Syrian and Shia Sickle Sharpen: Jeremiah 50:16

Number of Shia Fighters in Syria Could Rise Following Fatwa

Hezbollah fighters, center, carry the coffin of their commander Ali Bazzi who was killed in Syria,Dec. 9, 2013.  (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

Hezbollah fighters, center, carry the coffin of their commander Ali Bazzi who was killed in Syria,Dec. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

Antichrist’s Men Take Mark Of The Beast: Rev 14:9

Iraq’s Muqtada al-Sadr sending fighters to help Assad

nasrallah sadrIraqis loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, the well-known anti-American Shiite cleric, are fighting in Syria in support of the Assad regime, according to the opposition.
Maj. Maher al-Naimi, a spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army, told the Arabic newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat: “There are armed groups coming to Syria to support the regime’s army. This was confirmed to us by Syrian citizens, whose homes were stormed, and they could identify them from their non-Syrian accents.”
“However, up until now, we have been unable to capture any of them, because the regime’s army is trying as much as possible to hide their bodies as quickly as possible, whilst leaving the wounded bodies and corpses of Syrians lying on the ground for many hours”.
Al-Sadr has expressed support for the Assad regime and last week his office released a statement where the cleric said there is “a big difference” between what the protests in Syria and the “great revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen.”
“One of the reasons behind this difference is that Bashar al-Assad is against the American and Israeli presence and his attitudes are clear, not like those who collapsed before him, or will collapse,” added the statement .
Meanwhile, with the self-proclaimed leader of the FSA announcing the establishment of a transitional military council, the anti-Assad movement could face a dangerous split.
Ryad al-Asaad, who announced his defection from the Syrian army in July, has anounced the formation of a “Transitional Military Council” dedicated to ousting the regime.
After leaving the army al-Asaad fled to Turkey but has since returned to Syria. The headquarters of the FSA, however, are located in Turkey.
The council features nine officers, including four colonels and three lieutenant-colonels.
The council says its aims are to “bring down the current regime, protect Syrian civilians from its oppression, protect private and public property, and prevent chaos and acts of revenge when it falls.”
The opposition group also stated its will to establish a military tribunal of the revolution which would hold Assad regime officials accountable for those found guilty of murder and acts of aggression against citizens.
The statement also promised the powers of the council would expire upon the election of a democratic government.
Since the return of al-Asaad the FSA’s attacks on government forces have intensified and the group has gained more popular support.
Last week, Col. Ammar al-Wawi, the commander of the FSA’s Ababeel battalion, said the latest offensives include an attack on the air force base in the Damascus suburb of Harasta.
He also said FSA fighters from his Aleppo province-based battalion recently attacked Aleppo’s air force intelligence complex, located on the outskirts of city.
“We were able to target one of the eight Battlefield Range Ballistic Missiles present there,” he added.
Al-Naimi said: “FSA operations are still in the stage of defence. Conditions will remain as such between the regime’s army and the FSA until the establishment of a buffer zone and a no-fly area. This is in addition to the fact that we so far do not have any weapons except those smuggled in by army dissidents, or ones which we are able to buy, which cannot fire further than 400 metres”.
“With regards to offensive operations targeting the security command headquarters and security branches, this is the only way to respond to the regime’s army storming our cities and attacking our citizens with its tanks and weaponry. This is what it has resorted to in recent times, and thus it has become a legitimate target for us,” he added.
As the FSA fights the regime on the ground, the Syrian National Council, another opposition group, continues its diplomatic offensive.The group says it wants to be recognised as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
On its Web site, the group states its general principle which include a “new Syria is a democratic, pluralistic, and civil state; a parliamentary republic with sovereignty of the people based on the principles of equal citizenship with separation of powers, smooth transfer of power, the rule of law, and the protection and guarantee of the rights of minorities. ”
Among other main objectives it also states its intention to work to restore Syria’s “sovereignty in the occupied Golan Heights on the basis of relevant and legitimate international laws and resolutions.”
Israel conquered the Golan in the 1967 war and later unilaterally annexed the territory.
The group also says it will “support the full and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”
IB Times

A Third of Mankind Will Die: Revelation 9:15

India-Pakistan Nuclear War Would Kill 2 Billion People, End Civilization, Says Report

