Haider Al-Abadi, Iraq’s new prime minister, arrived in Tehran on Monday night for a visit with Iranian authorities. Iran had been considered a supporter of former Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al-Maleki; however, following widespread criticism of the Al-Maleki administration, Iran backed the election of Mr. Al-Abadi as the new prime minister.

This is Al-Abadi’s first visit to Iran and, according to IRNA, he is set to meet with vice president Eshagh Jahangiri on Tuesday as well as several other Iranian officials.

AFP has quoted Iraqi media saying Mr. Al-Abadi will meet with the Iranian president to discuss action against the extremist group ISIS.

The report adds that ISIS forces are now only kilometres away from Iran’s borders and Iran has now brought its forces into Iraqi territory.

Mr. Al- Abadi has denied that there are any foreign forces now in Iraqi territory fighting against ISIS, stressing that his government has decided not to allow foreign forces into the country.

He made these statements after a visit with Ayatollah Sistani, the senior Shia cleric in Iraq, who has reportedly supported Abadi’s government.