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Iraq Expected to Uphold Decision to Expel American Forces

The Leader said Iran will not interfere in Iraq’s relations with the US, but expects Iraqi friends to bear in mind that the US presence in any country is “a source of corruption, ruin and destruction”
Iraq Expected to Uphold Decision to Expel American Forces Iraq Expected to Uphold Decision to Expel American Forces

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Iran expects Baghdad to proceed with the decision of its government, nation and parliament to expel American forces as their presence is a cause for insecurity. 
“Iran would not interfere in Iraq’s relations with the United States, but expects Iraqi friends to know the US and bear in mind that its presence in any country is a source of corruption, ruin and destruction,” he said in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran on Tuesday, Leader.ir reported.
He pointed to the US assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani and the Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad as a consequence of American presence. 
“They killed your guest in your home and openly confessed to this crime, which is not a trivial matter,” he said.    
US President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of the two commanders, accusing them of organizing attacks against American interests in Iraq. 
The aggression sparked widespread protests both in Iran and Iraq. The Iraqi Parliament later passed a resolution, calling on the government to end the presence of American forces that were once dispatched to the country to help fight the self-styled Islamic States terrorist group. 
Iran later responded by launching missiles at locations hosting US forces in Iraq, causing traumatic brain injuries to more than 100 American troops. It said, however, that the ultimate revenge would be the complete expulsion of American military from the region. 
“Iran will never forget this and will definitely strike back at the US,” the Leader said. 
He stressed that Iran never intends to interfere in Iraqi affairs and all it wants is a dignified and independent Iraq that maintains its territorial integrity and domestic unity. 
“Iran is definitely against anything that would weaken the Iraqi government,” he said. 
The US view of Iraq, however, is quite the contrary, according to Ayatollah Khamenei, as it does not advocate an independent and strong Iraq with a government elected by a majority vote. 
“They are after a government like that of Paul Bremer, Iraq’s American ruler shortly after the fall of [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam [Hussein],” he said. 
Bremer led the transitional government of Iraq following the US invasion of the Arab country in 2003.
The Leader pointed out that the US is always seeking a power vacuum in Middle East countries so as to create chaos and pave the way for its intervention like it did in Yemen, “whose regrettable conditions today are known to all”.
A civil war has been raging in Yemen between Houthi fighters and the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the US that supports the ousted government of Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi. 
Ayatollah Khamenei said wisdom and experience call for growing relations between Iran and Iraq in all sectors, although there are oppositions chiefly from the US. 
“One should not be afraid of America because it will not be able to do anything … It will cause disturbance but the Iraqi government should pursue its path without regard to it and keep the people [by its side] as its support,” he said. 
Al-Kadhimi also appreciated Iran’s cooperation in the fight against the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, saying the Iraqi nation will never forget the support.
He also said the two countries’ ties are deep and long-standing, and should be maintained and expanded.  
“Your words of advice are like key to problems and I appreciate that,” he said.  

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