Baghdad, Tehran- Iraq and Iran signed on Sunday several deals aimed at boosting their military cooperation during the visit of Iraqi Defense Minister Irfan al-Hayali to Tehran where he met with his Iranian counterpart minister Hossein Dehghan.
“Extending cooperation and exchanging experiences in fighting terrorism and extremism, border security, and educational, logistical, technical and military support are among the provisions of this memorandum,” IRNA reported after the signing of the accord in Tehran.
Also during his stay in Tehran, Al-Hiyali, who was leading a military delegation, met separately with parliament speaker Ali Larijani and Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, AFP reported on Sunday.
Larijani and Shamkhani both emphasized the importance of “unity” between the two countries, while Larijani informed al-Hayali about the importance of preserving Iraqi unity “because if it wasn’t for the emergence of political differences, ISIS would not have been able to penetrate there.”
For his part, Shamkhani warned that “secessionist approaches can become a platform… to prepare the ground for insecurity and instability,” in a reference to the decision of Iraq’s Kurdistan region to hold an independence referendum next September.
Iran opposes that an Iraqi Kurdish region become an independent state.
And contrary to the echoes left by the visit of Iraqi Interior Minister Qassem al-Araji to Saudi Arabia lately, observers noticed that the Iraqi defense ministry has not issued an official statement on its website concerning the visit of its minister to Iran.
Hakem al-Zameli, head of the Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee, said on Sunday that al-Hayali informed members of the Committee that his visit aims at improving relations between both countries considering that Iran is an axial state in the region.
Al-Zameli said he believes that the visit of the defense minister to Iran aims at providing logistic support for the Iraqi forces rather than being related to the war against ISIS.