Iran has been a loyal neighbor and Baghdad would not allow any threats originating from its soil against other neighboring states, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein told his Iranian counterpart during their meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.

Hussein travelled to Tehran on Wednesday, accompanied by Iraqi National Security Advisor Qasem al-Araji to discuss bilateral relations, regional issues, and Baghdad’s role in facilitating dialogue between Tehran and Riyadh.

“The security of Iran and Iraq are dependent on each other and Iraq will not allow threats to originate from its soil against its neighbors,” Hussein told his Iranian counterpart, according to Iran official state media. “Fuad Hussein in this meeting said the relations between Iran and Iraq were intertwined and referred to Iran as a loyal neighbor,” IRNA added.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian echoed the sentiment expressed by his Iraqi counterpart. “Iran will not accept to be threatened from its own borders by the US, the Zionist regime, terrorist elements and separatists and for its security to be endangered,” Abdollahian was quoted as saying by IRNA.

On the same day that the foreign ministers met, an attempt was reportedly made on the life of an Iranian official in the Kadhimiya neighborhood in Baghdad, according to IRNA, with his American SUV being peppered with bullets.

This was followed by threats made by the commander of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Wednesday against the US for the killing of General Qasem Soleimani, the forces’ former commander, in January 2020.

Commander Mohammed Pakpour said that Soleimani’s status and character were so great that even if all the leaders of the US were killed, it would not avenge the blood of Soleimani. “We need to continue Haj Qasem’s [Soleimani] path and resort to other ways to avenge the blood of Martyr Soleimani,” semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Pakpour as saying. “Following the IRGC operation in Ain al-Assad, actions were taken against the Zionist regime and the Americans which were heavy and decisive blows,” he continued.

“We are united in our resolve against threats and provocations, and we will work with partners and allies around the world and in the region to deter and to respond to any attacks that may be carried out by Iran,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Wednesday in response to the IRGC threat. “The vast majority of the sanctions that we have imposed…on Iran have been imposed on the IRGC. We are committed to seeing to it, using every appropriate tool, that we respond to, that we deter, the malicious activity that the IRGC engages in.”

Iran fired around a dozen ballistic missiles in early March at the outskirts of Erbil, allegedly targeting an Israeli base which the Kurdish authorities vehemently rejected, and even invited the Iranian side to visit the site of the attack.

Iran has tried to act as an intermediary to resolve the regional issues between long-term foes Iran and Saudi Arabia. Hussein expressed hope that the current hiatus between the two sides would end and both parties would return to the negotiating table.

The Iraqi foreign ministry released a statement commenting on the trip and said that both parties discussed various issues including the Iran nuclear deal, the war in Ukraine, and bilateral ties between the two countries.

Since the toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime, Iraq has become a top destination for Iranian goods. Over the past year, Iraq was the top destination for Iranian goods at $8.9 billion followed by Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, which stood at 6.1 billion and 4.9 billion respectively. Iraqi exports to Iran stood at 1.2 billion dollars.

Source » rudaw