TEHRAN, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Iranian defense minister on Thursday urged closer military cooperation with Iraq for the development of the region.
Defense cooperation between Iran and Iraq will result in balance, peace, security and stability of the region, Iran's Defense Minister Amir Hatami was quoted as saying by official IRNA news agency.
Hatami made the remarks in a meeting with high ranking Iraqi military delegation, including the commander of the Iraqi Army's Aviation unit and the commanders of Iraq's Naval and Air Forces, in the capital Tehran.
"Threats and opportunities facing Iran and Iraq require more consultations between the Iranian and Iraqi civil and military officials," Hatami was quoted as saying.
"Such a close cooperation will safeguard the interests of the two nations, help develop the economies of both countries, and provide regional security and stability," he said.
Hatami also pointed to Iran's anti-terror supports to Iraq over the past years, saying that Iran's supports for Iraq in the course of its counter-terrorism operation helped save the neighboring Arab country.
"The blood of the faithful, committed and patriotic Iranian and Iraqi youths guarantees the stability and security of both countries," he said.
"Both Tehran and Baghdad are resolved to develop their bonds," he stressed.
Earlier on Wednesday, Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Iraq's Navy also discussed military cooperation in marine sector.
The visiting Commander of Iraqi Naval Forces Ahmed Jasim Maarij and Commander of IRGC Navy Ali Reza Tangsiri discussed promoting naval cooperation by forming a joint commission, holding joint educational, scientific and research courses, sharing academic experiences, and staging joint naval exercises.
Maarij praised the Iranian military forces for working in close cooperation with Iraqi forces in the fight against terrorism.
Iran and Iraq signed an agreement to boost military cooperation in a host of areas in July 2017.
Based on the deal, Tehran and Baghdad would promote interaction and share experiences in the fight against terrorism and extremism, work together to ensure border security, and provide each other with training and logistical, technical and military support.