TEHRAN – Iran and Iraq have sealed an agreement to boost military cooperation and to battle against “terrorism and extremism”, Iranian media has reported.
The memorandum of understanding on defence and cooperation was signed Sunday during a meeting between Iraqi DDefenceminister Major General Erfan al-Hiyali and his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan.
A delegation of high-ranking Iraqi military officials had arrived in Tehran Saturday.
“The expansion of cooperation and sharing experiences in the fields of fight against terrorism and extremism, border security, training, logistics, technical and military supports were included” in the memorandum, the IRNA news agency reported.
The two ministers further expressed hope that the agreement will lead to more serious and deep collaboration between Tehran and Baghdad.
The Iraqi defense minister also thanked Iran for its help in fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) adding, that the Iraqi Army will respond “to any aggression and occupation of its territory and will not permit formation of new seditions and breach of law aimed at partitioning of the country.”
Al-Hiyali also stressed the crucial role of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militia in the liberation of Mosul, stressing that “nobody is permitted to dismiss popular forces because they act based on law,” according to IRNA.
His remarks mirror those of Iraq’s Vice President Nouri al-Maliki in an interview given to Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency earlier this week.
“The main credit [in the Mosul victory] goes to the Iraqi soldiers, people’s militia, Iraqi air force,” al-Maliki underlined.
He added that he “regrets and denies [Americans] claiming the victory [in Mosul] is their achievement” which Washington now plans to use as a way to establish military bases on Iraqi territory in order to maintain influence in the region.