Are there mutual defense ambitions with Iraq?

Iran’s Defence Minister, Brigadier General Amir Hatami

This news report from Iranian state TV shows Iran’s Defense Minister, Brigadier General Amir Hatami, attending the first joint high commission for Iranian-Iraqi defense cooperation which took place in Baghdad last Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

The news reporter says, “With the goal of expanding bilateral relations and reviewing regional developments, the Iranian Islamic Republic’s Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics arrived in Baghdad and was welcomed by his Iraqi counterpart.”

Brig.-Gen. Hatami is pictured telling the reporters at a press conference, “The trip is intended to consult on the developments in the region in which all the regional countries are involved, and the latest developments in the recent Western criminal acts that have been committed in violation of international law and the United Nations Charter [a reference to the recent US coalition airstrikes on Syrian regime military facilities].” 

The news reporter then says, “Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami then participated in the joint high commission, hosted by the defense ministers of both Iran and Iraq and the heads of joint military committees.”

In the next clip in the report, an unnamed Iraqi military official says, “Iranian-Iraq relations have been very important in terms of countering terrorism, and we hope that these relations will be expanded in order to jointly consolidate regional security in cooperation with some other countries in the region.”

Another clip of Brig.-Gen. Hatami shows him telling the reporters, “We held the first joint high commission of the defense Supreme Council, with both committees activated, and the authorities of both committees were introduced and the issues that they will work on were specified.”

The news reporter then states, “The Secretary of Defense and the delegation also met separately with the Chief of Staff of the [Iraqi] Army and Supreme Commanders of Iraq.”

The Iranian IRIB news presenter concludes the report, saying, “Iran’s Defense Minister is also scheduled tomorrow [Thursday, April 19] to attend at the meeting of the Quartet Committee of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Russia in Baghdad, and to discuss the regional developments with the representatives of these countries.”

Reporter: Jalal Khaledi, Iranian IRIB news, Iraqi Ministry of Defense