EghtesadOnline: The United States is refusing to withdraw its forces form Iraq despite a parliamentary resolution calling for their exit, as it pursues its own self-serving agenda, Iranian lawmakers said.
According to Financial Tribune, the US almost got into a war with Iran on Iraqi soil after it assassinated top Iranian commander, Major General Qasem Soleimani, in early January in Baghdad.
Iran responded soon after by launching missiles at Iraqi locations hosting American and allied forces, which inflicted brain injuries on more than 100 troops.
The aggression also sparked widespread public protests in Iraq against the US.
Iraq's Parliament later passed a resolution calling on the government to expel foreign troops stationed in the country to help fight the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group.
Instead of leaving, the US has been moving its troops from smaller bases to larger ones and improving its air defense systems while tensions have heightened between American forces and Iraqi militia groups in recent weeks.
Abolfazl Aboutorabi, an Iranian parliamentarian, said the US is remaining in the region to serve its own interests.
With his popularity declining due to the mismanagement of the new coronavirus pandemic, US President Donald Trump is seeking to influence the public opinion both inside and outside America by displaying military power in Iraq, he told ICANA.
“By putting Patriot [air defense] missile systems, Americans aim to support Israel; in fact, the US is present in Iraq with political motivations,” he added.
According to Aboutorabi, Americans also aim to exercise influence in the Iraqi governing body.
Gholamali Jafarzadeh, another lawmaker, also pointed to US efforts to impose allied figures for Iraq’s premiership as a motive for Washington’s refusal to leave this country.
“US was seeking to manipulate the government after the military intervention,” he said, warning Iraqis about such plots and urging them to stand up to US interference in their internal affairs.
Iraq’s former premier, Adel Abdul Mahdi, resigned under pressure from anti-government protests in November, but remained as caretaker when Iraqi President Barham Salih’s two nominated figures failed to gain support and withdrew.
Salih on Thursday named his third choice, intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi as prime minister-designate.
MP Akbar Ranjbarzadeh said the US is maintaining its position in Iraq to block all the ways through which Iran can be strengthened, including close ties with Baghdad.
“They want to sever all Iranian links in the region and jeopardize our interests,” he said.