By Palash Ghosh

A nuclear war between South Asian rivalsIndia and Pakistan would trigger a globalfamine that would immediately kill 2 billionpeople around the world and spell the “endof human civilization,” according to a studyby an anti-nuclear group. The InternationalPhysicians for the Prevention of Nuclear Warand Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)also warned that even a limited nuclear conflictbetween India and Pakistan would destroycrop yields, damage the atmosphere and throwglobal food markets into chaos. China, theworld’s most populous country, would face acatastrophic food shortage that would lead toenormous social convulsions. “A billion people dead inthe developing world is obviouslya catastrophe unparalleledin human history,” saidIra Helfand, co-president ofPSR and the study’s lead author.“But then if you add tothat the possibility of another1.3 billion people in Chinabeing at risk, we are enteringsomething that is clearly theend of civilization.” Helfandexplained that China’s destructionwould be caused by longstandingtensions between itsneighbors, India and Pakistan,two enemies that have alreadyfought three wars since 1947.Moreover, given the apocalypticpower of contemporary nuclearweapons – which are farmore powerful than the atomicbombs dropped on Japan in1945 – the impact of an India-Pakistan war would be feltacross the globe.“With a large war betweenthe United States and Russia,we are talking about the possible,not certain, but possible,extinction of the human race,”Helfand said, according toAgence France Presse. “In thiskind of war, biologically thereare going to be people survivingsomewhere on the planet,but the chaos that would resultfrom this [SouthAsian nuclearwar] will dwarfanything we’veever seen.”Specifically,the study noted,a nuclear war inSouth Asia wouldrelease black carbonaerosol particlesthat wouldcut U.S. corn andsoybean production by 10 percentover a decade. Those particleswould also reduce Chineserice production by an averageof 21 percent over a four-yearperiod and by another 10 percentover the subsequent sixyears. Even more devastating,China’s wheat crop woulddrop by 50 percent in just thefirst year after the hypotheticalIndo-Pak nuclear war.CNN reported that thereare at least 17,000 nuclear warheads(other reports suggestthat there are perhaps as manyas 20,000) around the world,which present a far greaterthreat than the current obsessionwith Iran’s nascent atomicprogram. Most of these warheadsare currently owned bythe United States and Russia,while India and Pakistan arebelieved to have “only” about100 warheads each.But given the state of endlessenmity between India andPakistan, they are more likely tolaunch a nuclear war than thesuperpowers who possess farmore and far deadlier nuclearweapons. Helfand told CNNthat in an India-Pakistan nuclearwar scenario, more than 20million people would be deadwithin one week from the explosions,firestorms and immediateeffects of radiation. “Butthe global consequences wouldbe far worse,” he said.Indeed, the firestorms producedby this imaginary SouthAsian war “would loft 5 milliontons of soot high into theatmosphere, blocking out sunlightand dropping temperaturesacross the planet. Thisclimate disruption would causea sharp, worldwide decline infood production.” The subsequentglobal famine wouldplace the lives of 870 millionpeople in the developing worldat immediate risk of starvation.On the brighter side, Helfandindicated, a movement toban atomic weapons is gatheringstorm. Helfand calledfor the removal of all nuclearweapons as the only way toavoid Armageddon. “This is adisaster so massive in scale thatreally no preparation is possible.We must prevent this,” hesaid.In May of last year, 17 nationsissued a joint statementwarning of the humanitarianimpact of nuclear weapons andadvocated for their elimination.By the fall of 2013, 125 nationsattached themselves to thestatement. “The internationalcommunity should continueto take practical steps to preventadditional countries fromacquiring nuclear weapons,”Helfand said. “But this effortto prevent proliferation mustbe matched by real progress toeliminate the far greater dangerposed by the vast arsenals thatalready exist. Simply put, theonly way to eliminate the threatof nuclear war or risk of an accidentallaunch or mishap is toeliminate nuclear weapons.”Courtesy InternationalBusiness News

Sadr Sharpens The Shiite Sickle

Al Sadr mentor calls to fight alongside Al Assad

Baghdad: A leading Shiite cleric widely followed by Iraqi militants has issued the first public religious edict permitting Shiites to fight in Syria’s civil war alongside President Bashar Al Assad’s forces.

