No Need for Iran’s Military Presence in Iraq

No Need for Iran’s Military Presence in IraqNo Need for Iran’s Military Presence in Iraq

The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' Qods Force said Iran will take action against terrorist groups in Iraq, only if the country's religious leadership deems it necessary.

"We will act [against the terrorists in Iraq] only when Iraq's [religious leadership says there is] a political and international need," Major General Soleimani said at a meeting in Tehran on Saturday, Tasnim News Agenc

He added that the Islamic Republic does not need to intervene in Iraq, as long as top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali al-Sistani is present in the Arab country.

Ayatollah Sistani, who is held in great esteem, succeeded in mobilizing the Iraqi nation in the fight against the self-styled Islamic State and other terrorist groups who are supported by some regional states.  

The statements by the Iranian general came after Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir claimed in a recent interview that Iran is interfering in the internal affairs of some regional countries, including Iraq.

Later, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, rejected Jubeir's assertion, saying that the Islamic Republic has played an advisory role in Iraq at the request of the Baghdad government.

Soleimani referred to Iran's advisory help to the Syrian government against IS and said had it not been for Iran's assistance in the past four years, IS would have been ruling the entire country now.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including IS currently controlling parts of it.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others and displaced nearly half of the country's prewar population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.