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.
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.
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.