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Baghdad – London – Fadhel al-Nashmi

Thursday, 28 April, 2022

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi with Iraqi Speaker Mohammad al-Halbousi in Tehran (EPA)

The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, has warned that Tehran would react swiftly and decisively to any action to harm his country’s security from Iraqi territory.

Shamkhani spoke during his reception of the Iraqi Speaker, Mohammad al-Halbousi, who arrived on his first visit to Tehran since he was elected for a second term in January.

The Speaker and the accompanying delegation met with senior officials in Tehran, including President Ebrahim Raisi.

Shamkhani addressed the “unacceptable” moves made from inside Iraqi soil against Iran’s security, stressing that Tehran adopts a conscious approach to threats and “fully monitors meddlesome activities of the Zionist regime, the US, and their affiliated currents and will react swiftly and decisively to any action meant to harm the security of Iran and the region.”

Halbousi announced that the Iraqi parliament is preparing a plan to criminalize cooperation and relations with Israel to prevent any possible steps from normalizing ties with the regime.

He described the ongoing dialogue and cooperation between the main religious and ethnic groups in Iraq as a condition for forming an effective and strong government in this country.

“Iran can play an important role in creating political cohesion in this country because of its moral influence among some religious and political groups in Iraq,” said Halbousi.

Halbousi said, during a press conference that he held with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, that the parliaments represent the peoples and strive to strengthen everything that can be reflected on their people.

He referred to the relations between the two countries, saying they are intertwined and that the “stability of Iran reflects positively on Iraq” and vice versa.

He stressed the respect for the other countries’ sovereignty and the development of the ties between the regional countries.

Halbousi stressed the importance of having common positions for regional countries in the international parliament because they face common challenges.

Iran faces economic problems and sanctions, said Halbousi, adding that Iraq has been under terrorist attacks and faced global crises and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

He continued that it is not acceptable to impose sanctions on people, nor should it be intimidated by empowering armed gangs aspiring better future and relations.

Halbousi hoped parliaments in both countries would take their role by pushing the government forward and removing the obstacles that faced previous governments.

The head of the State of Law coalition, led by Nouri al-Maliki, announced he objected to the delegation that accompanied the Speaker in his visit to Tehran.

In a statement, the head of the parliamentary bloc, Atwan al-Atwani, opposed the “discrimination” in choosing the delegation accompanying the Speaker on his visit, saying it was not based on professionalism and parliamentary benefits.

Atwani added that members of the parliament presidency were not aware of the visit, hoping it would not establish personal interests.

Observers expect the visit to focus on the stalled government for more than six months, given Tehran’s influence with most political forces and close relations, namely the “Shiite Coordination Framework.”

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Minister of Electricity, Adel Karim, met the Iranian Oil Minister, Javad Oji, in Tehran.

The meeting addressed the development and consolidation of relations in energy and equipping the Ministry of Electricity with the necessary gas to operate the power plants ahead of summer 2022, according to a statement issued by the Ministry.

The statement stated that the meeting was characterized by a positive atmosphere and the talks were productive to a large extent.

The statement indicated that “the two parties agreed to reach mutually satisfactory solutions regarding legal obligations and prices, and to pay the values of the supplied fuel, according to a mechanism that ensures the flow of processing during 2022.”

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