Iran and Iraq to deepen security ties

TEHERAN, Iran, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- High-level Iranian and Iraqi officials are conferring on deepening mutual relations in a number of areas, including security.

On Thursday Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowafaq al-Rubai visited Teheran for discussions with Iran's Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi.

Pour-Mohammadi told reporters following the discussions, "We regard Iraq's security and its nation's interests as ours," adding that Iran is ready to establish the "most deep-rooted and sincerest ties" with Iraq.

Washington has charged that Iran is seeking to extend its influence over Iraq's Shia majority and is covertly assisting the resistance combating coalition forces.

In a veiled reference to the Bush administration, Pour-Mohammadi said that the enemies of both countries seek to make the common borders insecure in seeking to promote their "evil plans."

IRNA reported Pour-Mohammadi added, "We hope that with the Iraqi government gaining further control over domestic issues, the issues of our joint borders would be resolved. Fortunately, there are no organized groups or political wings operating against the Iraqi government and nation in Iran and we even prevent individuals and disorganized groups from engaging in such acts."

Speaking to reporters last month in Shiraz, Pour-Mohammadi said that Iran might consider holding talks with the United States if discussions were held on an equal footing and based on "mutual respect."

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