Iran Seeks to Develop Ties with Iraq

A00150998.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Tehran’s Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Kazemi Qomi stressed Iran’s plans for expanding economic and defense ties with Iraq.

Speaking in an interview with New York Times, Qomi further added that Tehran is seeking to bolster economic, defense and security cooperation with Baghdad, including training and equipping Iraqi forces and sending military advisors to them.

Qomi also announced that Iran would soon open a national bank in Baghdad. An Iraqi banking official confirmed that Iran has received a license to open what would be the first “wholly owned subsidiary bank” of a foreign country in Iraq, the newspaper reported.

US forces this month kidnapped five more Iranians in a raid on a diplomatic office in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil.

At around 3 a.m. on January 11, US troops disarmed the guards outside the Iranian consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, broke into the building and confiscated computers and documents there while military helicopters were hovering overhead.

Despite Americans’ allegations, the liaison office had diplomatic immunity and functioned as a consulate general issuing travel documents and carrying out other consular tasks. An Iranian flag flying over the building was hauled down during the raid.

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