No limitations to promotion of Iran, Iraq ties: supreme leader
TEHRAN, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Thursday that there is no limitations to promotion of ties between Iran and Iraq.
Tehran and Baghdad can work together closely in a wide range of areas, and there are no limitations to the increase of reciprocal ties as well as regional cooperation, Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with the visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
One of the areas of mutual cooperation would be to share Iran's scientific experiences with Iraq, Khamenei was quoted as saying by Press TV.
The Iranian leader praised what he called the performance of the Iraqi government in the country over the past years.
"The efforts you are making for your country today are invaluable. Of course, Iraq has still far more needs" to be met, he added.
The Iraqi minister expressed hope that his talks with the Iranian officials during the current visit would lead to the expansion of mutual ties in various fields.
Also, Iranian first vice president Es'haq Jahangiri said in Wednesday meeting with Maliki that Tehran and Baghdad played a determining role in the reinforcement of regional peace and stability, Press TV reported.
Terrorist groups seek to disturb peace in the Middle East to harm regional countries, he said, alluding to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
Iran is ready to help Iraq rebuild the country, Jahangiri said, adding that there are good opportunities for Iranian businessmen to invest in Iraq's oil and gas, housing, development and trade projects.
The Iraqi official welcomed the contribution of Iranian firms to the reconstruction of his country. Iran-Iraq trade currently stands at about 3 billion U.S. dollars, which could even reach 15 billion dollars, said Maliki.
He underlined the need for security cooperation between Iran and Iraq in the fight against terrorism in the region.
Maliki arrived in Tehran on Wednesday for an official visit. During his visit, Maliki exchanged views on the latest regional and international developments with senior Iranian officials and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties in various sectors.
The U.S. removal of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003, and the ensuing rise of Iraqi Shiites helped by Iran, created a new dynamic between two the neighbors. The two nations, which fought each other in the 1980s, have re-established close ties.