Even one American in Iraq is too many, Iran leader tells Iraqi president
Dubai (Reuters) – The United States is an unreliable friend, and Iraq should not allow any U.S. troops on its territory, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told visiting Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid on Saturday.
Iran, which has strong ties with Iraq, opposes the U.S. military presence on its borders in Iraq and the Gulf, saying Western military intervention is the root of insecurity in the region.
“Americans are not friends of Iraq. Americans are not friends with anyone and are not even loyal to their European friends,” state media quoted Khamenei as saying.
U.S. national security agencies are investigating after a leak of classified documents has suggested the United States spied on allies including Ukraine.
“Even the presence of one American in Iraq is too much,” Khamenei told Rashid, who was in Tehran with a delegation to boost ties between the two neighbours.
The United States has some 2,500 troops in Iraq to help advise and assist local troops in combating Islamic State, which in 2014 seized territory in the country.
“Iraq’s main effort is to deepen relations with Iran and resolve certain remaining issues between the two countries,” Rashid was quoted as saying, without referring to Iraq’s ties with the United States.