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Iranian president meets Shiite spiritual leader in Iraq

Iranian president meets Shiite spiritual leader in Iraq

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 13 Mar 2019, 06:14 pm

Baghdad, Mar 13 (Xinhua) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday met with Iraq's most revered Shiite spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the holy city of Najaf, a provincial source said.

On the last day of his official visit, Rouhani and his accompanying delegation arrived in the morning in the airport of Najaf, some 160 km south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, and was received by its provincial governor Luay al-Yasiri before heading to al-Sistani's house where the two held an hour-long meeting, a source from the provincial media office told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

"Al-Sistani and Rouhani discussed relations between the two countries and the need to distance Iraq from any regional or international conflict," the source said.

"The meeting was attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjedi," the source added.

Rouhani and his delegation are scheduled to visit the mausoleum of Imam Ali, the cousin of the Prophet Mohammed, in the old city center of Najaf, which attracts millions of Shiite pilgrims every year.

Rouhani's meeting with Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, who has a large number of followers inside Iran, is of symbolic importance in both Iraq and Iran.

On Monday, Rouhani arrived in Baghdad on a landmark three-day visit to Iraq at the invitation of his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih.

During the first two days of his visit, Rouhani and his delegation held a series of meetings with top Iraqi officials, political and religious leaders.

The visit came as the United States has been exerting sanctions on Iran's oil industry, banking and transport sectors, after Washington pulled out from the 2015 nuclear deal last year.  


Iranian president meets Shiite spiritual leader in Iraq

India Blooms News Service
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