General Soleimani in Iraq at Baghdad’s Request: Voluntary Force Official
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Deputy head of the Iraqi volunteer forces, known as the Popular Mobilization Units or Hashid al-Shaabi, stressed that charismatic Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani’s presence in the Arab country for help has come at the request of the Baghdad government.
Iranian military advisers have been staying with Iraq since the beginning of war against terrorism, Alsumaria news agency quoted Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes as saying.
He also put an emphasis on the influential presence of Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Major General Soleimani in Iraq, saying he helps Iraq at the request of the central government in Baghdad and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, commander in chief of the Iraqi armed forces.
His comments came after Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir accused Iran of military presence in Iraq and of interfering in the internal affairs of other regional countries.
In reaction, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari rejected the allegations, stressing that Iran’s advisory mission in Iraq is underway at the request of Baghdad.
“In order to recognize its own interests, friends and enemies, the Iraqi nation does not need statements by the foreign minister of a country that has been the biggest factor of instability and a sponsor of terrorism in Iraq, the region and the world in the past decade and a half,” Jaberi Ansari said in a statement on Friday.
“The presence of Iran’s military advisors under the command of Major General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq comes at the request of the legitimate government of Iraq for confronting the terrorists and extremists causing instability and insecurity in the Arab country and the region," the spokesman added.
Jabei Ansari further called on the Saudi foreign minister to stop trying to deceive public opinion and distort facts, saying he should remember that his country is now known as the number one and most dangerous sponsor of terrorism in the world.