TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei described the presence of US troops in the region as “detrimental”, calling on the Iraqi government to take all necessary measures to make American forces withdraw from the Arab country as soon as possible.

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“The relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq are beyond simple ties between two neighboring countries and the Iranian nation and state consider the progress and prosperity of the Iraqi nation as part of their own interests; however, the US officials—contrary to their verbal remarks—assume the democracy and the current assembly of political activists in Iraq as detrimental to themselves. Therefore, the Iraqi government should take actions so that US troops will leave Iraq as soon as possible,” the Leader said in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and his accompanying delegation in Tehran on Saturday, according to Khamenei.ir.

Appreciating the wise and plausible positions taken by the Iraqi premier with respect to the matters in Iraq and the region, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to human capacities of Iraq and said, “Among (numerous) human resources of Iraq are its youth who proved their potentials in countering the Daesh sedition, and that was a historic achievement”.

Ayatollah Khamenei also called the scientists and scholars of Iraq as another asset of Iraq and added, “At the early periods of its presence in Iraq, the US assassinated many of the Iraqi scientists; because they understood the importance of this valuable asset”.

Emphasizing the fact that human assets and rich mineral resources in Iraq will make the country the most influential in the Arab world, the Leader stated, “The US officials and their cohorts in the region are against the current democratic establishment in Iraq as well as the officials and the chief leaders and regard them as offensive to their own interests”.

If the Iraqi government and officials followed the US, the US would have no problems with Iraq, teh Leader said. “The current government and parliament in Iraq and the political figures are not what the US desires. As a result, they would plot to remove them from the political scene of Iraq”.

The Leader said what the US and Saudi officials say in words about Iraq contradict their real intentions. “At a time when Daesh occupied Mosul, they provided the terrorists with money, arms and equipment; and now that Iraq has defeated it, they pretend they seek friendship with Iraq”.

Ayatollah Khamenei further said comprehensive awareness is required to eliminate the remnants of Daesh terrorists from Iraq because if they notice the slightest weakness in the Iraqi government and nation, they will start to commit crimes again.

The Leader described the US military presence in the countries of the region as detrimental to the countries and the nations and stressed, “You should take necessary measures so that the US will withdraw its troops from Iraq as soon as possible because in any country where the US maintained an enduring military presence, the process of expelling them became more complicated and problematic”.  

Ayatollah Khamenei further said that the US goals go beyond mere military presence, and said, “They seek long-term presence and interests as well as forming a government like the military states that were created during the early times of the occupation of Iraq”.

Ayatollah Khamenei went on to refer to the influence of scientific advances on Iraq’s development and said, “Based on experience, I believe scientific progress in Iraq will pave the ground for permanent security in various areas”.

During the meeting, which was also attended by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Iraqi prime minister said the Iranian government and nation had always supported the Iraqis in difficult times, particularly in the fight against Daesh.

He stressed that despite defeating Daesh, its elements are still present in Iraq and added, “Nevertheless, today the Iraqi people live in a secure and stable situation”.

Referring to Rouhani’s recent trip to Baghdad as well as Saturday’s meetings in Tehran, Abdul Mahdi said, “As a result of the negotiations, we have reached good agreements (with our Iranian counterparts) for building railways, establishing industrial parks, developing commercial relations, transportation, and dredging Arvand”.

The Iraqi prime minister also said, “The relation between Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran is special and we have announced that we will never join the US sanctions against Iran”.