‘Iran Will Ask No One’s Permission to Maintain Ties with Iraq’

Bahram Qassemi

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has denounced the meddlesome remarks made by an American official on mutual ties between Iran and Iraq, saying the Islamic Republic will never ask for any country’s permission to maintain its ties with its neighbour.

In a Tuesday statement, Qassemi dismissed as “meddlesome and unprofessional” the recent remarks by Brian Hook, the US special representative for Iran, regarding the Iranian president’s visit to Iraq and the warm welcome he received from the Iraqi government and nation.

“The outrage of the American official comes as no surprise because it seems the US has not yet achieved a desirable status among the regional states despite spending billions of dollars in the Middle East,” he noted.

According to the spokesman, the reason behind the failure is “for sure the US’ aggressive, military and meddlesome approaches [towards the region].”

Qassemi underlined that the American officials should stop their undue immorality and greed “to which they have grown accustomed” for many years and have this clear and important point in mind that “the era of interference and making decision for others is over.”

He referred to Iran and Iraq as two independent countries whose governments have been elected by the votes of their people.

“Doubtlessly, the two great nations are capable enough to discern their interests and preferences. So, there is no need for a country [like the US] with such a dark record of aggression, warmongering and destruction to decide for them from thousands of kilometres away,” he noted.

Qassemi noted that Iran and Iraq are two neighbouring countries with long shared borders and a longtime and deeply-rooted common history, adding that the two nations enjoy deep cultural, religious and historical commonalities.

He also said the two nations have chosen to establish strategic and friendly relations with each other based on good neighbourliness.

According to Qassemi, Tehran and Baghdad will spare no effort to preserve and continue their relations and await no one’s permission in this regard.

“What is seen today in Iran-Iraq relations is based on deep and extensive experiences,” he concluded.

Hook had earlier on Monday questioned the motives behind President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Iraq.

In an interview with Alhurrha TV, Hook said that Iran wants to secure a “military highway” through Iraq to the Western parts of the Middle East “that the IRGC can use to ferry missiles, weapons and fighters across the Middle East.”

“President Rouhani coming to Iraq is not in the interest of the Iraqi people”, Hook claimed, adding that the US will sanction “sanctionable activities” anywhere in the world.

Iranian president arrived in Baghdad on Monday for a three-day visit. A high-level delegation is accompanying Rouhani in his first trip to the Arab state in five years.

   
   

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