Jul 22, 2020, 12:01 AM
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Supreme Leader: Iran favors dignified, independent Iraq; US enemy of strong Iraq

Tehran, July 22, IRNA – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that the interests, security, dignity, regional authority and the improvement of the situation in Iraq are the elements which are of most significance for Iran in its relations with Baghdad.

He made the remarks late on Tuesday when he received the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who is currently in Tehran at the head of a high-ranking delegation.

"Iran has never had and will never have any intention to meddle in Iraq's affairs. Iran seeks a dignified, independent Iraq with its territorial integrity and internal unity and cohesion protected," the Leader said as reported by his official website, Khamenei.ir.

"Iran is certainly against anything that weakens Iraq. The US outlook concerning Iraq is exactly the opposite to our outlook because the US is the enemy in the true sense of the word and opposes an independent, strong Iraqi government elected by popular vote," he added.

The Supreme Leader further went on to stress that "It doesn't matter to the US who the Prime Minister of Iraq is. They want a government like that of Paul Bremer--the American ruler of Iraq after Saddam’s downfall."

"Iran doesn’t interfere in Iraq-US relations but expects the Iraqi friends to know that the US presence in any country brings corruption and destruction. Iran expects the decision of the Iraqi government, nation and parliament to expel the US to be pursued because US presence causes insecurity," Ayatollah Khamenei said.

"The US' crime in assassinating General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis is an example of the US’s presence. They killed your guest in your home, and they blatantly confessed to this crime. This is not a trivial matter," He said, noting that Iran will never forget the martyrdom of Hajj Qasem Soleimani and will definitely strike a reciprocal blow to the US.

"The consensus reached between political groups and currents in Iraq to elect Mr. Al-Kadhimi's government is very good. The US and its agents always seek to create a power vacuum in the region’s countries through which they seek to cause chaos and prepare the ground for their intervention," he said.

"We stress Iran's support of Mr. Al Kadhimi’s government. Wisdom, religion and experience require the expansion of Iran-Iraq relations. Obviously, such relations have opponents; leading them is the US. But, one should never fear the US at all, because the US can't do a single thing," the Supreme Leader said.

"The Religious Authority and person of Ayatollah Sistani is a great blessing for Iraq. Hashd al-Shabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) is also another great blessing in Iraq, which should be safeguarded."

Iraqi premier, for his part, said Iran-Iraq ties are deep-rooted, longstanding, cultural and religious with the backbone of love and devotion to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) Household.

He also praised Iran's Supreme Leader for his guidelines as a key to solve problems.

Khamenei.ir has carried a report of the meeting according which Ayatollah Khamenei "described Iran-Iraq relations as being truly brotherly due to the existence of many similarities in history, religion, culture and traditions between the two countries. He stressed, “What is of great importance to the Islamic Republic in its bilateral relations with Iraq are the interests, security, dignity, and regional authority of Iraq in addition to the improvement of circumstances in that country.”

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution stressed that Iran has never wanted and never will want to interfere in the internal affairs of Iraq, saying, “Iran wishes to see an Iraq which is dignified and independent with its territorial integrity and internal unity and cohesion protected.”

Ayatollah Khamenei added, “Iran is definitely opposed to anything that weakens the Iraqi government. Of course, the Americans’ outlook concerning Iraq is the exact opposite of ours due to the fact that the US is an enemy, in the true sense of the word. That is why it does not wish to see an independent, strong Iraq that enjoys a government formed on the basis of the people’s votes.”

He further stated, “The Americans do not care who the Prime Minister of Iraq is. They only want to establish a government like the one formed by Paul Bremer, the former American ruler of Iraq just after Saddam’s downfall. Iran does not interfere in Iraqi-American relations, but it expects its Iraqi friends to know the US and to bear in mind that the presence of the US in any country will bring about corruption, ruin and destruction.”

He emphasized, “The Islamic Republic expects the decision made by the Iraqi government, nation and parliament to expel the Americans to be implemented because their presence leads to insecurity.”

Referring to the assassination of General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis as one of the consequences of the presence of the US in the region, Imam Khamenei stated, “They killed your guest in your home, and they blatantly confessed to this crime. This is not a trivial matter. The Islamic Republic of Iran will never forget this, and it will definitely strike a reciprocal blow to the Americans.”

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution spoke of the consensus between various political groups and parties in Iraq in establishing Mr. Kadhimi’s administration, saying, “The Americans and their agents are always seeking to create a power vacuum in regional countries in order to cause a chaos and prepare the ground for their own intervention. This is what they did in Yemen. Everyone can see the appalling circumstances in Yemen today.”

Offering Iran’s support to Mr. Kadhimi’s administration, Imam Khamenei said, “Wisdom, religion and experience dictate that Iran-Iraq relations be reinforced in all areas. Obviously, there are some countries which are opposed to the expansion of Iran-Iraq relations. The US is at the top of the list. But, we should not fear the US at all because it cannot do a single thing.”

His Eminence added, “The Americans cause trouble and create some hurdles, but the Iraqi government should continue its path with strength and without heeding these interferences. It should also protect the Iraqi people who are a source of support for it.”

Imam Khamenei described the Religious Authority and person of Ayatollah Sistani as being a great blessing for Iraq and stated, “Hashd al-Shabi is another great blessing in Iraq, which should be safeguarded.”

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