Baghdad will not allow terrorists to use Iraq as a base to attack Iran

TEHRAN, May 20 (MNA) -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari has said that Baghdad will not allow terrorists to use its territory as a staging ground for attacks on Iran.

“It is incumbent upon Iraqi Kurdistan to not (allow itself) to be at the disposal of those who take measures against Iran and Turkey,” he said during a press conference with his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki on Tuesday in Tehran.


Commenting on the recent remarks of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Zebari stated, “We have discussed the efforts of the United States (in recruiting) terrorists with them and condemn (these efforts).”


Ayatollah Khamenei said on Tuesday, “We have precise information that on the other side of our western border, the United States, through gathering information, spending money, and providing arms, is organizing plots and training terrorists.”


Zebari also expressed satisfaction with the current level of relations between Iran and Iraq. “We are living in a region where we have a common destiny and Iranian officials have always stated that the security of the region (depends) on the security of Iraq. We ask the Islamic Republic of Iran and neighboring countries to continue supporting Iraq and (efforts to) establish security (in the country).”


On the Iraq-U.S. security pact, he said, “This agreement will be implemented completely, and there will be no (security) vacuum because the Iraqi government and nation and their security forces have the ability to fill any possible vacuum.”


Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iraqi foreign minister condemned the recent terror attacks in Iraq. “Terrorist groups and extremists have targeted Iranian pilgrims, (but) Iraqi officials are trying to eradicate terrorism in Iraq.”


In a recent wave of bloody attacks across Iraq, many people, including 70 Iranian pilgrims, were killed.


The Iranian foreign minister expressed satisfaction over the talks with his Iraqi counterpart.


“During today’s negotiations, we reviewed the two countries’ political and economic relations, international cooperation, and some of the developments over the past few months,” Mottaki explained.


Pointing to the recent terrorist attacks in Iraq, Mottaki said he urged Zebari to seriously pursue the issue and to make sure the culprits do not go unpunished.


He also asked the Iraqi government to help out in the case of the Iranian diplomats detained by the U.S. in Iraq.


“We have asked (our) Iraqi friends to make every effort to obtain the release of the Iranian diplomats.”


The U.S. military detained five Iranian diplomats in the city of Irbil, 310 kilometers (190 miles) north of Baghdad, in January 2007.





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