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Khamenei Adviser: Iran Ready To Help Iraq Confront IS Group

A top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said Tehran is ready to carry out "any step" to help Iraq confront Islamic State (IS) militants.

Ali Akbar Velayati, who advises Khamenei on international affairs, was speaking to the Reuters news agency on May 18, a day after the IS extremist group overran Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's western province of Anbar.

Iraqi officials say Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias have joined a government force being assembled to recapture Ramadi, located 110 kilometers west of Baghdad.

Also on May 18, Iranian Defense Minister General Hossein Dehghan arrived in the Iraqi capital for talks with top government officials.

Iran's official IRNA news agency reported that Dehghan is to explore with Iraqi officials "ways to expand defense and military cooperation and promote cooperation against terrorism to create a secure and stable region."

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and IRNA