Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined that Tehran will not support and is opposed to the deployment of the US-led ground forces in Iraq to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group.
Speaking in an interview with the American CNN television, Rouhani said that Iran will resort to any possible means to protect the holy sites in Iraq, including those in Karbala and Najaf, and the country’s capital city of Baghdad from the terrorist attacks.
Asked if Iran will support a probable US ground force dispatch to fight against ISIL in Iraq, he said, “Definitely not; because we do not consider such a move the right thing to do and the past experience, too, is proof that such foreign forces are not competent enough for the job. When the American forces were in Iraq there were terrorist explosions there every day. When with their huge forces there they failed to take back Fallujah forces from the terrorists, how can they do the same with a small number of forces?”
In relevant remarks earlier this month, Rouhani underlined the necessity for collective measures by different world states to fight terrorism, but meantime, described the formation of the coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant by those states which have supported the terrorist group as “satirical”.
“Terrorism is a growing global threat but the satirical part of this story is that the countries which have trained, equipped and supported the terrorist groups financially are suddenly today thinking about fighting these terrorist groups,” Rouhani said in a meeting with Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák in Tehran.
“Of course, we believe that if any country sincerely announces that it will be after fighting terrorism from now on, its repentance should be accepted,” he added.
Rouhani underscored that today cooperation among all world states to annihilate terrorism is necessary.
NATO heads of state convened in the Welsh city of Newport on 4-5 September and US Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told foreign and defense ministers participating in the NATO summit that the US was forming a broad international coalition against ISIL.
Ministers from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Denmark met in Wales to hammer out a strategy for battling ISIL, but the policy was questioned by many regional officials and political leaders.
After the so-called US-led coalition against the ISIL declared its creation, Iran lashed out at the western states for pursuing a double-standard policy towards campaign against terrorism in various countries.
In relevant remarks this week, the Iranian Supreme Leader said listening to the US claims about its war on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was much fun for him when he was hospitalized for his recent surgery, adding that both Washington and the ISIL knew well that the terrorist group was defeated by the Iraqi people and army and not by the US.
“During the days I was at the hospital, I had fun listening to the remarks of the US officials on fighting Daesh (ISIL),” Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said in an interview with Iran’s state-run TV on Monday as he left the hospital after a successful prostate surgery.
Ayatollah Khamenei described the US officials’ allegations about fighting the ISIL as hollow and biased, and said the US disappointment at Iran’s partnership in its incorrect and illegal coalition was an “unrivaled honor” for Tehran.
Ayatollah Khamenei elaborated on some details of the US demands for Iran’s cooperation in forming the anti-ISIL coalition, and said, “During the hard days of Daesh’s attacks on Iraq, the US ambassador to Iraq demanded our envoy in the country (Iraq) that Iran and the US meet for negotiations and coordination on Daesh. Our ambassador reflected the issue to Iran and although some officials didn’t voice opposition, I opposed it and said we will not cooperate with the Americans in this regard since they have a corrupt intention and stained hands and how could we have cooperation with the Americans under such conditions.”
He referred to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks that his country wouldn’t invite Iran to the anti-ISIL coalition, and said, “The same US secretary of state had personally demanded (Iranian Foreign Minister) Dr. (Mohammad Javad) Zarif, and called for cooperation with us on Daesh but Dr. Zarif had rejected his demand.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also revealed that “the US deputy secretary of state (Wendy Sherman) repeated the same demand for cooperation with Iran against the ISIL during the talks with her Iranian counterpart Seyed Abbas Araqchi, and the Iranian deputy foreign minister refused it”.
He underscored Iran’s firm and explicit opposition to cooperation with the US in fighting the ISIL, and said, “Now they are telling a lie that they won’t accept Iran in the coalition because Iran had announced its opposition to its presence in such a coalition since the very beginning.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said that the US and its allies had earlier formed “a coalition of several countries against Syria, but they couldn’t do a damn thing”, and ensured that the same failure will be repeated with regard to Iraq.
Reiterating that the Americans were not serious about fighting the ISIL, he said, “The Americans and even Daesh are well aware that the move which broke Daesh’s backbone in Iraq was not the US action but the acts of the popular forces and the Iraqi army who had well learned the ways to fight Daesh and inflicted heavy damages on the group.”
He underscored that the Iraqi popular forces and army’s blows to the ISIL would continue, and said, “The reality is that the Americans are seeking an excuse to do the same actions in Iraq and Syria that they are doing in Pakistan, where they trespass on the country’s territory without any permission, despite the existence of a sovereign government and a powerful army (in Pakistan), and bomb different parts.”
“The Americans should know that if they do this, the same problems that were created on their way in the past ten years in Iraq will be created for them again,” Ayatollah Khamenei stressed.