Iran’s defense minister visits Iraq to promote security ties

Iran’s defense minister has visited a joint intelligence center in the Iraqi capital operated by Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia.

Iran’s official IRNA news agency says Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami met with Iraq’s interior minister and other officials, and praised their victory over the Islamic State group.

Gen. Saad al-Alak, head of Iraq’s military intelligence, who met with Hatami, called the four-nation alliance “a distinguished example for international relations, especially in the field of military and security cooperation.”

Iran has maintained close ties to the Iraqi government since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. It sponsors a number of state-sanctioned militias, which helped Iraqi forces in the fight against IS.

Iran, along with Russia, is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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