Iranian defense minister arrives in Baghdad for talks on security issues

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami

Baghdad ( – Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami arrived Wednesday in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on a two-day visit, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Hatami was welcomed at the Baghdad International Airport by Secretary General of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense Lieutenant General Mohammad Jawad Kazim.

Hatami said his visit to the neighboring country of Iraq is aimed to develop bilateral cooperation in the fields of defense and military.

The talks will also tackle the latest regional developments, particularly the recent U.S. air strike on Syria, the Iranian defense minister pointed out.

He also congratulated the Iraqi people and government for their victory over the terrorist Islamic State (IS) group following nearly three months of fighting between the two sides.

Iran’s influence in Iraq has fueled sectarian tensions throughout the region, with Sunni states, and American allies, like Saudi Arabia mobilizing to oppose Iranian expansionism. Besides Iraq, Iran’s expansion project includes Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December with the help of a US-led alliance, having retaken all the territory captured by the extremists in 2014 and 2015.

Despite the group’s crushing defeat at its main havens across Iraq, Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks against troops with security reports warning that the militant group still poses a threat against stability in the country.

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