Iran and Iraq on Sunday signed deals aimed at boosting military
cooperation during a visit by Baghdad’s Defence Minister Irfan Al-Hayali
In a memorandum of understanding signed by Hayali
and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehghan, the neighbours agreed on a
"wide range of military and defence cooperation” including the "fight
against terrorism and extremism,” state news agency IRNA reported.
who was leading a military delegation, also met separately with
parliament speaker Ali Larijani and Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s
Supreme National Security Council.
Larijani and Shamkhani emphasised the importance of "unity”.
supports the unity of all groups and ethnicities in Iraq,” the state
broadcaster’s website quoted Larijani as telling Hayali.
also underlined the importance of preserving Iraqi unity "because if it
wasn’t for the emergence of political differences, the (Daesh group)
would not have been able to penetrate there”.
The Iraqi minister acknowledged Iran’s help in the fight against Daesh and also stressed the importance of unity.
Iraq’s Kurdistan region has announced it will hold an independence referendum in September.
"We will not let any political side disintegrate Iraq,” Hayali said.
his talks with Hayali, Shamkhani warned that "secessionist approaches
can become a platform... to prepare the ground for insecurity and
Tehran has been a key supporter of Baghdad in its fight against Daesh and has provided Iraq with financial and military help.