MOSCOW, July 26 (RIA Novosti) – Iran is interested in stability and security in Iraq and is determined to further assist its development, Mehr news agency reported Saturday citing Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.
“The government and the people of Iran continue to support Iraq for the sake of sustaining unity and security of all the ethnical and religious groups, which take part in governing the country,” Rouhani was quoted as saying.
In a statement addressed to newly elected Iraqi President Fouad Massoum, Rouhani congratulated his counterpart on inauguration and said that Iran would further “support stability, security and wellbeing of the Iraqi people.”
Rouhani also expressed hope that Iraq will pursue “developing cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad both in bilateral and multilateral issues.”
Earlier Thursday, the Iraqi parliament elected Kurdish politician Fouad Massoum as country’s next president, who performs mainly representative duties. The actual power will be concentrated in the hands of the prime minister, who has not been chosen yet.
Rouhani’s statement came amid a grave crisis, which may lead to the collapse of the Iraqi state. A jihadist military group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), alternately referred to as the Islamic State (IS), that previously fought in Syria, launched an offensive in Iraq in June, taking over large parts of the country, with the goal of seizing Baghdad. Last month, militants from ISIS announced the establishment of a caliphate on the Iraq-Syria border.