Monday, 13 January, 2020

Ambassador in Tehran thanks Iran for saving Iraq from ISIS

Iraq’s ambassador to Iran has thanked Tehran for its military support of the Iraqi government, claiming that the progress made in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) would not have been achieved without their assistance and that Baghdad would have fallen.

“Hadn’t it been for the Popular Mobilization forces, the Iraqi army and the Islamic Republic’s support, Iraq would have fallen by now.” Iraqi Ambassador to Tehran Rajeh Saber Abboud al-Moussavi said in an interview with Iran’s state news agency Fars on Saturday.

Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are Shiite militia groups known in Iraq as Hashd al-Shaabi.

Relations between Baghdad and Tehran have strengthened in recent years especially since the start of the war against ISIS in which Iranian military advisors have played a key role advising and leading Iraqi troops and the Hashd al-Shaabi in battle.

Al-Moussavi justified Iran’s military role in Iraq, saying it was based on Iraqi government consent.

“Iran’s presence in Iraq has entirely been based on the Iraqi government’s demand and is of an advisory nature,” he said.

Al-Moussavi added that the fall of Iraq would have a domino effect for the entire region: “Should Iraq fall, so will every country in the region, and there will be chaos in all those countries.”

The Ambassador echoed the view of his Iranian hosts that the West, the United States in particular, are pursuing their own interests in the region, urging them to let people of the region run their own affairs.

“The era of colonialism has ended and countries want to take their respective state affairs into their own hands,” Al-Moussavi said.

The role of Iran’s Quds Forces leader Qasem Soleimani has been apparent in several operations against ISIS particularly leading the Shiite militia in the battle for Tikrit and parts of the Diyala province.

Secretary of Iran’ Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani has also specified that his country’s role is advisory not just to Iraq but Syria as well.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its advisory role and assistance to the Iraqi and Syrian governments until the full removal of the danger of the terrorist groups in the region,” Shamkhani said in a recent meeting with Head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar al-Hakim in Tehran.

Shamkhani congratulated Iraq’s military efforts, specifically in retaking the strategic city of Fallujah in June, the former ISIS stronghold closest to Baghdad.

Shamkhani went on to say that the defeat of ISIS will come at the hands of regional powers not from foreign intervention.

“While the US and its certain allies were seeking to justify their presence and destabilizing acts in the region by hatching a 7-year-long plan to fight against terrorism in Iraq and Syria, the Iraqi people and security forces’ power showed that the ISIL’s full annihilation can be rapidly accessed by reliance on domestic capacities,” he said.

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