The fatwa by Iran-based Grand Ayatollah Kazim Al Haeri, one of the mentors of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, comes as thousands of Shiite fighters mostly from Iraq and Lebanon play a major role in the battles.
The call likely will increase the sectarian tones of the war, which pits overwhelmingly Sunni rebels against members of Al Assad’s Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite sect. The situation has worsened with the influx of thousands of Shiite and Sunni foreign fighters.
Al Haeri is based in the holy city of Qom, Iran’s religious capital. Among his followers are many fighters with the feared Shiite militia, Asaib Ahl Al Haq, or Band of the Righteous, an Iranian-backed group that repeatedly attacked US forces in Iraq and says it is sending fighters to Syria. That militia is headed by white-turbaned Shiite cleric Qais Al Khazali, who spent years in US detention but was released after he was handed over to the Iraqi government.
Asked by a follower whether it is legitimate to travel to Syria to fight, Al Haeri replied: “Fighting in Syria is legitimate and those who die are martyrs.”
His comments were posted on his official website. An official at his office confirmed that the comments are authentic.
Asaib Ahl Al Haq currently has about 1,000 fighters in Syria and many others were volunteering to go join the battle, said Ashtar Al Kaabi, an Asaib Ahl Al Haq member who organises sending Shiite fighters from Iraq to Syria. Asked whether the increase is related to Al Haeri’s fatwa, Al Kaabi said: “Yes. This fatwa has had wide effect.”
Over the past year, jihadi groups have begun playing a bigger role in Syria’s war and openly calling for the killing of Shiites and Alawites because of their beliefs.
Al Assad recently said that fighters from more than 80 countries have come to Syria to fight against his forces. The rebels are mainly backed by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Sunni powerhouses in the Middle East.
The main Western-backed Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, claimed recently that Shiite fighters from 14 different factions are fighting alongside government forces in Syria. The coalition said those fighters are brought to Syria with the help of Iraq’s Shiite Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, though Iran remains Syria’s strongest ally.
Lebanon’s Iran-backed Shiite Hezbollah also openly joined Al Assad’s forces in May after hiding its participation for months. Since then, the group has helped government forces recapture a string of towns and villages near the Lebanese border.

The Four Horns: Nuclear Gangsters

Nuclear Gangbangers Have Upper Hand on Global Police

The gangster state of North Korea became a nuclear power in 2006-2007, despite lots of foreign aid aimed at precluding just such proliferation — help usually not otherwise accorded such a loony dictatorship. Apparently the civilized world rightly suspected that if nuclear, Pyongyang would either export nuclear material and expertise to other unstable countries, or bully its successful but non-nuclear neighbors — or both.
The United States has given billions of dollars in foreign aid to Pakistan, whose Islamist gangs have spearheaded radical anti-American terrorism. Since a corrupt Pakistan went nuclear in 1998, it has been able to extort such foreign payouts — on fears that one of its nukes might end up in the hands of terrorists.
By any measure of economic success or political stability, Pakistan would not warrant either the cash or the attention it wins without nuclear weapons.
An observant Iran appreciates three laws of current nuclear gangbanging.
1. Nuclear weapons earn a reputation.
2. The more loco a nuclear nation sounds, the more likely civilized states will fear that it is not subject to nuclear deterrence, and so they pay bribes for it behave. Gangbangers always claim that they have nothing to lose; their more responsible intended targets have everything to lose.
3. As of yet there are no 100 percent effective nuclear defense systems that can guarantee non-nuclear powers absolute safety from a sudden attack. The nuclear gangbanger, not the global police, currently has the upper hand.
Again, the actual bombs are not the problem. We do not worry about a nuclear but democratic Israel or France. We are not even bothered by a hostile but non-nuclear Cuba or Venezuela. The combination of a bomb with a rap sheet is what changes all diplomatic and strategic considerations.
It would be hard to contain a nuclear Iran with bribes, as we have so far handled Pakistan — and in the past North Korea as well. In both cases, we have had some help. Nuclear neighbor India assists in warning Pakistan to behave. A nervous Chinese overlord is amused by North Korean troublemaking — but only up to the point that North Korea might threaten China’s vital export markets.
In contrast, only one of Iran’s two enemies — Israel — is nuclear. Its wealthier Sunni Saudi Arabian rival is not. 

