TEHRAN, Nov. 15 (Press Shia) – Head of Iran’s Strategic Research Center Ali Akbar Velayati said Iran would confront any divisive act in the region by any foreign state.
Velayati, who is also senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution on International Affairs, made the remarks in a meeting with Hervé Morin, and former French minister of defense and Leader of the New Center Party, here on Tuesday.
Iran and France have a long history of strategic ties in the fields of culture and civilization dating back to centuries ago, Velayati noted, saying the exchange of views on international and regional issues is a necessity for the development of ties between the two countries. “It seems that what is happening in our region is more sensitive than other areas of the world due to its geopolitical and geostrategic position of our region,” Velayati underlined.
In response to Morin’s questions on Iraq, Velayati stressed that peace and stability in the region depends more on Iran-Iraq relations. “Iraqi government has invited Iran to help them fight against terrorism and Iran has given positive response to their demands; this is in the context of close and brotherly relations between the two and is quite normal.”
He quoted Foreign Minister Zarif’s famous response to his American counterpart John Kerry who told Dr. Zarif that Iran provides military aids to Iraq. Zarif in response said “if we did not help Iraq, you were able to contact with leaders of ISIL in Baghdad instead of Mosul.”
Velayati added that US officials have acknowledged Iran’s role saying “without the help of Iran, ISIL could be dominant on Baghdad.”
He underlined that the Islamic Republic seeks to defend and protect Iraq’s territorial integrity.
Three groups of Shias, Kurds and Sunnis live together in Iraq for years and centuries; despite American officials’ remarks that Iraq should be divided into three parts, we announced our entire disagreement with the issue and will stand against these detrimental acts, he added.
“Any external factor pursuing separatist policies in the region will face Iran’s opposition; accordingly, Iran’s advisory presence in Iraq is to confront separatist measures and fight with terrorists in Iraq,” Velayati noted.