Iran cautions Iraq against ‘complicated US game,’ foreign meddling in region
President Hassan Rouhani has cautioned neighboring Iraq against the consequences of the US’s dual policy on the fight against terrorism in West Asia, saying the issues facing the region should be resolved at the hands of its own countries, free from foreign interference.
According to reports, in a phone call with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Tuesday, President Rouhani said the US is pursuing a double-standard policy on the campaign against terrorism in the region, and that its performance on the Iraqi and Syrian borders run counter to regional interests.
The President was apparently referring to the recent US raids against positions of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in the border areas of Iraq and Syria, where the counter-terrorism forces were fighting the remnants of the Takfiri Daesh terror group in coordination with Baghdad and Damascus.
“We are witnessing that the Americans are playing a complicated game in Iraq these days, and it is natural that such policies will not help bring security and stability to Iraq and will instead complicate the situation there,” he added.
He said the US has always played a destructive role in the region, reiterating Iran’s objection to any foreign interference in the domestic affairs of regional countries.
“Regional problems must be solved at the hands of the countries of the region,” he said.
Pointing to the great commonalities between the two nations, Rouhani added that Tehran attaches special significance to the promotion of Iraq’s stability, security, independence and territorial integrity.
“We regard Iraq’s security and stability as our own and support the presence of this neighboring Muslim country in regional interactions,” the Iranian president stated.
He pointed to the high capacity for bilateral cooperation in economic and trade fields, urging both sides to implement previous agreements, including the important Shalamcheh-Basra railway project, and to develop a roadmap for economic and trade cooperation.
The Iraqi prime minister, for his part, hailed “very friendly” and “strong” relations between the two countries and called for joint efforts to consolidate bilateral and regional cooperation.
Kadhimi also appreciated the Iranian government and people for supporting Iraq in its fight against terrorism and Daesh, and for contributing to the establishment of peace, stability and security in his country.