Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s recent visit to Iran is an indication of the depth in the ties between Tehran and Baghdad, a senior advisor to Iran’s speaker of parliament said, adding that their revenge for the US killing of Qassem Soleimani was “not over.”
Iran and Iraq have had significant growth in trade in recent years, the official IRNA news agency cited Amir Abdollahian as saying on Sunday.
Trade between the two countries currently stands at $14 billion a year, while in comparison, Iran’s trade with Europe “does not even reach $3 billion,” Abdollahian said.
PM al-Kadhimi arrived in Tehran on Tuesday and met with senior Iranian officials including President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The point of al-Kadhimi’s visit to Tehran was to “further develop cooperation between Iran and Iraq,” Abdollahian said.
Iraq is an important neighbor with many commonalities with Iran, and the two countries’ economies complement one another, he said.
Iran’s revenge against the US for killing Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Qassem Soleimani is not over, Abdollahian said.
Khamenei had said during the meeting with al-Kadhimi that Iran will never forget the US killing of Soleimani and “will definitely strike a retaliatory blow to the Americans.”
“When the Supreme still talks about the assassination of Soleimani after a few months, it means that revenge is still on the way and it sends a very strong message to the people of the region, Iraq and the Americans,” Abdollahian said.
Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force, the overseas arms of the IRGC, was killed in a US airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport on January 3.
Iran retaliated days later by launching a ballistic missile strike against military bases in Iraq hosting US troops. Hours later, the IRGC shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane over Tehran that it said it mistook for a cruise missile after days of denying responsibility.
“The Americans should know that Soleimani's revenge is coming,” Abdollahian warned.
He also warned that the US will suffer “serious consequences” following its recent interception of an Iranian passenger plane using warplanes.
Iran said two US fighter jets flew close to a passenger belonging to the IRGC-linked Mahan Air over Syrian airspace on Thursday forcing the pilot to take emergency action and causing injuries to some passengers.
US Central Command (CENTCOM) insisted in a statement that it was a “professional intercept… conducted in accordance with international standards.”