Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has expressed his delight at the current visit by Iraqi President Barham Salih and his accompanying delegation to Tehran, saying Iran and Iraq are committed to win-win cooperation.
"Constructive exchanges on next steps to work together towards regional peace & security," Zarif said in a post on his official Twitter account on Saturday.
"Strong, shared commitment to win-win in all neighborly relations. Our priority is our region," he added.
Salih arrived in Tehran on Saturday at the head of a delegation for a two-day visit, which comes at a sensitive time when the US is pressuring regional countries to go along with Washington in “squeezing” Iran under new sanctions unveiled early this month.
But Iraqi officials have protested to the dictate and underlined Iran’s importance, including its place as the top trade partner of the Arab country.
The newly-elected Iraqi president said on November 11 that it was in his country’s best interests to have “good and stable relations” with Iran, urging the US to consider Baghdad’s political and economic position in talks about imposed sanctions on Iran.
“Iran is a neighboring country and our interest lies in having good and stable relations with Iran,” Salih said while speaking to reporters during a visit to Kuwait.
US, allies will fail to harm Iran-Iraq relations: Shamkhani
During a meeting with the visiting Iraqi president, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said Tehran and Baghdad enjoyed broad and strategic relations in various political, economic, social and cultural sectors.
"Different plots by the US and some reactionary countries in the region to harm cordial relations between the two nations will lead nowhere," Shamkhani said.
He added that the US was making constant efforts to support the remnants of terrorist groups in Iraq, saying, "Now that a US strategy to use terrorism as a tool in order to destroy the great potentiality and capacities of regional countries has failed, Washington seeks to use the lever of sanctions and exert direct pressure on independent countries."
The SNSC secretary added that Iran had always stood by Iraqi people without any expectation and emphasized that the Islamic Republic's policy was to firmly support Iraqis' demands and tap into common political, economic, cultural and security capacities for the sake of Iraq's development, particularly after the country's victory against terrorism.
Shamkhani added that nothing should hinder the growing relations between Iran and Iraq in all fields.
The Iraqi president, for his part, said his country was sensitive about measures against regional security and destructive moves by some regional countries aimed at causing instability and insecurity in Iraq or weakening nations by imposing illegal sanctions against them.
Iraq would firmly counter any move which would harm unity between the two countries, Salih added.
He also emphasized that Iraq would not allow anyone to use his country to endanger Iran's interests.
In an earlier meeting with Salih, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei slammed foreign meddling in Iraq, saying the Arab country must stand firm against its enemies.
"The way to overcome problems and counter ill-wishers' plots is to preserve national unity in Iraq, properly recognize friends from foes, stand up to the brazen enemy, rely on youths and maintain and strengthen links with the [clerical] sources [of emulation]," the Leader said.