World news

Iran | Rouhani, Al-Kadhimi Underlined: Iran and Iraq, neighbors help one another in difficult times

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the governments of Iran and Iraq have decided to raise the value of annual trade exchange to $20 billion.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Iraq’s visiting prime minister in Tehran on Tuesday, President Rouhani said the Iranian and Iraqi governments have decided to raise the value of bilateral trade exchanges to $20 billion.

He also noted that the trade relations between the two neighbors have improved during the few months after Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has taken office.

The president also noted that negotiations have been held today about the health conditions across the region and the battle with coronavirus, adding, “The Islamic Republic of Iran promises the Iraqi government and nation that it will stand by the Iraqi nation with all power and capabilities, in terms of (providing) all health and pharmaceutical items.”

Rouhani also reaffirmed Iran’s readiness to support Iraq in the fight against terrorism and in ensuring regional stability.

He also paid tribute to top Iranian commander Lt. General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis for their efforts to ensure security in Iraq, lauding them as “two heroes of the fight against terrorism” who were martyred in a US airstrike.

Rouhani finally noted that the Iraqi premier’s visit to Iran will be a milestone in the relations between the two friendly and brotherly neighbors.

For his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said that the regional states should work together to find a comprehensive solution to address regional challenges and problems.

Al-Kadhimi added that his visit is aimed at strengthening historic ties between the two countries at a time when challenges, including Coronavirus pandemic and falling oil prices facing the region.

In the wake of such challenges, the two countries need coordination in such a way to ensure their interests, he said, noting that relations between Iran and Iraq are not only due to the geographical proximity of the two countries and the 1,450 kilometres of common border, but these historical, cultural and religious relations are deep-rooted and historic.

Iran was one of the first countries to stand by Iraq on this path, and it will not forget this. That is why Iraq is standing alongside Iran to overcome economic challenges, and Iraq has become a major market for Iranian goods, he said.

He underlined that Iraq will never allow any aggression and threat be posed against Iran from its soil.

"We consider Iran a stable, powerful and prosperous country and this is a reality which is in the interest of Iraq and entire region," he said, noting that Iraq should also be strong and stable to be able to serve as supporter for the neighbors and neighboring states in establishing peace and stability across the region.

Heading a ranking political and economic delegation, Iraqi Prime Minister Kadhimi arrived in Tehran on Tuesday before travelling to the US.