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Iran asked to help Iraqi Assyrians: Official

A senior Iranian official says the Assyrians have appealed to the Islamic Republic to help provide security for the minority community in Iraq who are facing threats from militants.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said in an interview on Wednesday that the representative of the Assyrians in the world has called on Iran to provide training and weapons to help ensure security for the Iraqi Assyrians.

“This indicates that the Islamic Republic of Iran[‘s assistance] is not limited to a certain group or belief, and that when it comes to fighting terrorism it (Iran) is considered a supporter and pioneer to confront this scourge,” Shamkhani said.

Iran has contributed to restoration of peace and stability in the region without taking its own interests into account.

Over the past months, Assyrians, who come from one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, have been under increasing threat from the ISIL terrorists.

In late February, a new report said the ISIL group is systematically targeting religious and ethnic minorities in northern Iraq, adding, “While minorities have long been vulnerable to attacks by extremists, this violence appears to be part of a systematic strategy to remove these communities permanently from areas where they have lived for centuries.”

The report came shortly after that the ISIL terrorists kidnapped 220 Assyrians in the northeastern Iraqi province of Hasakah.

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