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Withdrawal of US forces from Iraq will promote regional security: Iran defense chief

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami (4th R) and Iraqi National Security Council (INSC) Advisor Qasim al-Araji (3rd L) meet in Tehran on April 13, 2021. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami says the pullout of American troops from Iraq under a law adopted by the parliament of the Arab country will contribute to the establishment of peace and security of Iraq and the whole region.

“The withdrawal of American forces from Iraq within the framework of the wise legislation approved by this country’s parliament will help the establishment and improvement of security and stability in Iraq and the region,” Hatami said in a Tuesday meeting with Iraqi National Security Council (INSC) Advisor Qasim al-Araji in Tehran.

He slammed as an “unforgivable crime” the US military’s assassination of senior Iranian and Iraqi anti-terror commanders, General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi, and their companions

The expulsion of the American troops from Iraq is a “legitimate right of the Iraqi people,” the defense chief said.

Anti-US sentiment has been running high in Iraq since the assassination of General Soleimani, Muhandis and their companions in a US strike targeting their vehicle outside Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

The cowardly act of terror was carried out under the direction of former US president Donald Trump.

General Soleimani is viewed by the world’s freedom-seeking people as the key figure in defeating Daesh, the world’s most notorious terrorist group, in the Middle East battles.

Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill two days after the assassination, demanding the expulsion of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Hatami said Tehran and Baghdad have cultural, historical and religious commonalities and voiced Iran’s full support for Iraq’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and security.

He emphasized that growing bilateral cooperation in the defense and security fields would play an important role in advancing strategic relations based on the two nations’ interests.

As the Iranian nation and Armed Forces stood by Iraq in its fight against the Daesh terrorist group, they would also participate in the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country, the defense chief added.

For his part, the Iraqi official hailed Iran’s role in the fight against terrorism and called for the expansion of ties in all areas.

Araji on Monday held separate meetings with Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.


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