As the U.S. mulls over its next course of action in Iraq in the wake of the intensifying violence spreading across the country, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier today made it clear that he is against any sort of U.S. military intervention in Iraq.
According to Yahoo News, Khamenei, who had, until now, maintained a stoic silence over the conflict in Iraq, said:
“We strongly oppose the intervention of the U.S. and others in the domestic affairs of Iraq. The main dispute in Iraq is between those who want Iraq to join the U.S. camp and those who seek an independent Iraq. The U.S. aims to bring its own blind followers to power since the U.S. is not happy about the current government in Iraq.”
Khamenei has the final say on all government policies in Iran.
He added that Iraq, its government and the people can, with the help of the top clerics there, end what he termed a “sedition” that is underway in the country. He also added that the extremists of ISIS are against both Shiites and Sunnis, and seek to impose a Caliphate on Iraq, according toThe Guardian.
The statement by Ali Khameinei comes on the same day the country’s president Hassan Rouhani made a reference to some of the fellow Arab Gulf States and blamed them for “feeding terrorists by their petrodollars.” He also claimed that such support by them would, in the end, come back and haunt them.
“Rest assured, tomorrow will be your turn. The barbarous terrorists will go after supporters of terrorism in the future,” said Rouhani.
Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, supports the Iraqi government, which is also Shiite. In the past, Iran said that any request for military aid by Iraq would be considered by them.
Last week, the commander of Iran’s much feared elite Quds Force, Gen. Ghasem Soleimani, was reportedly in Iraq for what is now known as a meeting with the Iraqi military to make a plan to counter attack ISIS and regain the areas that have fallen under the control of the insurgents. The Quds force has, in the past, been blamed for organizing Shiite militias to target U.S. troops in Iraq.
In the past week, when signs of US supporting the idea of limited airstrikes in Iraq started to emerge, an unusual situation of Iran and US fighting side-by-side against a common enemy seemed a real possibility. Now, it appears relations between the two adversaries are back to a normal level of hostility and lack of cooperation.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]