TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi hailed Iraq’s success to weather security crises and defeat terrorism, saying the time has come to concentrate on social and cultural programs in the Arab country.

Following the success to overcome the security crises, Iraqi officials should now pay more attention to the cultural and social programs to train the country’s young generation and prepare resourceful young managers for various roles, Ayatollah Shahroudi said on Monday.

He made the comments in a meeting with former prime minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki, held in Baghdad and attended by Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei.

Promoting cultural programs in Iraq, strengthening cultural institutions and developing international cooperation to counter hostile plots would help stabilize Iraq’s soft power and protect its spiritual assets that contribute to national unity, the senior Iranian cleric added.

Speaking at the meeting, Mohsen Rezaei warned against US and Israeli schemes for “infiltration” into Iraq through non-governmental organizations.

For his part, Maliki praised Iran’s supports for his country. 

He said one of the Iraqi government’s main strategies is to improve the infrastructures and repair cultural and social damages.

Maliki also voiced Iraq’s readiness to attract investment from Iran and work with Iranian economic activists in different projects.

The chairman and secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council have held meetings with several top Iraqi officials, including government and religious authorities, over the past days.