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Regional states capable of solving issues if foreign intervention ends: Iran president

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)
The combined photo shows Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi (R) and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. (Photo by president.ir)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi says the United States' excessive demands are the root cause of the existing problems in the region, emphasizing that regional states are capable of solving issues if foreign intervention comes to an end.

"All problems and issues in the region can be resolved provided that extra-regional powers stop their intervention," Raeisi said in a phone call with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Saturday.

"Regional problems are rooted in the Americans' excessive demands and if they are expelled from the region in a real way which is not a pretense, we will see that the countries of the region themselves can fully establish peace, stability and security in cooperation with each other," he added.

Pointing to the successful battle of Iran and Iraq against Daesh and Takfiri groups, he said the two countries can use such experience in strengthening regional security and stability.

Raeisi added that Tehran has always attached importance to the expansion of relations with Baghdad and said Iraq has a special position in the Iranian administration's foreign policy to promote ties with neighboring and regional countries.

Iran has always underlined the need for a strong and solid government and a powerful and united society in Iraq, he stated.

The Iranian president expressed hope that the "political structure building in Iraq will materialize through national solidarity and unity in order to result in increasing stability and progress of the Iraqi nation."

Parliamentary elections were held on October 10 last year, the fifth in Iraq since 2003, when a US-led military invasion ousted the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

They were originally planned to be held in 2022, but the date was brought forward in the wake of a mass protest movement that broke out in 2019 to call for economic reforms, better public services, and an effective fight against unemployment and corruption in state institutions.

The Fatah (Conquest) Alliance – the political arm of the Popular Mobilization Units or Hashd al-Sha’abi – managed to secure 17 seats, compared to the 48 it held in the outgoing parliament.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Raeisi pointed to the sufferings of the oppressed Yemeni people and expressed hope that the Iraqi government would be able to take the lead in a regional initiative to lift the siege on the impoverished country and restore the rights of the Yemenis.

The Iraqi prime minister, for his part, said his country attaches great importance to promotion of economic exchanges with Iran.

Kadhimi added that Baghdad fully welcomes Tehran's policy of expanding relations with its neighbors and regional states and hoped the two states would further promote cooperation.


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