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Rouhani deepens Iran’s ties with Iraq

Pragmatism, not ideology, guides Iran’s rationale for stronger ties with Iraq in commerce, energy and security.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif (L) and Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari attend a joint news conference in Baghdad January 14, 2014. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX17DOX

On Feb. 25, during meetings between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari, the two sides announced that they have agreed to finally implement the 1975 Algiers Agreement to regulate their land and river borders and, most importantly, to dredge the Shatt-al-Arab river, an important waterway for both countries. Experts from both sides are finalizing the details of the agreement, which will be signed within weeks in Tehran. The accord is yet another important step in consolidating a relationship that is becoming the most significant axis in the entire West Asian region. 

Zarif, who has traveled to Baghdad twice in the past six months, said, “Iran and Iraq have historic and solid ties that are based on religious, political, geographical and cultural commonalities, and we are very happy that we have put behind us a short but bitter episode of our history. Today, the friendly and brotherly people of Iraq and Iran have two governments that also wish to have friendly and brotherly relations.”

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