Hawzah News Agency (Tehran, Iran) - "Relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq are beyond relations between two neighboring countries and the Iranian government and nation regard progress and prosperity of Iraq as beneficial to themselves," the Leader said in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and his accompanying delegation in Tehran on Saturday.
"But despite their remarks, the Americans regard democracy and Iraq's current political activists to their detriment and based on this, the Iraqi government should do something [to ensure] that American military troops will leave Iraq as soon as possible," Ayatollah Khamenei added.
The Leader emphasized that Iraq could turn into the Arab world’s most influential country thanks to its human capacities and rich underground resources.
The US and its stooges in the region oppose the current democratic process in Iraq and believe that it would be against their interests, the Leader stated.
Ayatollah Khamenei added that the Iraqi government, parliament and current political activists were not favored by the US and therefore it was hatching plots to eliminate them from the political scene of Iraq.
The Leader pointed to contradictory remarks and intentions of American and Saudi officials and said, "They funneled money, weapons and equipment to Daesh at a time that they [the terrorists] had occupied Mosul, and now that Iraq has overcome Daesh, they are expressing friendly words."
The Leader hailed Abdul-Mahdi's wise and prudent stance on regional issues, particularly the developments in Iraq, and said the Iraqi youths were among the country's human capacities that had passed the exam of the fight against Daesh terrorists in a good and admirable way and marked a historical event.
Ayatollah Khamenei added that scientists and elites were among Iraq’s other human capacities and said the US had killed many Iraqi scientists because it was aware of the significance of "this important asset."
The Leader stressed the importance of maintaining full vigilance against the Daesh remnants "because they will once again embark on their crimes, if they feel a moment of weakness among the Iraqi government and nation."
Ayatollah Khamenei said the presence of US troops in the region could harm the interests of any country where they had established a long presence.
The Leader further said that the Iranian and Iraqi nations had common beliefs and cultural and historic bonds.
During the meeting, which was also attended by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Iraqi prime minister said the Iranian government and nation had always supported the Iraqis in difficult times, particularly in the fight against Daesh.
Abdul-Mahdi hailed his country's relations with Iran and emphasized that Iraq would never join US sanctions against Tehran.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Iraqi prime minister earlier in the day, Rouhani said Iran and Iraq were keen to expand their cooperation in the fight against terrorism and smuggling while seeking stronger ties in the power, gas and oil sectors.
"Border cooperation to fight terrorism, narcotics and smuggling will become stronger between the two countries," Rouhani said.