Saudis To Fight Shia Crescent

Saudis to Obama: We Will Not Tolerate a Nuclear Iran

 
By Karin McQuillan 

Individuals who have visited Israel, who observe Judaism, or who carry a Bible are banned from Saudi Arabia. Yet a few years ago, Saudi Arabia’s Israel-hating King Abdullah flew in an Israeli scientist to have dinner with him, to enjoy some royal hospitality, accept a medal and the $200,000 „Arab Nobel Prize.“ It’s a message to President Obama: the unthinkable can happen, so don’t assume the Saudis won’t join with Israel to bomb Iran.

Obama’s new Iran policy moves the Mid-East closer to war over oil and religion — Sunni Saudis versus Shia Iranians.  There is no more strategic commodity than Gulf oil to the entire world economy.  American national security stakes could not be higher.   Iran’s end game, some say more than an attack on Israel, is to seize the Saudi oil fields.  There is a Shiite majority in the oil province that the Saudi Princes fear could be turned by Iran.  The Saudis no longer see the U.S. as an ally in stabilizing the Middle East.  We have become a force for chaos. The UK Telegraph:

Chris Skrebowski, editor of Petroleum Review, said the great unknown is how Saudi Arabia will react to a move deemed treachery in Riyadh… The great question is whether they can live with this deal, or whether it is intolerable,“ he said.
Mr Skrebowski said the Middle East is a tinder box, in the grip of a Sunni-Shia civil war comparable in ideological ferocity to the clash between Catholics and Protestants in early 17th Century Europe. Saudi Arabia has already shown how far it will go to protect its interests, helping to overthrow Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.


The Saudis are signaling that they will unleash a pre-emptive war in the Middle East in response to Obama’s nuclear capitulation to Iran.  These signals are an effort to change Obama’s decision to prop up the mullahs and green light their nuclear program.  Can the Saudi threats become real?  It’s a wild card our President is willing to play.

The Saudis are allowing leaks on a deal to get nuclear weapons from Pakistan. Larry Bell in Forbes:

Pakistan is rumored to have recently delivered Shaheen mobile ballistic missiles (a version of the U.S. two-stage Pershing I, with a range of more than 450 miles) to Saudi Arabia, minus warheads. Mark Urban, the diplomatic and defense editor of BBC’s „Newsnight“, told a senior NATO decision maker earlier this year that „Nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery.“


The Saudis are not so secretly negotiating with the Israelis.  This goes beyond allowing the use of Saudi air space, to active support in a bombing raid on Iran. Bell again:

A diplomatic contact told the London Sunday Times that „The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs“ to counter the unresolved nuclear threat, noting that their relations with the U.S. had been breached by Obama’s overtures to Iran.
This new cooperation represents a major policy realignment given the fact that satellite images show a new Saudi CSS-2 missile base capable of deploying A-bombs with launch rails pointing towards both Iran and Israel. According to the Times, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency and Sunni royal rulers of Saudi Arabia are even developing joint contingency plans for a possible attack on Tehran’s nuclear program. 


There is also talk by the Saudis of using oil prices to punish America for Obama’s betrayal. 

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UK …Ambassador Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, who was speaking to the British Times, called the Obama administration’s „rush“ to embrace Tehran „incomprehensible.“
„We are not going to sit idly by and receive a threat there and not think seriously how we can best defend our country and our region,“ Prince Mohammed, who is Saudi King Abdullah’s nephew, said.  „Let’s just leave it there, all options are available,“ he added, referring to possible defense plans made in response to Iran developing its nuclear capability.


The Saudis have collected a long grievance list of things our President has done to destabilize their neighborhood.  Their power rests uneasy, and maintaining it requires constant work.  Our President is the grand saboteur. 

  • They are still shocked and enraged that we forced Mubarak out of Egypt and pressured the military to let the Muslim Brotherhood take over. The Saudis helped depose the Brotherhood and fix Obama’s mess. It has cost the Saudis upwards of $5 billion dollars in aid to the new transition government.
  • The Saudis are angry that we pushed out another ally, Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh, creating turmoil on Saudi Arabia’s southern border and a stronghold for al Qaeda.
  • We invited violent radicals to our embassy in Bahrain; the Saudis had to dispatch troops to stop the uprising there.


