Speaking to reporters in Tehran before leaving for Baghdad for an official visit, Rouhani said, “Americans pursue Iranophobia and have always sought to cause rifts between regional countries. They (Americans) always seek to create division and rifts to serve their own interests and save the usurping Zionist regime,” ONA reports citing Tasnim.
The president also highlighted the “very good and brotherly” relations between Iran and Iraq, which have been close together for millennia, saying those in the West may be unable to realize the depth of such strong historical bonds.
He then pointed to the ample opportunities for interaction between Iran and Iraq, saying the two neighbors can enhance cooperation in transportation, transit of goods, tourism and pilgrimage, trade and investment, as well political and international issues.
Rouhani said the value of annual economic interaction between Tehran and Baghdad stands at around $12 billion, saying the two neighbors can easily reach the $20-billion trade target in coming years.
Close ties between Iran and Iraq serve the interests of the two nations, he underlined, saying the two neighbors can fulfill each other’s demands.
The president also pointed to a business delegation accompanying him in the trip, saying he will attend an economic forum in Baghdad, hold meetings with Iraqi politicians, tribal leaders and prominent figures, and make a pilgrimage to the holy Shiite sites in Karbala and Najaf.
Heading a high-ranking delegation, Rouhani left Iran for Iraq at the official invitation of Baghdad.
It is Rouhani’s first official visit to Iraq during his tenure.
Back in November 2018, President of Iraq Barham Salih made a visit to Tehran with a ranking delegation for a series of political and economic talks.