Parliament Asks Iraq to Provide Better Security for Iranian Experts
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission on Monday asked the Iraqi government to ensure the security of Iranian engineers and technicians working on development projects in that country.
The commission has asked Iraq to adopt the necessary measures aimed at safeguarding the lives of the Iranian experts who are involved in infrastructural projects in the country to prevent the occurrence of similar terrorists attacks in the future,Seyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, spokesman of the parliamentary commission told Tasnim.
Masked gunmen on Friday shot dead 25 people, including 20 Iranians, working on a pipeline outside the northeastern Iraqi town of Muqdadiya, some 80 kilometers northeast of Baghdad. Five other Iranians and two Iraqis were injured in the terrorist attack.
He said that the extremist Salifist and Takfiri groups which are backed by some regional countries, including Saudi Arabia, are after disturbing Iran-Iraq relations and "sowing the seeds of enmity between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims" by resorting to these terrorist acts.
This commission warned the governments that render support to terrorist groups, which it said are masterminded by the Americans and Zionists, that they too could , one day, become the "victim of the same beasts", and asked the Iraqi government to identify the perpetrators of this act to find out which countries instigated them to carry out such deadly attacks.
After the incident, President Hassan Rouhani talked with Iraqi premier on the phone on Sunday to call for tougher security measures and a united front against the menace of terrorism.
“Those who have plunged the region into crisis through arming, funding and training terrorists will eventually see their support backfiring on them," said the Iranian president in his phone talk with the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maleki.
“The countries involved in such acts are responsible and should be held accountable for them.”
Such moves are aimed at sowing the seeds of discord in Iraq, preventing the development of the country and sabotaging the growing ties between the two neighbors, said President Rouhani.
“We must fight terrorism in a united manner. This act (killing of 20 Iranian gas pipeline workers) showed that the extremists and the terrorists have targeted both the material and spiritual interests of various Iraqi ethnic and religious groups,” added Rouhani.
The Iranian president also urged the Iraqi premier to spend greater efforts to ensure the security of the Iranian contractors and companies working in Iraq.
Prime Minister Maleki, too, said in the phone talk that he had issued orders to identify, apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of the deadly terrorist act.
He also sympathized with the Iranian president and nation on the sad event that claimed the lives of 20 Iranian engineers, technicians and gas pipeline construction workers.
“Such moves have roots in sectarian acts, and the terrorists intend to turn Iraq into a backward nation,” he said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack on the workers, but the Iraqi arm of al-Qaeda is said to be active in the area.
Meanwhile, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdullahian is to leave for Iraq on Monday for a two-day visit to learn more about the attack and talk with Iraqi officials on the issue.
On Sunday, he described ties between Iran and Iraq as “strategic,” saying that Tehran “will not allow Takfiri terrorists to get in the way of cooperation between the two countries and nations.”
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the attack and said that an investigation has been launched to determine the full dimensions of the truth about the terrorist act.
Iran signed a deal in July to build a pipeline and import gas into Iraq to fuel three power plants in the provinces of Baghdad and Diyala, where the attack took place.