Iraqi Integrity, Unity Should Be Preserved

Iraqis should not trust the Americans under any circumstances because they are waiting for an opportunity to deliver a blow on the Arab country
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei meets Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tehran on June 20.	Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei meets Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tehran on June 20.

Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has underscored the need to safeguard the territorial integrity of Iraq, expressing Tehran's opposition to plots designed to split up the Arab state.

"As a neighbor, the Islamic Republic of Iran is against humming about holding a referendum for separating a section of Iraq and believes those involved are against the independence and identity of Iraq," the Leader said, according to a translation posted on his official website.

In a meeting Tuesday with the visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei was referring to an announcement by Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government earlier this month that it would hold a referendum on separation of the region from Iraq on September 25.

Pointing to "Iraq's material, human and historical richness," the ayatollah said, "With such historical, cultural and human roots and civilization, Iraq must remain integrated. Such a country is entitled to stand on its own feet and strongly counter those who seek confrontation with Iraq."

It is up to all political and religious groups in Iraq to do their best to strengthen the central government and promote harmony and unity, as division and polarity would give Iraq's adversaries the opportunity to harm the country, he said.


  Fake Fight  

"Under no circumstances trust the Americans, because they are waiting for an opportunity to deliver their blow," he cautioned.

Ayatollah Khamenei urged the government in Baghdad not to allow US forces to return to Iraqi territory under the pretext of training Iraqi forces in the fight against the Islamic State. He stressed the point that Washington's opposition to the medieval terrorist group is “not genuine".

"The Americans and their vassal states in the region are not after destroying and uprooting IS, because IS has emerged with their support and funds and they favor an IS that is under their thumb to remain in Iraq."

IS gained control over large swathes of Iraq in a surprise attack in 2014, which even put the capital Baghdad at the risk of falling.

Since then, the Iraqi Army, accompanied by Popular Mobilization Units that were established shortly after the IS onslaught, are battling to retake the captured Iraqi cities.

Iran is providing advisory services to the Iraqi forces, who are now on the verge of liberating Mosul, the second biggest Iraqi city and the de facto capital of the IS.

  Efficient Force    

Referring to the "commendable" success of Iraqi forces in pushing back IS from large swathes of Iraq, the Leader said.

it results from "internal coherence and unity in Iraq and also the wise policy of the Iraqi government in trusting the young and faithful Iraqis and their presence in the battlefield."

Ayatollah Khamenei touched on the opposition of the US and its stooges to PMF, stating, "The opposition of the Americans against the popular forces is due to the fact that they want Iraq to lose the key element of its power."

Abadi described the eradication of IS as achievable, particularly when Iran is supporting the anti-terror drive in the Arab country.

"Today, Iraq is coherent and united in the fight against IS and all political and religious currents unanimously agree on the need to continue the fight against the terror outfit until it is eradicated."

Abadi also met President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday.  The Iraqi leader was on a regional tour that started in Saudi Arabia on Monday and was to include a stop in Kuwait.

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