Iran’s foreign minister on Sunday expressed the country’s enthusiasm for stronger ties with its western neighbor during new Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s tenure.
“Tehran-Baghdad relations expanded during Nouri al-Maliki’s term, and we hope the ties would be upgraded during the new (Iraqi) government’s tenure,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a meeting with Abadi in Baghdad on Sunday.
The top Iranian diplomat is on an official visit to Baghdad in a bid to hold talks with high-ranking Iraqi officials on issues of mutual interest and regional developments.
Elsewhere in the meeting, Zarif underlined that relations with Iraq are of “strategic significance” for the Islamic Republic.
Back on August 11, Iraqi President Fouad Massoum officially commissioned Abadi, the Shiite coalition’s nominee for prime minister, to form the new government.
Massoum refused to nominate the country’s two-time Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a third term in office.
Following Abadi’s election, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani voiced Iran’s support for the legal procedure in which the Iraqi prime minister has been elected.
“The legal frameworks determined in Iraq’s constitution are the basis for the election of the prime minister by the majority bloc in Iraq’s national parliament,” Shamkhani said.