Skip to main content

Khamenei urges Iraqi PM to stand up to common 'enemies'

In meeting with Iranian president, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani also asks Iran to expand gas imports to meet electricity needs.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani meets with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Iran, Nov. 29, 2022.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani traveled to Iran today and met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Khamenei urged the Iraqi premier to stand up to what he deemed “enemies” of Iraq. “You have to stand firmly against the enemy’s will by relying on the motivated and young people,” he said.

“Iraq’s security is Iran’s security, and likewise, Iran’s security affects Iraq’s security,” Khamenei added.

Immediately after the meeting, Khamenei tweeted: "We congratulate Mr. Shia al-Sudani on his being elected as Iraq’s Prime Minister. He is a devoted, competent person whose appointment as head of the Iraqi government is a source of pride."

Former prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who was in a close relationship with the United States and Western and Arab countries, was not received by Khamenei in his last two trips to Iran.

The visit is Sudani’s third foreign trip since he became prime minister on Oct. 27, following visits to Jordan and Kuwait earlier this month.

In a separate meeting, Sudani and Raisi discussed “security coordination, trade exchange, energy cooperation and investment, tourism and religious pilgrimage, water issues and climate change,” according to the Iraqi prime minister's office.

Baghdad relies heavily on Iranian electricity and gas to provide power to its citizens. Iraq imports up to 40 billion square meters of gas daily from Iran which is used for its electricity generators. Iraq also imports 1500 megawatts of electricity daily from Iran. Another 1500 megawatts are produced on a daily basis by the Iranian company MAPNA inside Iraq.

During the meeting, Sudani asked Raisi to expand gas imports to enable Iraq to meet its electricity demands.

The previous government was working hard to diversify electricity production through expanding electricity grid connections with Saudi Arabia, other Gulf nations and Jordan, in addition to setting up solar power farms.

It is not clear yet if the new government will continue with this policy or will seek more reliance on Iranian gas and electricity, as Sudani requested from Raisi today.

Sudani and Raisi agreed to establish a committee for expanding economic relations between the two countries, headed jointly by Sudani and Iranian Vice President Muhammad Mokhber.

Sudani also promised Raisi that Baghdad would work on paying Iraq’s debt to Iran. Iraq currently holds about $5 billion in Iranian funds — meant for gas and electricity payments — in Iraqi banks. The money cannot be transferred to Tehran due to the sanctions.

Sudani emphasized the necessity of security coordination between the two countries.

Iraqi national security adviser Qasem Araji also met with his Iranian counterpart Ali Shamkhani today to reduce tensions between the two countries and address their common security challenges.

Iran has been bombing Iraq’s Kurdistan region for months, which they argue is aimed at stopping alleged activities from the Iranian Kurdish opposition based in Iraq Kurdistan.

Iran recently warned Iraq that it will undertake a ground operation in Iraq Kurdistan if Iraq does not disarm those groups and expel them from near the Iraq-Iran border.

Khamenei also tweeted today after the meeting with Sudani: "Mr. Sudani, you said that based on your Constitution you wouldn’t let any group use Iraqi soil to harm Iran’s security. But attempts are being made to harm Iran’s security in some Iraqi regions. The only solution is for Iraq’s central govt. to exert its authority in those areas."

Over the past week, Iraq’s National Security Council decided to deploy Iraqi forces on the border between the two countries to stop any alleged activities by Kurdish groups against Iran.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Security Briefing Security Briefing

Security Briefing

Middle East defense and security in your inbox

Trend Reports

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (4th R) attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on February 22, 2019. (Photo by HOW HWEE YOUNG / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read HOW HWEE YOUNG/AFP via Getty Images)

From roads to routers: The future of China-Middle East connectivity

A general view shows the solar plant in Uyayna, north of Riyadh, on March 29, 2018. - On March 27, Saudi announced a deal with Japan's SoftBank to build the world's biggest solar plant. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Regulations on Middle East renewable energy industry starting to take shape

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial