“Iran and Iraq are two independent countries, whose governments have been elected by the votes of the two countries’ people and undoubtedly these two nations…do not need a country with a black record of aggression and warmongering and destruction to make decisions on their behalf from thousands of kilometers away,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday.
He made the remarks in reaction to claims by US Special Representative Brian Hook about Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s ongoing visit to Iraq.
In an interview with Alhurrha TV on Monday, Hook questioned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s “motives” regarding Iraq and said when the Iranian government does “prioritize his own people so why on earth he would prioritize the welfare of the Iraqi people.”
In a joint statement, Tehran and Baghdad praise Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s historic visit to Iraq as a “turning point” in efforts to strengthen “strategic” relations between the two nations.
“President Rouhani coming to Iraq is not in the interest of the Iraqi people”, Hook said, claiming that Iran wants to secure a “military highway” through Iraq to the Western parts of the Middle East to transfer missiles, weapons and fighters across the Middle East.
The Iranian spokesperson dismissed the allegations and said “this American official’s anger is not surprising because it seems that his country has failed to gain a proper position among regional nations despite spending billions of dollars in the Middle East.”
Qassemi emphasized that Washington’s aggressive policies, militarism and interventionism are the main reasons behind its lack of success.
He urged US officials to set aside their decades-long excessive demands and realize that the era of meddling in the affairs of other countries and making decisions for them has come to an end.
Rouhani arrived in Baghdad at the head of a high-ranking politico-economic delegation on Monday on his first visit to the country since 2013. The three-day trip is aimed at solidifying strategic ties despite US efforts to keep the two neighbors apart and curb Iran’s influence in the region.
Iran and Iraq sign five memorandums of understanding for the expansion of cooperation in various sectors.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, Iran and Iraq hailed the Iranian president’s historic visit to Iraq as a “turning point” in efforts to strengthen “strategic” cooperation between the two neighbors based on non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
During Rouhani’s visit, the two neighbors have inked several agreements on the expansion of bilateral cooperation in various economic and healthcare sectors.