RNA - "The US has further complicated the region's situation by withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and by pressuring Iran and Iraq," Iraq's Adel Abdul-Mahdi said in a Sunday meeting with Iran's Ali Shamkhani.
Washington "is now further pressuring us to cut our ties with Iran," Abdul-Mahdi said.
The Iraqi premier added that despite Washington's desires, "geopolitical logic necessitates the use of opportunities presented by our neighbors to bolster our national interests and security".
Abdul-Mahdi highlighted that it was Iran's "sincere" assistance that enabled the country to counter the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which was ultimately defeated in 2017 following three years of bloody conflict.
Shamkhani, speaking on his part, said that the existence of common enemies targeting both countries necessitates the expansion of ties between Tehran and Baghdad.
He added that Washington and Tel Aviv have been attempting to dishearten and discourage nations taking part in the "axis of resistance" against US and Zionist influence in the region.
Referring to Iraq's ongoing political crisis, Shamkhani said that a combined front comprised of Israel and certain western and Arab states are seeking to undermine Iraq's stability.
He added that Iran, however, fully supports the quick formation of a government chosen by the Iraqi people as the country "plays a key role in stabilizing the region".
In November, Abdul-Mahdi announced his resignation following unprecedented anti-government protests which accused the former government of corruption and mismanagement.
The country has since failed to approve a new government.
Also on Sunday, Iran's SNSC chief met Iraqi President Barham Salih.
According to statement published by the media office of the Iraqi presidency, the two discussed joint cooperation related to countering terrorism and safeguarding Iraq's sovereignty.
Shamkhani also met other Iraqi government officials and party leaders during the trip, including Iraq's adviser of the National Security Council Falih Fayyad, Senior Iraqi cleric Ammar al-Hakim and former Iraqi Prime Ministers Nouri al-Maliki and Heidar Al-Ebadi.
Iran's SNSC chief also held a meeting with Iraq's Health Minister Ja'far Allawi. The two discussed cooperation aimed at containing the novel coronavirus outbreak.
'A strategic mistake'
Speaking to the chief of Iraq's intelligence agency, Mostafa Kazemi, Shamkhani lauded Iraq's recent nationwide rallies calling for the expulsion of American forces from the country.
The rallies took place after Washington assassinated Iran's popular anti-terrorism figure, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), in Baghdad earlier this year.
During the discussion, Shamkhani described the assassination as the Trump administration's "strategic mistake" which has set in motion the eventual expulsion of US troops from the region.