Iraq able to defend itself without foreign help: Iranian envoy

February 23, 2020 - 18:32

TEHRAN - Iraq is powerful enough to defend itself against any aggression without relying on foreign forces, Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi underscored on Saturday. 

Masjedi's remarks came in a ceremony marking martyrdom anniversary of senior cleric Mohammad-Bagher al Hakim and other martyrs of resistance.

Masjedi added that the U.S. military bases in any country are the sources of evil and problems for the host country. 

"Iraq is capable of handling its problems and controlling the situation without reliance on other countries, including the U.S.," the envoy underscored. 

He further voiced Tehran's readiness to assist reconstructing Iraq.

In an interview with the Arabic-language al-Forat news website published on Saturday, Masjedi blamed the U.S. interference and its military deployment in certain countries in the region as the main source of tension and insecurity, noting the U.S. military bases in the region do not benefit any country. 

“The U.S. bases do not serve anyone in the region,” Masjedi said.

Masjedi also said Iran is interested in resolving its problems with the Saudis and welcome any mediation, including by Iraq, in this respect. 

Iran’s diplomat in Iraq added that an exit of the U.S. forces in the region will benefit the Americans themselves as well. 

Masjedi, meantime, stressed that the Iraqi people should be the only one to decide their own fate, noting that Iran does not dictate its will on others. 

Iraq’s parliament last month voted to have the U.S. troops removed from the country, heeding a call from caretaker Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi to take urgent measures and end the foreign forces’ presence as soon as possible. 

On January 5, the Iraqi Parliament passed a resolution to work to end the foreign troop presence in the country in the wake of a U.S. targeted assassination of a top Iranian general and a commander of Iraqi popular forces. 

The resolution, which was passed anonymously, instructed the government to cancel a request for military assistance to the U.S.- led coalition, which was issued in response to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as ISIL, ISIS or Daesh) terror group. 

“The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory,” the resolution read, adding, “The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.” 

The resolution stated that Iraqi military leadership has to report the number of foreign instructors that are necessary for Iraqi national security. Earlier, Abdul Mahdi had requested that parliament order the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.

MJ/PA 


 

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