(IRNA) - Visiting Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani here Monday called on neighboring states, particularly Iran, for financial assistance in restoring security to the country.
Al-Mashhadani made the request while addressing reporters at a joint press conference with Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani after a meeting of the two sides, reports Trend.
Iraq can have an effective and independent security structure with economic and political help from its neighbors, he said.
He lauded the Islamic Republic of Iran for its highly transparent strategies in the region adopted in coordination with the strategies of current popular leaders in Iraq.
Iran has great experience in the security, social and economic fields, he said, and added that Iraq seeks to avail of Iran's experiences considering the two countries' proximity and geographical, economic and political commonalties.
The speaker further pointed to Iran's powerful presence on the two countries' joint border, and said this would thwart infiltration by agitators into Iraq. He said Baghdad was grateful for Tehran's efforts in this regard.
He moreover said that during his meetings with senior Iranian officials he would raise various issues that have a bearing on establishment of stability and security in Iraq.
"Today," Al-Mashhadani said, "an Islamic and free Iraq is treading the path mandated by Islam," and added that a main goal of the Islamic nation is to forge solidarity and unity among its various ethnic and political groups.
Pointing to his meeting with SNSC Secretary Ali Larijani, Al-Mashhadani said the sides discussed bilateral issues and ongoing security problems in Iraq.
He said the purpose of his current visit was to become acquainted with Iran's parliamentary experience, and praised Iran's efforts to revive Islam as well as approve and implement laws and regulations based on Islam in the past 25 years.
The Iraqi speaker expressed his view that consolidation of parliamentary relations between the two countries can provide a solid basis for expansion of mutual ties in all fields.
Larijani, for his part, said Al-Mashhadani's visit to Tehran, his first since his election in April, shows the close cooperation between the two countries despite alleged differences between Shi'ites and Sunnis.
"The visit by Al-Mashhadani indicates that the two countries have a strategic and friendly cooperation based on their love for Islam," Larijani said.
He said the two sides have held "good" talks and that Tehran was ready to bolster its economic and security cooperation with Baghdad in order to "free the Iraqi people from the pressure of occupation and enjoy an independent and peaceful life."
Referring to allegations of Iranian interference in Iraq's domestic affairs made by enemies of the two countries, Larijani said the allegations are those of the occupiers who are out to mar relations between the Iranian and Iraqi peoples.
"Tehran was opposed to the invasion of Iraq since the very beginning. The two nations have a history of peaceful co-existence, but unfortunately the occupiers did not want the Iraqis to enjoy tranquility."
The SNSC, alluding to the spiraling violence in Iraq, said that terrorists have used the presence of occupiers in Iraq as a pretext for waging deadly attacks.
He said Tehran condemns such terrorist acts which claim innocent victims and which show the emergence of tribalism.
"The policy of Islamic Republic of Iran is based on the need to preserve Iraq's territorial integrity, foster national unity and establish sustainable security." e stressed that Tehran "will spare no effort at helping Iraq achieve economic, political and security development."
Referring to a meeting between him and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana scheduled for Wednesday (tomorrow), he said that as agreed in telephone conversations between the two sides, the first session will focus on finding the right framework for parties to try to resolve the nuclear case.
"We hope talks can begin by the end of this week. This round of talks will pave the way for new negotiations to be held with the European states to resolve the nuclear case," Larijani said.
Asked about the date and place of talks, the SNSC secretary said the date and place of negotiations will be announced later.