West Asia Current Affairs

Iran, Iraq ink pact on military cooperation

Iran and Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to step up military cooperation and the fight against terrorism and extremism.

The MoU encourages promotion of interaction and share of experiences in the fight against terrorism and extremism, border security, training and logistical, technical and military support between both countries.

Comment

Iran and Iraq are hoping that the agreement would result in deeper and more serious military cooperation between the two countries. Moreover Iran is going to continue to provide full support to establish sustainable security and stability. However, this military deal likely to trigger concerns in the United States as it has voiced concern over growing Iranian influence in conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, where it is aligned with rebel Shia fighters.

Background

Iran and Iraq had fought a bloody war for eight years from 1980 to 88 during the reign of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. But bilateral ties both countries have improved after Saddam Hussein was ousted in 2003 and a government led by Shia Muslims took power in Baghdad. Iran is a predominately Shia nation. After the US withdrew its troops from Iraq in 2011, it became increasingly dependent on Iran on various avenues, from trade to security. Iran also is providing military advisory assistance to Iraq in its counter-terrorism campaign against Islamic State (IS), an anti-Shia Sunni terrorist group.

 

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Meeting of BRICS Representatives in charge of security held in New Delhi

The meeting of BRICS Representatives in charge of security was held in New Delhi, India. It was hosted National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval.

The meeting was attended by representatives in charge of security of BRICS nations viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Key Highlights

  • BRICS nations underscored the demand for an international legal order to deal with the threat of terrorism.
  • They agreed to intensify cooperation against terror groups like the Islamic State in West Asia and North Africa region (WANA).
  • Highlighted the growing demand for “peace building” in the violence-torn region and focused on finding a political solution to the “outstanding issues” in the WANA region.
  • Discuss counter-terrorism, energy security, cyber-security as well as other international and regional issues of common interest.
  • China wants BRICS countries to play a bigger role in international and regional security issues, step up cooperation and coordination on major issues concerning security and contribute to peace, prosperity and stability of the world.

About West Asia North Africa (WANA) region

  • The WANA region is characterized by high population growth, low and erratic rainfall, limited arable land, and severely limited water resources.
  • It comprises 27 countries with almost 600 million inhabitants with Morocco in west, Pakistan and Afghanistan in east, Turkey in north, and Ethiopia and Sudan in south.
  • The region has been at conflict since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and notably after the creation of Israel.
  • Besides this region has seen rise of terrorism, Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy conflict, conflict between Arabs and Berbers.
  • It also has achieved its highest peaks at the 21st century in terms of security scenario such as US intervention of Iraq in 2003, rise of IS, Arab Spring that spread civil wars like situations in the whole region such as Syrian Civil War, Libyan Civil War, Iraq War and Yemeni Civil War.

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