TEHRAN, Nov. 16 (MNA) -- Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani said here on Wednesday that the establishment of security in Iraq would help boost security in Iran.

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Mouwafak al-Rabii, Larijani said that diplomatic means must be used to overcome insecurities in Iraq caused by the presence of certain foreign forces in the country.

 

“The security of Iraq is certainly related to the security of Iran,” he underlined, adding, “Iran has always made efforts to establish security in Iraq so that Iranian pilgrims would also be able to visit the country with ease.”

 

On the accusations that Iran is interfering in Iraqi affairs, Larijani said countries that make such claims have become concerned about the security situation in the Middle East despite the fact that they have yielded to U.S. unilateralism.

 

“We have to realize that the Americans are not seeking permanent regional security. Sustainable security depends upon unity among regional states.”

 

Referring to the longstanding cultural ties between Iran and Iraq, Larijani noted that Tehran and Baqdad, as “natural allies”, should outline their common strategic goals.

 

“The two countries have very similar expectations concerning the establishment of regional security.”

 

Larijani recalled the damage inflicted upon Iran during the reign of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, expressing satisfaction over the current turn of events in Iraq.

 

He also expressed hope that the two countries would resolve their problems and outline strategic ties in various fields including the economy, diplomacy, and security.

 

For his part, al-Rabii told reporters that Iraq also believes regional security must be established by regional states.

 

“In this way, both terrorism and religious extremism will be eradicated,” he added.

 

Asked about the measures Iraq has taken to control the country’s borders and to prevent insurgents from entering Iran, al-Rabii said Iraq is making serious efforts to prevent illegal entries into Iran and expects the same approach from the Iranian side.

 

The Iraqi official stressed the necessity for the formation of a regional security system, adding that Iraq has agreed with Iran to form the nucleus of this system and believes this action would leave the foreigners no pretext to remain in Iraq and the region.

 

Expressing optimism about the prospects for further development of Iran-Iraq strategic ties, al-Rabii said that the security of the Islamic Republic is the security of Iraq and that the two countries are on the same front.

 

He stated that Iraq is interested in exchanging information and establishing security ties with Iran, adding that pursuing agreements made during Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari’s trip to Iran was one of the issues on his agenda.

 

Referring to the Iraqi government’s decision to expel members of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) from Iraq, al-Rabii said, “MKO members must hand over their weapons. They’re not even allowed to use food ration cards.”

 

He stated that Iraq would not forget the MKO’s support for Saddam during the 1991 massacre of Iraqi Kurds, adding that some members of the MKO would be repatriated to Iran through the auspices of the Red Crescent.

 

“We are seeking various ways to resolve the issue. We will not allow the MKO to conduct political, propaganda, or cultural activities on Iraqi soil and have reassured the Islamic Republic that this group cannot make any moves against Iran.”

 

Al-Rabii arrived in Iran on Wednesday, heading a 13-member delegation of high-ranking officials including Iraqi Security Minister Abdul Karim al-Inizi.

 

Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki also held a meeting with al-Rabii on Wednesday, during which he said that the Islamic Republic of Iran places great emphasis on the national unity and territorial integrity of Iraq.

 

The Iraqi people are capable of dealing with their own affairs without the interference of foreign forces, Mottaki stressed.

 

For his part, al-Rabii noted that stability in Iraq guarantees stability in the region, adding that Iraqi officials are making serious efforts to establish security in the country.  

 

HL/HG

End

 

MNA  

News Code 13883

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