Never trust U.S., Leader tells Abadi 

October 27, 2017

TEHRAN – In a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tehran on Thursday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on the Iraqis “never trust” the United States.

The visit by the Iraqi prime minister to Tehran took place after the ill-fated independence vote in the Iraqi Kurdistan and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visits to regional countries, including Iraq.

While in Riyadh, Tillerson unsuccessfully tried to encourage Iraq to join a Saudi-led coalition against Iran and also called on the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, who have been fighting Daesh, to return to their country, an immature remark which prompted strong response by the office of the Iraqi prime minister. 

Ayatollah Khamenei said unity among various ethnic groups, the Iraqi government’s support for Popular Mobilization Forces [known as Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic], and brave and faithful Iraqi youth hold the key to the recent victories against terrorists and their advocates.  

Ayatollah Khamenei expressed support for the measures adopted by Baghdad to defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, describing Iraq as a crucial and important country in the Arab world.   

Expressing support for the efforts of the Iraqi administration to expand relations with neighboring and regional countries, he stressed, “However, you should beware of the duplicity of Americans and never trust them.”

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution added, “The Americans created Daesh themselves, but now that the terrorists have been defeated by the Iraqi people and government, they pretend to be alongside [the Iraqis] and pursuing the same goal [like Iraqis]; however, they will harm Iraq whenever they find the opportunity.”  

Expressing support for inclusive ties in various areas, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said, “The attention that regional nations are paying to Iraq’s successes is the result of the endeavors and bravery of the Iraqi people, you (Abadi) and other Iraqi officials.”  

For his part, the Iraqi prime minister pointed to the efforts of Iraqi people and youth to safeguard the country’s unity and territorial integrity, saying, “We will protect the unity and integrity of Iraq with complete care, and as we have already told our brothers in the [Kurdistan] region, we will not allow the danger of disintegration to threaten our country.” 

Expressing sincere gratitude over Iran’s support for Iraq in the fight against terrorists, Abadi said, “We will enthusiastically endeavor and strive for the expansion of relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.” 
 
In his one-day trip to Tehran, Prime Minister Abadi also held talks with President Hassan Rouhani, Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, and Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani. Abadi visited Iran after a visit to Turkey.

Iran, Iraq pledge to maintain strong ties

In his meeting with Abadi, Rouhani said Iran will continue supporting Baghdad in its battle against terrorism and its efforts to boost national unity.  

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, in the path of fighting terrorism, strengthening unity and solidarity in Iraq, and preserving the territorial integrity of the country, has always been and will be alongside the Iraqi government and nation," Rouhani remarked.  

Rouhani also stressed Iran's support for the central Iraqi government, saying Baghdad should keep up its resistance against secessionist moves, which are harmful to Iraq's national sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

The Iranian president added that there was need to work towards rebuilding Iraq and developing regional relations as the country was emerging from serious security issues and internal problems. 

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, with all its capabilities and power, is ready to contribute to the reconstruction and development of Iraq and stand with its government and nation," Rouhani said.  

The president stated that intimate contacts between Iran and Iraq and their consultations to develop and strengthen regional relations were important. 

Rouhani also vehemently dismissed accusations by the U.S. and some of its Arab allies that Tehran is seeking to dominate the region. However, he noted, Iran has always been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism in the region. 

"Today, we do not see any reason to continue disputes and tensions among the countries of the region," the president said.

Abadi also said terrorism and terrorist tendencies were a challenge and a threat to everyone, adding that the regional countries needed to put aside their differences and curb the spread of terrorism. 

"Disputes and conflicts provide conditions for the interference of others in the affairs of the countries of the region and we must take steps to resolve the disagreements and develop cooperation among them," he said, according to IRNA. 

The Iraqi premier also stressed the need for Iran and Iraq to enhance their cooperation in various fields, saying, "By expanding our relations and cooperation, we must safeguard the interests of the two nations and create security and stability in the region."

 ‘Iraqis’ resistance against terror increased their power’ 

Larijani, in his meeting with Abadi, said the Iraqi people’s battle against terrorists has made them stronger and proved to the world that nobody can take any aggressive action against their country.

Larijani was referring to the defeat of Daesh in Iraq by the military with a support by the Popular Mobilization Forces.

“The Iraqi nation’s resistance against terrorists showed to the world that Iraq is powerful and nobody can invade it,” Larijani pointed out.

The top Iranian parliamentarian said the Iraqis “cut the hand of terrorists” from their country and managed to prevent its disintegration “by taking necessary measures.”

Larijani also said it is necessary that Iraqis be vigilant against plots by Israel and the U.S.

Israel openly defended independence referendum vote in the Iraqi Kurdistan.

“They pursue certain objectives the most important of which is to prevent the presence and activities of the popular armed forces (Hashd al-Shaabi), because they want to damage the power of Muslims by doing this,” Larijani pointed out.

Abadi, for his part, said the main factor, which led Iraq to victory, was the unity among all Iraqi people, noting that even the recent crisis in northern Iraq and the secession vote in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region failed to weaken that unity.

According to the Iraqi constitution, he added, the central government is responsible for maintaining the security in border regions and Iraq is a united and integrated country.

Touching on the annihilation of terrorists in Iraq, Abadi said Baghdad was trying to restore stability to the region, so that, displaced people could return to their homes.


PM Abadi says terror fight entails regional cooperation

In a joint press conference, Iranian Vice President Jahagniri congratulated Abadi in particular and Iraq in general for their victory against Daesh.

He also stressed that all Iraqi Kurds are nationals of Iraq and should enjoy full citizenship rights.

He called the recent Kurdish referendum a “great sedition” that could spread to neighboring countries.

Abadi, for his part, said effort should be made to prevent regional countries from disintegrating.

“Iraq is preparing to make the last stance against Daesh in a battle that would bring the nation freedom,” Abadi said. 

He stressed that a full campaign against terrorism needs cooperation of all neighboring countries.

SP/PA
 

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