TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani referred to engagement of popular forces in defending Iraq as the only approach for ensuring sustainable stability in the Arab country.

“The decisive role and influence of (Iraqi) popular forces (Hashid al-Shaabi) in defeating Takfiri terrorists indicated that the only way to establish sustainable stability in Iraq is popularization of the process of defense and providing security,” Shamkhani said at a meeting with Ammar al-Hakim, leader of Iraq’s National Alliance, held in Tehran on Monday.

He also praised the strong unity among Iraqi people with different faiths against terrorist groups, and warned of foreign attempts to create a rift among Iraqis.

For his part, Hakim described enhanced political solidarity and territorial unity as Iraq’s major needs under the current circumstances, calling for the wise employment of Iraq’s resources to defeat Takfiri terrorism and ensure stability and economic development.

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.

Iran, a close ally of Iraq, has been also supporting the Arab nation in the fight against Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) after the terrorist group invaded Iraq in summer 2014.