Iraq-based Muslim religious leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani appreciated Iran for its firm stance in support of Iraq’s war on Takfiri terrorist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“Ayatollah Sistani thanked Iran for standing beside the Iraqi government’s campaign against the ISIL and supporting Iraq,” Iraqi Ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Majid Sheikh was quoted as saying by al-Soumariya News on Monday.
During the meeting, Zarif called for the partnership of all political streams in future Iraqi government, and said Tehran supports the political trend in Iraq.
He also underlined Tehran’s full back-up for Iraq’s war on terrorism.
Zarif arrived in the holy city of Najaf on Monday to exchange views with Ayatollah al-Sisitani and discuss ways to soothe the ongoing crisis in the Muslim country.
Zarif arrived in Baghdad on Sunday to meet the country’s new cabinet members to felicitate them on their appointment and start of work and discuss bilateral and regional developments as well as the latest security conditions in Iraq.
Senior Iranian officials congratulated Al-Abadi and the Iraqi nation on his appointment as the new premier last week and expressed their support for the new government.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei hailed the appointment of the new Iraqi premier, saying that enemies’ plot to push Iraq into further chaos through political disputes over premiership would be foiled once the new cabinet starts work.
Following Iran’s approach, Iraq’s incumbent Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki also dropped his bid and voiced support for al-Abadi in a show of unity which is much needed in the crisis-hit country which has come under a surge of terrorist attacks by savage Takfiri terrorists of the ISIL in the last few months.
Iran and Iraq have enjoyed growing ties ever since the overthrow of the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, during the 2003 US invasion of the Muslim country.
Iraq’s Foreign Minister Houshyar Zebari was in Tehran in February. During his stay in the Iranian capital, Zebari and Zarif discussed mutual cooperation on economy and trade as well as joint efforts to address environmental issues.