TEHRAN (Iran News) – On Wednesday, the Iranian president named Iraq a good friend and neighbor, stating that Tehran and Baghdad can play an important role in regional developments. In a telephone conversation with Iraqi President Barham Salih, Rouhani also noted that the U.S. presence in Iraq has not helped stabilize the region.
Rouhani also congratulated the government and people of the neighboring Muslim country on the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan.
The president also reiterated the Islamic Republic’s support for stability, security, independence and territorial integrity in Iraq.
“Strengthening the independence and authority of Iraq and the promotion of the regional and international position of this country is special to us.”
Rouhani said that Iran considers the security of Iraq as its own security.
He added, “We oppose any foreign intervention in the internal affairs of Iraq and we consider it to the detriment of this country and the whole region. We believe that security in the region should be provided by the countries themselves.”
The president also said the United States has always left a legacy of destruction in the West Asia region.
“The Americans have always played a destructive role in the region, and the presence of American troops in the region is not helping to bring peace,” he said
The Americans are playing a hypocritical role in the fight against terrorism and their actions on the Iraqi-Syrian border are “ambiguous”, Rouhani remarked.
Rouhani continued the conversation by emphasizing the need to accelerate the implementation of previous agreements, including the Shalamcheh-Basra railway project and the connection of the two countries’ railways.
He remarked, “Iran and Iraq can, given their economic potential, as two supplementary economies work together and increase the volume of exchanges and trade relations by strengthening freight and transit cooperation.”
In the telephone conversation, Salih also congratulated the government and people of Iran on the holy month of Ramadan, calling the relations with the Islamic Republic “strategic and developing”.
Pointing to the long-standing cultural and historical commonalities between the two countries, the Iraqi president emphasized relations in all fields, especially economic and trade relations.
President Salih noted, “The Iraqi government is determined to seriously pursue and implement all agreements in various fields between the two countries, which will be in the interests of both countries and the region.”
Salih also stressed on the importance of establishing peace and stability in the region and cooperation of all neighboring countries to achieve this goal.
“The decision of the Iraqi government to end the presence of foreign troops in this country is serious and continuous strategic negotiations in this regard have been done with the Americans that will continue until the final result is achieved,” the Iraqi president stated.
In continuation of his regional consultations, President Rouhani had a phone conversation with the Emir of Qatar on Tuesday night. The two sides congratulated each other on the holy month of Ramadan, and stressed the need to develop Tehran-Doha relations in all fields, with a particular reference to the economic and financial relations.
Rouhani also said the Americans should have known by now that the path of pressure and sanction against Iran is not a correct path.
“The Americans should return to the nuclear deal between the seven countries and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231,” calling it “the only solution” to revitalize the 2015 nuclear accord.
For his part, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani expressed his support for dialogue and negotiations to solve the problems and hoped that all parties of the JCPOA would return to their obligations and revive the international and multilateral deal.