Iraqi president: Sanctions will not change Iran’s behavior

Salih says Iraq will never let U.S. use its soil to attack Iran

June 26, 2019

TEHRAN – Iraqi President Barham Salih says his country under no circumstances will allow the United States to use its bases in Iraq to launch an attack on neighboring Iran.

“We do not want our territory to be a staging post for any hostile action against any of our neighbors, including Iran,” Salih said in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour in London on Tuesday.

“This is definitely not part of the agreement between the Iraqi government and the United States.”

There is a “fundamental question” about whether sanctions could induce a country to change policy, the Iraqi president says of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Salih questioned the efficacy of sanctions to change a country’s behavior, saying there was a “fundamental question” about whether sanctions could induce a country to change policy.

“We in Iraq have suffered from sanctions in the 1990s, and the devastation that has afflicted Iraqi society has been really enduring, even to date,” he said.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran are running high. After the downing of an American spy drone last week, U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned that an attack on “anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force.”

President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday the U.S. ruling authorities are baffled and wondering why none of the measures they adopt against Iran bears fruit.

The fact is that after each such U.S. move, the Iranian nation becomes livelier, stronger, and gains further morale to push on in various arenas, Rouhani said after Washington announced a new round of sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s top officials.

Rouhani also said the White House in is a state of mental retardation. 

MH/PA

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