Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said late on Monday that even the eight-year-old war could not create a gap between the two nations, and the US would not be able to stop Tehran-Baghdad ties.
In an interview with BBC News Arabic service, he added that Iran does not intend to compete with the US in Iraq, saying that it is the US which pressures the Iraqis to choose Iran or the US.
“We have never asked the Iraqis to pick up. We have good ties with Iraq. It is our neighbor and the US is unable to bring their bilateral ties to a halt,” he said.
Referring to historic and geographical bonds between Iran and Iraq, Zarif said that even the eight-year war imposed by Saddam Hussein on the Iranians and Iraqis did not manage to stop the historic and geographic relations.
“We have regional strategy dubbed ‘Stronger region’ rather than stronger countries or powerful men. We have had enough strong men, but now we need strong region,” Zarif said.
“We are not here to take action against any country or interfere in any country. Our stance is very clear and we favor dialogue,” he said.