Wednesday, 20 May, 2020

Foreign powers must stop interfering in Iraq affairs: Iran president

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic supports Iraq’s sovereignty, stressing that foreign powers must stop interfering in the country’s internal affairs.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, as always, will stand by the Iraqi government and nation, supports Iraq’s sovereignty and calls for non-interference of foreign powers in the fate of this country’s nation and government,” Rouhani said in a phone call with his Iraqi counterpart, Barham Salih, on Monday.

Expressing satisfaction about the formation of the new cabinet in Iraq and its approval by the country’s lawmakers, Rouhani said, “Iraq’s political stability is of significance to the region, and certainly this process will be a prelude to the restoration of Iraq’s prominent role in the region.”

He noted that regional countries are currently struggling with many problems such as the plunge in oil prices, the coronavirus pandemic, security challenges, and, above all, the US interference in their internal affairs, adding that the solution lies in the development of ties.

“The expansion of all-out relations and cooperation among friendly governments and nations can help them overcome these problems,” the Iranian president said.

Stability, security in Iraq requires cooperation from neighbors: Salih

The Iraqi president, for his part, highlighted the significance of political relations between Tehran and Baghdad, saying that Iraq requires cooperation from friendly and neighboring countries, particularly Iran, to maintain its stability and security.

Salih slammed as destructive the acts of interference by foreign powers in the region, emphasizing that outsiders must stop meddling in the domestic affairs of regional states as the Middle East cannot tolerate any new crises.

Outlining political measures taken to bring various Iraqi groups, parties and tribes together to make the election of a new prime minister possible, Salih said,”Ensuring Iraq’s sovereignty is an undeniable necessity, which must be taken into account when making decisions about the country’s future.”

The Iraqi president stressed that “Foreign powers must have no part in determining fate of his country.”

The Iraqi president in February appointed Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi as the new prime minister after political parties in parliament failed to name a candidate in two months since former premier Adel Abdul-Mahdi stepped down in the wake of anti-government protests.

In March last year, Rouhani paid an official visit to Baghdad on a trip aimed at solidifying strategic ties despite US efforts to keep the two neighbors apart and curb Iran’s influence in the region. 

“Strengthening ties between Tehran and Baghdad works to the benefit of both countries and we won’t let this positive path towards progress slow down to a halt,” Rouhani said during a joint news conference at the time.

In a meeting with the Iraqi president and his accompanying delegation in Tehran in November 2018, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei slammed foreign meddling in Iraq, saying the Arab country must stand firm against its enemies.

“The way to overcome problems and counter ill-wishers’ plots is to preserve national unity in Iraq, properly distinguish friends from foes, stand up to the brazen enemy, rely on youths and maintain and strengthen links with the [clerical] sources [of emulation],” the Leader said.

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