Richard Miniter in Forbes:

Obama’s move made no sense to the Saudis. Bahrain is home to some 15,000 American soldiers, sailors and Marines. Why would the U.S. endanger Americans and Arab allies for the sake of militants supported by its most fevered enemy?
The tone with which this question is asked — a mixture of exasperation, regret and anger — itself is telling. This is the tone you hear as long-term relationships die.


When Obama breached his own „red line“ on chemical weapons in Syria and claimed that he had never drawn any red lines, undercutting Saudi support for the Syrian rebels, America’s credibility collapsed. 

In a very public protest, the Saudi king rejected a seat on the U.N. Security Council, which the kingdom’s diplomats had spent months lobbying for.  This was a warning shot in diplomatic terms.  Obama ignored it.

With his concessions to Iran’s nuclear program, President Obama has betrayed both Israel and Saudi Arabia, our two most important allies in protecting the world’s oil supply.  In contrast to President Bush’s close cooperation with our Middle East allies, Obama did not consult them on the Iran deal, nor was their safety considered.  One result is certain: our influence in the region is diminished.  Other results, more dire, to follow.
Correction: the original version of this article incorrectly dated the awarding of the „Arab Nobel Prize“ to an Israeli scientist as a contemporary event. It actually ahppened four years ago. We apologize for the error.

The Fourth Horn: Libyan Yellowcake

UN envoy says 6,400 barrels of yellowcake is stored in Libya

10 December 2013 Last updated at 04:22 GMT
The United Nations says nuclear inspectors will visit Libya to assess its uranium stockpiles, amid concerns about fragile security in the country.

The UN envoy to Libya, Tarek Mitri, told the Security Council that the IAEA team would arrive later this month.
He said 6,400 barrels of concentrated uranium, or yellowcake, were stored at a former military base in southern Libya, guarded by an army battalion.
Emily Thomas reports.

Famine: The Fifth Bowl of Wrath

Nuclear war would ‚end civilization‘ with famine: study

Indian Army personnel display an Agni-II nuclear-capable missile during India's Republic Day parade in New Delhi, in January 2006

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Washington (AFP) – A nuclear war between India and Pakistan would set off a global famine that could kill two billion people and effectively end human civilization, a study said Tuesday.

Even if limited in scope, a conflict with nuclear weapons would wreak havoc in the atmosphere and devastate crop yields, with the effects multiplied as global food markets went into turmoil, the report said.
The Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility released an initial peer-reviewed study in April 2012 that predicted a nuclear famine could kill more than a billion people.
In a second edition, the groups said they widely underestimated the impact in China and calculated that the world’s most populous country would face severe food insecurity.
„A billion people dead in the developing world is obviously a catastrophe unparalleled in human history. But then if you add to that the possibility of another 1.3 billion people in China being at risk, we are entering something that is clearly the end of civilization,“ said Ira Helfand, the report’s author.
Helfand said that the study looked at India and Pakistan due to the longstanding tensions between the nuclear-armed states, which have fought three full-fledged wars since independence and partition in 1947.

But Helfand said that the planet would expect a similar apocalyptic impact from any limited nuclear war. Modern nuclear weapons are far more powerful than the US bombs that killed more than 200,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
„With a large war between the United States and Russia, we are talking about the possible — not certain, but possible — extinction of the human race.
„In this kind of war, biologically there are going to be people surviving somewhere on the planet but the chaos that would result from this will dwarf anything we’ve ever seen,“ Helfand said.
The study said that the black carbon aerosol particles kicked into the atmosphere by a South Asian nuclear war would reduce US corn and soybean production by around 10 percent over a decade.
The particles would also reduce China’s rice production by an average of 21 percent over four years and by another 10 percent over the following six years.
The updated study also found severe effects on China’s wheat, which is vital to the country despite its association with rice.
China’s wheat production would plunge by 50 percent the first year after the nuclear war and would still be 31 percent below baseline a decade later, it said.
The study said it was impossible to estimate the exact impact of nuclear war. He called for further research, voicing alarm that policymakers in nuclear powers were not looking more thoroughly at the idea of a nuclear famine.
But he said, ultimately, the only answer was the abolition of nuclear weapons.
„This is a disaster so massive in scale that really no preparation is possible. We must prevent this,“ he said.
President Barack Obama pledged in 2009 to work toward abolition but said that the United States would keep nuclear weapons so long as others exist. Nine countries are believed to possess nuclear weapons, with Russia and the United States holding the vast majority.

