BEIRUT

Middle East

Iran's Zarif begins visit to Iraq

Iran's First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, Minister for Science, Research and Technology, Reza Faraji Dana, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation Ali Akbar Salehi attend the impeachment process of Faraji Dana at parliament in Tehran on August 20, 2014. (AFP/Behrouz Mehri)

TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Sunday began a two-day visit to Iraq, which is fighting a Sunni insurgency led by ISIS jihadists, state news agency IRNA reported.

It said he was to meet his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari as well as the prime minister-designate, Haidar al-Abadi, with the issue of the Iran-Iraq border demarcation also on the agenda.

Iran was a longtime backer of the outgoing premier, Nouri al-Maliki, before dropping its support of the divisive leader in favor of Abadi.

Tehran has called for Iraqi parties to unite in the face of ISIS, which has seized large swaths of the country, and says it is providing advice to Iraqi Kurds fighting the jihadists.

France, meanwhile, has pressed "all countries in the region" including Iran to join Western nations in the fight against ISIS, which is also rampaging through Syria.

 

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