional developments.”
Iran and Russia believe that Iraq, along with its fight against terrorism, should seriously focus on completing the political process in the country for convening the parliament to form a government.
The first session of Iraq’s newly elected parliament was adjourned on July 1 for a week without choosing a new speaker after Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the session over their conflicts with other lawmakers.
The members of parliament are tasked with naming a new unity government. After choosing the parliament speaker, the lawmaker will have to pick the Iraqi president as well as the prime minister within 45 days.
Incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is bidding for a third term, despite stiff opposition from his key rivals.
On the future of Iraq, Abdollahian said Tehran will respect and support any coalition formed by Maliki’s State of Law coalition, which won the most parliamentary seats in recent elections.
“If Maliki is introduced as the prime minister and this agreement is reached inside Iraq, we will strongly support him; and if any individual other than Maliki is elected and approved within the framework of the recent election’s outcome, he too will be supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he reiterated, adding, “This is an entirely internal issue for Iraq.”
Iraq is currently witnessing a wave of violence, which escalated after militants from the ISIL terrorist group took control of large swathes of the country, including key cities last month.
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