Iran’s Supreme Leader is decrying any further U.S. involvement in Iraq, likening it to a “plot.”
The unequivocal message from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was conveyed on Sunday both via the Twitter account that experts believe belongs to Khamenei and via reporting from the official Iranian IRNA news agency.
Khamenei stated that western “domineers, particularly U.S.” are trying to “exploit” the unraveling security situation where the Sunni militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is trying to unseat the Shiite-led government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuori al-Maliki.
Khamenei holds the ultimate power in Iran and decides on all diplomatic issues. According to Reuters’ account of the IRNA report, Khamenei accused the U.S. government of trying to maintain Iraq as pro-U.S. and place American “stooges” in power.
The supreme leader suggested the conflict in neighboring Iraq is not Sunni-Shi’ite in nature, but is rather a matter of those who want Iraq beholden to the U.S. versus those who want an independent Iraq.
“[W]e believe the Iraqi government, nation and religious authorities are capable of ending the sedition. And God willing, they will do so,” IRNA quoted Khamenei as saying.
As ISIS militants capture more territory in Iraq and encroach on the capital of Baghdad, President Barack Obama on Thursday authorized the deployment of up to 300 additional U.S. Special Operations troops to determine “how we can best train, advise and support Iraqi security forces going forward.” At the same time, he insisted, “American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again.”
“Ultimately, this is something that is going to have to be solved by Iraqis,” Obama added.
“America is not pleased with the ongoing (political) process in Iraq, meaning the wide participation in the elections and selecting their own choice (of representatives), as the U.S. is seeking an Iraq under its hegemony and ruled by its stooges,” Khamenei said according to Reuters translation of the IRNA report. He was referring to the Iraqi parliamentary election in April.