EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani warned of the adverse consequences of the United States’ military presence in the region, saying all regional countries are obligated to expel American troops.
In a meeting with the visiting Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein in Tehran on Saturday, Rouhani said Iran has always expressed its political stance on regional issues in an explicit and clear way.
“We regard the presence of US armed forces in the region, be it Iraq, Afghanistan or the southern Persian Gulf littoral states as detrimental to regional security and stability,” the Iranian president stressed, President.ir reported.
Stressing that every single country, where the United States has deployed forces, needed to help expel American forces, Rouhani commended as “positive step” a bill approved by Iraqi lawmakers demanding the expulsion of US forces from the Arab country, adding that Iran backs the move.
Iraqi lawmakers in January unanimously approved the bill, following the assassination of Iran’s top military commander, General Qassem Soleimani, and the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
The legislators used an extraordinary parliamentary session to vote on a resolution requiring the government to press Washington and its allies to withdraw their troops from Iraq.
American forces assassinated General Soleimani, the commander of Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards, along with Muhandis and their companions by targeting their vehicle outside Baghdad International Airport on January 3.
The cowardly act of terror was carried out under the direction of US President Donald Trump, with the Pentagon taking responsibility for the strike.
No Meddling in Iraq
Noting that Iran has never sought and would never seek to interfere in Iraq’s internal affairs, Rouhani said, “We have always believed that Iraqi groups should have good relations to help protect and develop their country.”
He stressed the importance of forging unity among different religious groups in Iraq and expressed Iran’s readiness to stand by the Iraqi government and nation to help boost unity and understanding in the Arab country.
The president also urged Tehran and Baghdad to further strengthen relations in political, cultural and economic fields and accelerate the implementation of agreements already signed between the two sides.
The Iraqi foreign minister hailed Iran’s support for his country at different junctures.
Hussein, who was in Tehran on an official two-day visit, said the expansion of mutual relations and implementation of agreements, particularly in the fields of border cooperation and transportation, and enhanced trade ties through Arvand River are among main issues on his trip’s agenda.
He noted that the Iraqi prime minister has called for the formation of a special committee to hold negotiations about ways of implementing bilateral agreements and said members of the committee would travel to Tehran within the next few weeks.
Earlier in the day, the top Iraqi diplomat held talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on bilateral ties and latest developments in the Middle East.