Rouhani's visit to Baghdad goes against US policies: Analyst

Beirut, March 13, IRNA – A Lebanese analyst told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit to Iraq is in defiance of Washington's policies in the region and can challenge the White House's measures in West of Asia.

'The Unites States intends to open its biggest embassy in the world in Baghdad to keep Iraq the center of tension between regional and international forces,' Talal Atrissi said referring to President Rouhani's visit to Iraq.

President Donald Trump has announced that the US will leave Syria but will remain in Iraq and will monitor the developments of Syria and the world from there; this means that Washington is still interested in Iraq and believes that military presence in the country is among unchangeable principles, Atrissi said.

Saying that it is common knowledge that the relations between Iran and Iraq are historical and are rooted in cultural, religious, social, and economic commonalities, he added that Iranian president's visit to Iraq is not just political and strategic.

The most important dimension of the visit is the economic one, he said.

'As Tehran and Baghdad have announced, they want to increase their annual trade volume to 20 billion dollars.'

He also said that the economic presence of Turkey in Iraq is strong, but considering the commonalities of Iran and Iraq, Iran's presence should be strengthened to surpass that of Turkey's.

Regarding some sensitivities about expansion of ties between Baghdad and Tehran, Atrissi said, 'Such an approach and move is quite natural on the part of Saudi Arabia, the US and the Zionist regime of Israel.

They would rather the ties between Iran and Iraq were not broadened and try to damage them, the Lebanese analyst said.

Saudi Arabia, the US and the Zionist regime try to incite public opinion against Iran because the two countries' cooperation can create a very powerful force against certain policies and no one can resist that, he said.

'The message President Rouhani's visit to Iraq sent to other regional countries was that hostility toward Iran would eventually be futile.'

Iran is a country that is thousands of years old; such animosities will produce no results except creating more problems and paving the way for foreign intervention and presence in the region, which is against the interests of the region and its people, he said.

'The experience of the past decades has shown that collaborations between Iran and regional countries create better chances for economic, trade and oil cooperation, which forms a big force in the region that can hinder conspiracies and interferences.'

'Some believe that having relations with Israel pleases the US and can help them confront Iran, which is a wrong strategy because it has negative and destructive dimensions which will have consequences for those who are in favor of having relations with Israel.'

'These countries need to know that Iran will not be overawed by such moves and they will be the losers among both Islamic and Arab countries.'

In an exclusive interview with IRNA on Tuesday, Former Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour emphasized that the benefits of the Arab countries require them to establish good relations with Iran.

Mansour said, 'I see Rouhani's visit to Iraq as a very important step, as it prompts relations between Iran and Iraq like those between Iran and Syria; this will affect other countries in the region and there are other Arab countries whose interests require them to establish of relations with Iran.'

'The United States always raises excuses and tells the Arab states that Iran threatens the security and stability, which stimulates Arab countries of the region to buy more weapons from the United States, which is against the interests of the peoples of the region,' said Mansour who had been Lebanon's ambassador to Iran from 1995 to 2002.

President Rouhani arrived in Baghdad on Monday for a three-day visit at the invitation. He has already had meetings with several Iraqi officials, including President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, and also Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Sistani, the senior cleric in Iraq.

Accompanied by a politico-economic delegation, Iran's president arrived in Baghdad on Monday. His visit to Iraq is taking place upon the official invitation of Iraqi president and prime minister.

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