In response to a question from a Bahraini media outlet alleging Iranian interference in Iraq, the Iraqi foreign minister stressed that although his country has disagreements with Iran, there are many commonalities between the two countries and that Iran has rushed to Iraq's aid in critical situations such as ISIL attack.

Iran PressMiddle East: Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein, in an interview with the Bahraini newspaper Al-Balad, responding to the newspaper's question: "Why does the name of Iraq appear next to the name of Iran," said: "Iraq has both differences and commonalities with Iran. Iran and Iraq are two neighboring countries in terms of history and geography. We discuss our differences with Iranian officials, but we also cooperate on common issues, such as when ISIL attacked us Iran helped us in the fight against this outfit.

"As two countries and two neighbors, we want cooperation," said Fouad Hussein.

"We have been at war in Iraq for more than half a century; from civil wars to foreign wars such as the Iran-Iraq war, which is the longest classic war since World War II when Iraq's infrastructure was completely destroyed.

"In this war that left one million wounded and killed," he said the Iraqi economy was destroyed in order to feed the war, and the country's oil sites were destroyed, and we could no longer export oil. Iraq had $ 36 billion in foreign exchange reserves when it went to war with Iran, but withdrew with $ 150 billion in debt. It is true that 80% of these debts were written off in the Paris Forum, but Iraq still has a lot of debts and is paying them off.

Fouad Hussein noted that after the war with Iran, Iraq invaded Kuwait to engage in a devastating war, which was followed by international sanctions against Iraq from 1991 to 2003.   207

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