Precursor To The Next 911

Stolen isotope in Mexico enough for ‚dirty bomb‘: expertsby Staff WritersMexico City (AFP) Dec 04, 2013

Cobalt-60: curing cancer, causing cancer and ‚dirty bombs‘Vienna (AFP) Dec 04, 2013 – The UN atomic agency said Wednesday that thieves in Mexico have stolen a truck transporting a piece of medical machinery containing an „extremely dangerous“ radioactive material known as cobalt-60.
Cobalt-60 is a radioactive isotope of the metallic element cobalt and the gamma rays it emits destroy tumours.
However, touching, ingesting or just being near to it can cause cancer if it is not properly handled and sealed.
Besides radiotherapy, cobalt-60 can be used to irradiate food, sterilise health care products and measure thicknesses, densities and other properties in industrial processes.
It is just one of many radioactive substances used in hospitals, universities and industry worldwide. Others include iridium-192, americium-241 — used in smoke detectors — and caesium-137.
There have been numerous incidents of these substances falling into the wrong hands and causing serious illness and deaths, for example in Brazil in 1987, Turkey in 1999, Thailand in 2000 and India in 2010.
But a bigger worry is that extremists could get hold of the materials and use them in a „dirty bomb“ — a device whereby conventional explosives disperse radioactive materials. Cobalt-60 is particularly well suited.
Such a device would be considerably easier for extremists to make than a nuclear explosive device, which uses nuclear fission or a combination of fission and fusion with either highly-enriched uranium or plutonium.
Although the damage and loss of life caused by a „dirty bomb“ — also known as a „radiological dispersal device“ or RDD — would be a fraction of that unleashed by an atom bomb, it could still cause mass panic.
In recent years governments have made efforts to reduce stockpiles of highly-enriched uranium, not least in the former Soviet Union, and to reduce the risks posed by civilian uses of nuclear technology.
This includes tightening security measures at facilities containing nuclear materials, converting reactors producing medical isotopes and more stringent border checks.
US President Barack Obama hosted a summit in 2010 on the subject, followed by another in Seoul last year. A third is planned in The Hague next year, but much remains to be done, not least in improving international cooperation and introducing binding global rules, experts say.
„This incident (in Mexico) is reminder of the need to make nuclear and radioactive security a top international priority,“ said Michelle Cann, analyst at the Partnership for Global Security.
„Strengthening transport security for radioactive sources is one of the issues that will be discussed at the March 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague,“ Cann told AFP.

The Two Horns Of Iran and Iraq

No limit for ties with Iraq, says Khamenei


Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
IANS
Tehran, Dec 6: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday that there is no limit for expansion of ties between Iran and Iraq.

Tehran and Baghdad can work together closely in a wide range of areas, and there are no limitations to the development of ties as well as cooperation between the two, Xinhua reported citing Khamenei during a meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
He said one of the areas for cooperation would be science.
The Iranian leader also praised the performance of the Iraqi government in the country over the past few years. „The efforts you are making for your country today are invaluable. Of course, Iraq has still far more needs to be met.“
The Iraqi minister expressed hope that his talks with the Iranian officials during the current visit would lead to an expansion of mutual ties in various fields.
Also, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, during a meeting with Maliki Thursday, described his country’s ties with neighbouring Iraq as „strategic“.
He urged for developing mutual ties with Iraq in all fields, particularly economic and infrastructure areas, on a long- term basis.
Maliki arrived in Tehran Wednesday on an official visit. He exchanged views on the latest regional and international developments with senior Iranian officials and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties in various sectors.
The US removal of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in 2003, and the ensuing rise of Iraqi Shiites helped by Iran, created a new dynamic between two the neighbours. The two nations, which fought each other in the 1980s, have re-established close ties.