Along with a political and economic delegation, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani arrived in Iran on Tuesday to hold political ad economic talks with Iranian officials.
This Tuesday morning, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani arrived in Tehran and was welcomed by Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi. Earlier last month, Raisi’s deputy chief of staff for political affairs Mohammad Jamshidi announced that the Iraqi prime minister will travel to Iran at an official invitation by the Iranian president.
During his first-time visit to Iran since he took office in October, Al-Sudani is set to hold meetings with the senior officials of the Islamic Republic. The security challenges of the two countries will be one of the top issues that al-Sudani and the Iranian authorities are supposed to talk about.
Under the Raisi administration, Iran has time and again announced that it prioritizes regional diplomacy and cooperation with neighboring countries in its foreign policy.
Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said the visit aims to “follow up on the bilateral dialogue over economic, trade and political issues.” “We hope the visit will help develop bilateral relations between the countries,” he added.
Iraq understands Iran’s security concerns
During his talks with Iran’s president, al-Sudani said that Iraq would tighten security cooperation with its neighboring Iran. “We will not allow the use of Iraqi lands to threaten Iran’s security,” al-Sudani said in a joint news conference Tuesday with Iranian President in Tehran. The two leaders further agreed to form liaison committees on border security. Al-Sudani also thanked Iran for its continued deliveries of gas and electricity, which have been in short supply in Iraq.
“Iraq’s role is key to achieve stability in the area,” Raisi said, calling al-Sudani’s first visit to Iran as premier a turning point in the two countries’ relations. Al- Sudani came to power last month, when he was nominated by the Coordination Framework, a bloc of mostly Shiite factions that holds the most seats in Parliament.
Sudani is also expected to discuss with Iranian officials’ efforts to control the border between their countries and curb the movement of Iranian opposition groups that have taken up the mountainous regions in the Kurdistan Region as a safe haven.
Since the beginning of protests in Iran, the Islamic Republic has struck northern Iraq with missiles and drones several times, most recently early last week. Iran says it is targeting Kurdish groups there that are involved in antigovernment protests sweeping across the country, particularly in the Kurdish border areas, which have experienced some of the most consistent antigovernment rallies.
God to mention that Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman whose alleged death in police custody in mid-September sparked the unrest across Iran, was born in Kurdistan. Kurdish areas on both sides of the border are home to separatist groups that Iran considers as terrorists.
Al-Sudani also met Iran’s Supreme Leader
Al-Sudani also met with the leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, this Tuesday evening. There, Iran’s Supreme Leader referred to the words of the Iraqi Prime Minister that according to the Iraqi constitution, Iraq do not allow any party to use Iraqi soil to disturb Iran’s security, and said that “unfortunately, this is happening in some areas of Iraq and the only solution is that the government of Iraq should extend its authority to those areas as well”.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution also emphasized that “of course, our view on the security of Iraq is that if any party intends to disrupt the security of Iraq, we will shield our chests in front of them and protect Iraq.”