No Need for Iran’s Military Presence in Iraq: General Soleimani
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force said Iran will take action against terrorist groups in Iraq only if the country’s Marja (religious leadership) deems it necessary.
“We will act (against the terrorists in Iraq) when Iraq’s ruling Marja (says there is) a political and international need,” Major General Soleimani said at a meeting in Tehran on Saturday.
He added that the Islamic Republic does not need to intervene in Iraq as long as top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Seyed Ali al-Sistani is present in the Arab country.
The remarks by the Iranian general came after Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir claimed in a recent interview that Iran is interfering in the internal affairs of some regional countries, including Iraq.
Later, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari rejected Jubeir’s assertion, saying that the Islamic Republic has advisory presence in Iraq at the request of the Baghdad government.
Iran’s Advisory Support Helped Syria Hold Daesh Back
Elsewhere in his remarks, General Soleimani referred to Iran's advisory help to the Syrian government against Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group and said that had it not been for the Islamic Republic's assistance in the past four years, Daesh would be ruling the entire country now.
Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh, currently controlling parts of it.
According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.
Saudi War on Yemen ‘Madness’
The Commander of the Quds Force further described continuation of Saudi Arabia’s aggression against Yemen as “mere madness”.
Saying that the impoverished Arab country has now more than one million fighters supporting the Houthi movement, he stressed that the war will lead to nothing but defeat for the Saudis.
The Saudi military has been engaged in military aggression against Yemen since late March. The strikes are allegedly aimed at undermining the Houthi movement and restoring power to fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
About 9,000 people have lost their lives in the Saudi airstrikes, and a total of nearly 14,000 people have been injured since March 26.